Looks like my IFTTT integration is messed up again….
My next certification is complete: Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer.
I did the exam Saturday, but only posting it now because it requires the results require verification by Google.
I passed (provisionally, at least)…
There’s a nice CNBC documentary talking about OSS and how it’s pretty much taken over the world. Proof if it was needed that open source is better than closed source in pretty much every scenario.
I say “pretty much” since there are definitely certain scenarios where open source is not the best option, such as proprietary encryption algorithms or something that is company-confidential.
MasterCard seems to be making a lot of good choices recently with its branding showing up in a lot of high-profile cards.
Monzo, Revolut, Starling, Curve, Tide, and more are all MasterCard branded.
I used to have a MasterCard Credit Card by (IIRC) MBNA (remember them?) which I took out initially because I was going to Germany and back then (early noughties), I was advised that MasterCard was more prevalent in the European continent than Visa was, so make sure I had a MasterCard handy in case I ended up in a place that did not take Visa.
I didn’t even use that card.
Fast forward several years later, and suddenly I got a letter saying MBNA were transferring me onto Barclaycard Visa — which was the same as the other credit cards I had. So I ended up with multiple Barclaycard Visa cards, and no MasterCards.
The fact MBNA transferred me off MasterCard made me wonder why. Was there an issue with MasterCard? Were they like AmEx and causing problems with merchants? I shall never know.
I’ve been with Visa pretty much my entire adult life, and aside from that period above where I had a MasterCard, never had a MasterCard.
Eventually I decided to look at Monzo and Revolut, getting accounts successfully setup in both. Both issued MasterCard Debit cards. Starling’s app wouldn’t run on my device.
Monzo is rapidly becoming my main day-to-day account, whereas my Barclaycard is for things like larger purchases, bills, fuel, etc.
It’s strange since my last MasterCard experience, they’ve gone and pretty much disappeared, to coming back and almost every new card out there is MasterCard Debit….
I’ve totally forgotten to write this up, but I successfully passed my CKA exam on the third attempt with a 78% score, scraping a pass.
I’ll write up details of some of the questions I couldn’t answer so I can come back and look them up later.
I bank with Barclays. But I also in the recent years have opened up accounts with @monzo and @revolutapp.
While neither of these two accounts are my primary bank account, I do use them extensively, especially Monzo, where I’m both an investor, and took out the Plus option.
What I absolutely *LOVE* about both of these two banks, is how much you can do over the app on your phone. You can see money in an out, AS IT HAPPENS, pay for things and immediately get notified that the money has left your account and even approve online transactions from the app.
But the one thing I really like about these two companies, is how transparent they are as a company and admit “yes, we fucked up, we are sorry. Here’s what happened and here’s how we are stopping it happening again.”
No company, no architect, no developer, no engineer is perfect. We will all miss certain things. There’ll always be edge cases. There’ll always be split brain situations where you don’t expect them.
In this case Revolut’s app had trouble after an update — their full update is here in case you want to read it.
In short, there was an unused database column. Someone presumably thought “hey, no-one uses that, let’s remove it and tidy up the database table”.
As you might expect, something was using it, and that caused problems with the Revolut app. The engineers rolled back the change, but that caused more problems as the old code no longer found the column that was removed as part of the update.
Even at my workplace, we have encountered almost this exact same problem. I had a colleague from another department ask me why they were able to add new entries to a database, but whenever they wanted to edit a record, the system would error.
Turned out a column was _missing_ from the database, and had been for 2 YEARS. The change to the code was supposed to be accompanied by a schema update, but that didn’t happen, for whatever reason.
insert command to the database didn’t specify the column, the default was used, but since the
update wanted to modify that field, and didn’t find it, the command failed.
Monzo are not perfect either, they also have messed up, and have been just as transparent. They also had a database mess-up, this time in Cassandra.
Rather than hiding behind jargon or spin, these two companies are so open about their mistakes it’s refreshing. Sure there’s some people out there who are mad at these banks for closing their account, but there’s normally a reason behind it, and Monzo explains why they block accounts in their blog.
Not often I post on problems at Google, but this is actually an interesting situation.
Google had an outage the other week, and it knocked out several websites GitLab, Shopify and impacted others. Gsuite, Gmail, YouTube were affected, but not down.
There are some interesting lines in this article:
for an entire afternoon and into the night, the Internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.
Google says its engineers were aware of the problem within two minutes. And yet! “Debugging the problem was significantly hampered by failure of tools competing over use of the now-congested network,”
In short, Google Cloud broke due to congestion, Google couldn’t fix the problem because their tools required using the network that was now congested