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Matthew Hodgkins Blog


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


  1. Creating a VSCode Second Brain

    I have been diving into the topic of a “second brain”, a method of saving and linking our ideas, insights and thoughts. I was interested in this for a few reasons: To assist in active reading. I’ve read a lot of books and blog posts which often resonate with me. I find one week later, I’ve forgotten the advice or ideas that the reading inspired. I wanted to reduce the amount of reading (and re-reading)...…


  2. Securing Home Assistant with Cloudflare

    I’ve just started using Home Assistant through building my own smart garage door opener that I could control using my phone. It’s an amazing piece of open source software, and very easy to get setup locally, but I wanted to expose it to the internet so I could see the status of my garage door when away from the house using the Home Assistant App. I am running Home Assistant Core with Docker on my...…


  3. Automating Semantic Versioning for any Project

    Semantic versioning is the best known and most widely adopted convention for versioning software. If you aren’t familiar with it, read up on it before continuing. Once you start implementing semantic versioning for a project, you realize that you have just given yourself a small check list of items to go through for every release: Look through the commits since last release and determine if this will be a major, minor or patch release Decide...…


  4. Building a Golden Image Pipeline

    Welcome to this series of posts about creating golden images, and building a golden image pipeline. In this post, we are going to start with some definitions and introduce some concepts around the creation of golden images. Future posts will go in depth as to how to create a golden image pipeline. The series will focus on using Packer, Ansible and Windows, but the content will be generic enough to apply to any platform or...…


  5. Up your AWS CloudFormation game with Visual Studio Code

    AWS CloudFormation is an amazing tool for infrastructure as code. What used to take weeks to do on-premises, is now possible in a few minutes with some JSON, or better yet, YAML. This doesn’t mean we can’t do better and improve our efficiency even more. You won’t notice any problems working with a few CloudFormation stacks. A few dozen stacks later, or complicated stacks with many resources though, and we need to start optimizing. Let’s...…