Writings on tech, music and life by Konstantin Gredeskoul, aka 'kig'

Distributed Applications That Avoid DevOOPS

Are you practicing DevOops?

  • do you constantly struggle to keep production running smoothly?
  • do you get a ton of alerts that don't actually mean things are broken?
  • do you use Docker, but your deploy takes 20+ minutes?
  • do you use Docker, but manually configure Docker Hosts once the cloud provisions them?
  • does it take hours to bring a new server into the pool to help alleviate load?
  • have you never practiced failover to your database replica?
  • do you NOT know who owns your root DNS?
  • have you skipped that ticket about making an offsite backup, and now there isn't one?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you just might... The thing is — you are not alone. Thousands of organizations do not have the time and resources to fix this type of technical debt, and escape the world of DevOops, where things just don't run smoothly. That is despite using newest technologies (Docker), largest cloud in the world (AWS), and a great team of engineers.

I'd like to help.

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Super-charge your email like a Pro with MixMax

A few days ago I was blown away but what a (still) little-known startup called MixMax is doing with email — nothing short of revolutionizing it! If you haven't see it yet, do check it out, especially if you often find yourself scheduling meetings or lunches over email, asking for feedback, conducting polls or sharing rich media with others.

MixMax enhances, enriches, extends (EEE!) the standard Gmail functionality with a lot of goodies, accessible from both the GUI as well as via the "slash" commands while composing an email.

Slash commands have been used for a very long time, to send "commands", like in age-old IRC, as well as the much more recent app Slack, or even, any multi-player online video games.

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Scaling Web Applications on PostgreSQL pgConfSV 2015 presentation

pgConf 2015 PostgreSQL Developer Conference in the Bay Area

I was very happy to have my submission accepted at the recent pgConfSV conference (where SV is for Sillicon Valley). For various reasons I was unable to cover everything I wanted during the talk, which is a note to self for future public speaking engagements! Time your talk! :). Well, below is an updated version of that presentation, which shows an incremental and methodical path to scaling web applications to millions of users using PostgreSQL, all the while covering a very range of material.


In general, the ideal audience for this is operationally and architecturally minded full stack engineers, building web apps that either are already serving a ton of traffic, or will be soon.

But on the broader scale, I was intending for this presentation to be helpful to anyone trying to get a grasp on how to evolve their web application to where it's able to serve a rather high throughput of 5K-50K requests per second. This range is still far below what the internet "giants" such as Facebook, Google, or Twitter get (if I had to guess, it would be in 1M/sec). But, it is also far from an early naive web application with just a few users.

Turns out it is possible to achieve high scalability on the cheap, and using PostgreSQL, which is what we did at Wanelo, and it turned out great.



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Serial Console Hacks with Arduino

Battling Console

I wanted to share a method that I use to connect to a Serial port of any Arduino I am using at any given moment. This method has a caveat, in that if you have more than one Arduino connected, it will pick one of them at random.


I always hate Serial port windows. They do not automatically reconnect, and if they try (Eclipse) they don't always work (Teensy). So I went searching for a reliable solution that will automatically reconnect after loosing a connection.

I found it! It's called minicom!

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Music, DJ-ing, and Origins of Weird Names

– So, did you know?

if (my.question.style_of( == FALSE) {
  omg() || exit() || return; || run(SUPER_FAST);

Me: – "So, are you prepared to listen to some music?"

You: – "What the hell are you talking about, this is Electronics Blog, and I came here to read about my goddamn chip that's not working... You are breaking my brain!!!"

Me: – "I knew you would love it! Then let's begin :)"

You: – "Grrrrr...."

/* music_info.ino  */

curtains = new TheaterCurtain();
if (! {
  /* proceed without the curtains */
  return ("true" || 1 || TRUE);

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