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Peter Christian Fraedrich

A few points from my experience hiring engineers and how to interview for these specific traits

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For the past five years or so I’ve been directly involved with finding, interviewing, and hiring DevOps engineers for various organizations, both large and small.

In that time I’ve read too many resumes and LinkedIn profiles to count, but from that vast ocean of data, a few trends have emerged that I would like to share with you and hopefully help you find and hire solid DevOps engineers.

Certifications Don’t Matter as Much As Some People Think

My first introduction to this was as an engineer for an MSP back in my early days. …

What is the blockchain and how it can be used for good

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At its heart, a blockchain is a linked list. Each item in the list — called a block — contains three pieces of information: a timestamp, the data you’re trying to store in the block, and a hash of the previous item on the list. This links each block together by reference and creates a “chain” of sorts (hence, blockchain). Because each block references the one before it, making changes to one block requires making changes to every single block that was added after it, meaning altering a blockchain is next to impossible (but not fully impossible). …

Deciding what career path to follow: developer or DevOps

A Venn diagram made with donuts | Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Let’s say you’re in the first few years of your tech career and you’re ready to make the jump to a full-time development-centric role. Maybe you’re part of an internship program where you’re exposed to a few different roles, or you’ve just finished up a code boot camp, and you’re starting to look for your next position. Trying to decide between developer and DevOps engineer can be a tough choice. After all, there’s a lot of overlap between the two. So let’s dive into how they’re similar, how they’re different, and sum up the general difference between the two roles.

How they’re similar

The good and bad of tech positions at big firms

Composite of photos by Verne Ho and Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I’ve spent my tech career alternating between large and small companies, from very large ones like Comcast and Capital One to small local shops you’ve never heard of. In part one of this two-part series, I’m going to look at a few of the things that are good and bad about working at very large companies.

The Good

1. They’re always hiring

Looking for a job under a bit of a time crunch? There’s a very good chance one of the very large companies in your area is hiring. Companies like Comcast and Salesforce are practically always hiring — they have so many seats to fill…

There’s a lot to know about databases, so let's start with the basics

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash.

There’s a lot to know about databases. They’re complex mission-critical applications that sometimes require specialized subject matter experts to maintain them, but that doesn’t mean that they’re some kind of magic black box either. Databases are the backbone of our applications, and the more you learn about how they work, the better you will be at using them, writing applications against them, and troubleshooting problems when things inevitably go wrong.

So let's dive into seven things you should (probably) know about databases.

Note: Unless stated, I’m typically going to be talking about relational databases like PostgreSQL or MySQL and not…

A few overlooked aspects of working with databases

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…

The fundamentally broken AWS Database Migration Service

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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…

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

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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…

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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…

Peter Christian Fraedrich

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

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