Top 3 Small Business IT Mistakes

I’ve really worked the gamut of IT, from teeny tiny companies as their “IT Guy” all the way up to huge organizations where I’m just one of approximately twenty thousand people aligned with the same focus. What’s surprising to me is that organizationally, similar mistakes are made at all scales of technology services. I’ve put together the short list on the most common mistakes that small to medium sized businesses make when it comes to their technology.

A New Adventure: The BetaBlox Series

This weekend I had a rare opportunity fall into my lap, really. Well, I say “this weekend” but by that I mean I’ve been working on this opportunity for quite a while, it’s just finally come to fruition. Before I get to that, though, you should probably have a little bit of backstory. Living in Kansas City, there isn’t much along the lines of a startup atmosphere, especially in tech. When you think of tech startups, you’d think of tech hubs like Silicon Valley or New York or D.C., maybe even Atlanta. I’ve worked for a few of these places (remotely, of course, thank Slack) and what’s really amazing about them is just how hungry everyone is to be doing something awesome. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of bad things about startup culture that can backfire horrendously (especially if you’re a bright eyed and bushy tailed midwestern kid thinking he’s going to go out and change the world by working for one of these places), but for the most part I really do like startups.

How to Add IAM Users and Groups to AWS with PowerShell

Security is everyone’s business, and a major player of security in the cloud is identity and access management. AWS gives us a handy service to manage our users, in the form of AWS IAM. This service allows us to create users, groups, and manage their permissions with policy documents (which are really just JSON formatted permissions). If you’re familiar with User management then the AWS controls should feel fairly intuitive, but even if this is your first user management service you’ve used, it is very easy to quickly get up and running with it.

Reading Nested Active Directory Groups in PowerShell

You don’t have to work with Active Directory groups for very long before you can see how they become complicated, sprawling messes, especially once you start managing nested groups. When we say “nested group” we are referring to the Active Directory groups in your organization that have groups embedded within them.

My latest project: The AWS PowerShell Book!

There are a lot of things that I’ve been spreading myself over recently. TechSnips, auditioning for Pluralsight, and the one that has been taking the most of my time - the AWS PowerShell book. I’m really excited to announce that yesterday I pressed the “Publish” button and released my first chapter! You can download the intro and first chapter as a sample on the leanpub site.

Configuring AWS CloudWatch with PowerShell

Amazon’s CloudWatch is a powerful AWS service which monitors deployed systems, and can respond with alerts or even react by calling another AWS service. CloudWatch alarm creation is typically done via the AWS Management Console, but today I’m going to show you how to configure an alarm yourself. When you’re talking about automating deployments of entire environments, scripting your CloudWatch alarm’s creation becomes necessary especially as the environment increases in complexity and scope. In this article, we’ll discuss how to create CloudWatch alarms with PowerShell.

Guest-Post: Adam Bertram and Contributing to TechSnips

Today’s blog post comes from Adam Bertram. He’s recently launched which I’ve written about here but in case you don’t want to take my word for it, here is Adam:

Adding and Removing Keyboard Languages with PowerShell

There are many times in an organization, especially in larger international organizations, where it becomes necessary to manage the languages your users have access to via their keyboard.

Gone Snippin

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go to a training bootcamp again. It’s not because I haven’t worked hard enough, and it’s not because my company can’t afford it. I’ve simply reached a point in my career where I’m an expert on enough topics to where it’s not viable for me to spend a week mostly relearning stuff I already know (but really have you seen the price tags on bootcamps recently? No thanks). The same goes for PluralSight! Don’t get me wrong, I love the service and I spend the majority of “headphone-in” time at work with a video in the background. Whenever it comes to content related to my job, though, I’ve been finding myself skipping 3/4ths of the video to get to the content that matters to me. I don’t want to talk about youtube tutorials. Unprofessional editing, volume that makes me want to gouge out my ears, and then there’s those people who type the instructions in notepad while playing “Let the bodies hit the floor” at full blast… you catch my drift.

Managing Data Science Projects with Git

Recently I’ve been venturing more and more into the world of data science and machine learning, and I’ve come across a lot of helpful utilities that have made my world way easier. I’m assuming, if you’re reading this post about data science, that you’ve at least heard of python and Anaconda and why those are so useful. This post won’t cover python or Anaconda, but will move forward a bit and focus on organizing your projects.