API Blank Slate

A couple of years ago I went to Argentina. I don’t speak Spanish. This meant a lot of the basic conversations I’d have with locals were frequently interrupted by me paging through a translation guide. I felt very disconnected: basic exchanges were cumbersome. When I work with an API for ... Read more

The Short and Sweet SSL How-to

Got a site you need to serve up via SSL ? Here are your Cliffs notes. This assumes 1) your site already runs without SSL ; 2) you’re using Apache and Ubuntu; 3) you don’t want any browser warnings, so no self-signed certificates. 1. Generate a Private Key $ openssl ... Read more

3 Developer-Centric Takeaways from Ben Franklin

Before a recent plane trip, I checked out the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin from the library. Franklin might have the greatest list of accomplishments in American history. I was curious to learn how he did it. Three developer-centric takeaways: The Socratic Method Like developers, Franklin loved a spirited debate. In ... Read more

Three New Tools in my Mac Toolbox

It’s always satisfying to find tools that make your workflow smoother. Here are three that I started using recently: iTerm2 is a Terminal replacement with a ton of features. The three that make the most difference in my workflow are search , mouseless copy , and tabs which you can ... Read more

JMX Monitoring

One of the features Java Management Extensions provides is the ability to add instrumentation to an application. While this makes collecting metrics straightforward, it doesn’t address storage for these metrics. Enter David Dossot’s JMX Monitoring Scout Plugin . David has used the plugin to monitor an asynchronous data archiver designed ... Read more

Detect and Fix HAProxy+Apache+Passenger Queue Backlogs

To inspire hard work, some young men hang a poster on their wall that includes: (1) an exotic sports car (2) a scantly clad lady and (3) a beach house. My inspirational poster would be much less attractive: a friendly butler who offers time-honored wisdom (with an accent because people ... Read more

You Are Making Scout Even Better

A huge thank you to Scout users who have sent us plugin fixes and enhancements! It’s really a pleasure to see the plugin library grow and improve. Here are the latest updates: Memory Profiler Solaris Compatibility added by Ankur Bulsara URL Monitoring Better exception handling for bad hostnames and request ... Read more

Quick & dirty log monitoring

Sometimes we have an immediate need to watch for a term in a log file. For example, if we’re doing a major deploy, we might watch for the term error in a log file. We want to make sure the rate of errors doesn’t increase. To do this, we’ll use ... Read more

Sleep Better with a Proper Staging Environment

Nothing helps you sleep better at night like a staging environment that’s faithful to your production setup. That means your staging environment has the same Linux distro, same version of Ruby and gems, the same Apache and Passenger configuration, etc. VPS not cloud We’ve found that an inexpensive “always-on” VPS ... Read more

Relentlessly Shortcut: .bashrc & Thor

Check out the incredible shortcut Lance Armstrong takes in the above clip. As developers, we should try to shortcut as smoothly as Lance does. You might not get cheered on quite as much—but then again, you have a lot more shortcut opportunities! Shortcuts and Development Workflow The quicker I can ... Read more

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