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Peter Christian Fraedrich

The fundamentally broken AWS Database Migration Service

Card catalog system with red highlighted drawers
Card catalog system with red highlighted drawers
Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

Look, I get it. Databases are rarely sexy. No one really likes talking about indexes, or data de-normalization, or stuff like that. But like it or not databases have a fundamental and important role to play in just about every modern application, whether those databases are large multi-region, multi-replica data warehouses that span hundreds of terabytes, or small embedded or in-memory databases; each database has a role to play in its ecosystem. But outside of the in-memory or embedded databases like Badger or SQLite one of the most challenging problems is actually managing those databases over the lifetime of the…

A few overlooked aspects of working with databases

database icon over mail boxes
database icon over mail boxes
Original photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing some deep-diving into databases as part of my day-job effort to migrate our existing Postgres 9x databases to something more recent, like Postgres 13. As an SRE I don’t typically have much exposure to the database layer of the applications that I support beyond making them available and ensuring migration scripts and the like run successfully. But this deep-dive has allowed me time to get to know our databases and their structure and to see some of the inner workings of our applications. Out of this has sprung a few articles so…

An impassioned defense of “code smells” and why tech bloggers have gone insane

Image courtesy of Unsplash

We’ve all seen the articles. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those ones. Simple, reductive headlines like “RECURSION IS BAD” or “WE NEED TO STOP USING IF/ELSE” from people who just discovered functional programming. And look, it's fine to have differing opinions about things, code styles included, but there’s a threshold where you cross from pedantic to dogmatic. And if we’re honest, it's getting a little out of hand. So I decided that someone need to step up and defend the “code smells”, the basic building blocks of how real, actual production code works.

If/Else is OK

I’ve seen way way way…

Photo by Johanser Martinez on Unsplash

Its 2AM on a Monday night. I’m sitting here at my desk while my wife and two kids fast asleep two floors above me. For the past three hours I’ve been aimlessly browsing the internet looking for a spark of inspiration. Craigslist,, HackerNews, and even Quora have seen visits from my IP address while I lazily try to find something that I can stick my overworked brain into. Googling “software startup ideas” seems pretty pathetic and vague but here I am. After all, what else am I going to do? We all exist in these little self-contained bubbles now…

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Sometimes I really hate being right. Less than two weeks ago I published an article called “Culture Doesn’t Matter”, in which I outlined a very simple idea: that company culture doesn’t matter unless its actively lived by the leadership. Then just a few days later, Basecamp-gate happens.

For those of you who don’t already know what happened at Basecamp, my colleague John Breen summed it up pretty succinctly on his own blog:

A few days ago, Basecamp, a tech darling helmed by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried, announced some policy changes. These changes effectively ban Basecamp employees from “societal…

Five simple concepts to help you master interviews.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

I’ve done a lot of interviews. A lot. It’s not something I am particularly proud of because the implication is that I’ve looked for a lot of jobs, but it is what it is. There’s a benefit to doing a lot of interviews, though, and that is you start to understand what works and what doesn’t, different interview styles, and eventually some baseline takeaways. This is what I’m going to share with you today.

Communication Is Key

When interviewing in a “professional” setting (eg, not a fast-food or other low-skill or entry-level setting) there’s an important differentiator that sets apart your potential workplaces…

Your company culture doesn’t mean anything if it’s not lived and demonstrated by your company leadership.

yellow paint on wet blacktop spelling the word “no”
yellow paint on wet blacktop spelling the word “no”
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

You read that right. Company culture doesn’t matter. And why should it? Would you really pick your next position based off some namby-pamby feel-good words? I wouldn’t. Mission statements about “making the world a better place” or “building a sustainable future” sound great but what’s the point? Does anyone really care where their next paycheck comes from as long as it comes?


No one cares about some stupid words on a business card or a website, because culture isn’t the words, its the actions.

You can have all the nice words and pretty visuals, the multi-cultural stock photos on…

It was supposed to make our lives easier.

Photos by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Think back to the early days of your career. For me it was working as a lone-wolf sysadmin at a small regional retail company. I was still very green and was hired because they needed someone who could learn how reset passwords in Active Directory. I had no concept of the wider world of technology, the products and tools that existed in it, and the depth of the ocean I was starting to wade into. And just like everyone else that doesn’t know any better, I thought the best way to manage my resources (servers, desktops, etc.) was by hand…

In 2021, do serverless, PaaS, and no-code solutions make containers obsolete?

ISO shipping containers all rusted out and shit
ISO shipping containers all rusted out and shit
Photo by OSG Containers on Unsplash

When sitting down to start a new project, or figuring out a road map for an existing one, the options for actually running your workloads have never been more wide open. Admittedly, we live in an era where we are spoiled for choice when it comes to platforms; between open-source tools, paid services, enterprise offerings, and everything else available. This has made selecting the tools we use a bit more difficult as the chances of being paralyzed by choice grow with the number of choices available. With the growing number of options available to us these days its only fair…

Not really a full post, more of an update, but here it goes.

Black and yellow. Uh, Pittsburgh I guess?
Black and yellow. Uh, Pittsburgh I guess?
Cynical eye-catching photo to get more clicks.

I’ve decided that this year, for at least the whole of 2021, I will do my best to publish two articles a week: Monday and Thursday. While most of these articles will be around tech, development, and devops, a small percentage of them might deal with politics (more specifically, tech in politics), or some other random subject. This is my personal blog, so I don’t really have to follow any rules, but I want to stay as close to tech as possible.

As always, I’m open to topic requests. I’m sure the 24 people who read my blog are super interested in my opinions.

  • Pete

Peter Christian Fraedrich

Entrepreneur, software developer, writer, musician, amateur luthier, husband, dad. All opinions are my own.

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