My name is Emily K. Dresner and I am a full stack computer systems architect.  I have built computer systems of all sizes in a wide number of technologies in different industries for twenty years - long enough to be burned on my own bad decisions, and to learn how to make good ones.  Computer systems aren't just about slick algorithms -- they are about teams, interlocking needs and requirements, and a drive to deliver.

Yep, it's me

Yep, it's me

I used to be an engineer but now I'm sort of a philosopher.

This blog walks the reader through a variety of individual, distinct web-based projects. It works through their inception, talking through some requirements, project management methodology, choosing technology -- COTS, SaaS and roll your own -- choices with databases (does one use NoSQL?), scaling techniques, available cloud technology, code as infrastructure, automated deployments, Fun With Logging, monitoring, and all the reporting that goes into delivering a full online service.  The focus is less on the actual code than on everything else that goes into a product simply because if the focus moves to code it will never get out of code.  

I am a code guy and not an ops guy -- I vastly prefer to write the product than to maintain it but I also believe strongly in good architecture and good engineering lessons the burden on operational environments.   This blog also touches on my opinions on the DevOps movement and how it should work into the philosophy of an overall project.  Ten years of my career was also dedicated to security -- or more to the point 'super slick and interesting virus code' -- so I have a funny relationship to code and systems and wanting them to be good.

I have professionally written and shipped code in:

Not mine -- the assembler from a Stuxnet variation called Duqu.  I read this stuff for fun.

Not mine -- the assembler from a Stuxnet variation called Duqu.  I read this stuff for fun.

  • Python
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Java
  • C/C++
  • C#
  • HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • Node.JS
  • Erlang.  (Erlang???)
  • A Heinz 57 collection of smaller scripting languages, javascript packages, compiled languages and once, to be a smartass, Whitespace.

I have shipped everything from financial processing systems to low level device drivers to security systems to medical scheduling systems to enormous websites taking millions of unique visitors a day.  

I love Agile with SCRUM.  I understand the needing of Kanban.  Scaling agile up and down in an organization is a particularly fascinating systems engineering problem (it looks like a management problem but more so!)

I also have a graduate degree from the University of Michigan.  GO BLUE!

This whole project was inspired by post, Ryan Macklin's Getting Back on the Creative Horse.