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Matthew Hodgkins Blog


❤️er of Automation, AWS, DevOps, CI/CD, Python, Golang and Observability. Aussie living in the Netherlands. Principal Engineer at Coolblue.


  1. Automating DataDog with Terraform

    DataDog is an awesome SaaS monitoring platform. We have 100+ developers leveraging the platform to collect their metrics, create dashboards and send alerts. As with anything, if you don’t maintain and clean your tools, after a while things can become a little messy. Dashboards start to get named wildly different things with no standards. Alerts aren’t deleted for decommissioned services. Team names change and alerts are suddenly pointing to a the wrong Slack channel. Something...…


  2. Testing Ansible Roles Against Windows with Test-Kitchen

    During the development of automation for your infrastructure, you will find yourself doing the same types of processes over and over: Creating virtual machines to run your code against Copy the automation code to the instance Running the automation code against your instance Performing tests against your instance These “overhead” process can take a considerable amount of time that you could be spending writing code. How do we fix this? Improving our automation development workflow...…


  3. Best Practices with Packer and Windows

    Why you should be using Packer Getting Started with Packer Best Practices Step by Step Generic Templates Use guest additions mode of attach Use environment variables to change the action of a provisioning script Keep the OS information in your build script Disable WinRM on build completion and only enable it on first boot Use headless mode Set a high shutdown and WinRM timeouts Conclusion Why you should be using Packer Already know why Packer...…


  4. Ultimate PowerShell Prompt Customization and Git Setup Guide

    Source control and Git keeps getting more and more important for both Developers and Operations guys. Getting up and running with Git on MacOS or Linux is very easy as most things are built in. There are also cool tools like oh-my-zsh to customize your prompt. On Windows, it’s a bit of a different story. Let’s spend a little time installing ConEmu and Git, then customizing it to take our prompt from something that looks...…


  5. 5 Tips for Writing DSC Resources in PowerShell 5

    I have recently been writing some class based DSC resources and have been enjoying the experience much more than (trying to) write DSC resources in PowerShell v4. Using classes really simplifies the development process of the DSC resources, and I believe class based resources will be the norm going forward. As PowerShell v5 RTM has only been recently released back in February 2016, the large majority of DSC resources available on GitHub still use the...…