Fork Puppet(-WP)

My fellow 10upper Eric Mann recently authored a post entitled Just Ship Already in which he encouraged developers to (get this) just ship their code, already! Well, in the interest of doing just that, I’d like to announce a fork of Ryan McCue’s Puppet WordPress module.

That’s Nice. Uh, What?

Puppet is an awesome systems automation tool. Essentially, you can describe (in a Puppet DSL) the way you want a system to be configured (packages installed, processes running, etc.) and then tell Puppet “Do it” and it will, to the best of its ability, make sure that your server looks exactly like you want it. There are all sorts of useful packages of Puppet code out there (they call them “modules”) that extend the base functionality and can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, instead of you having to develop your own Puppet code. There’s code for Apache configurations, MySQL databases, firewalls, time servers — pretty much anything that you might want to configure and/or automate on a system.
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tl;dr version: I joined 10up in October, been very busy since. We just released a fancy-dance new plugin named PushUp Notifications. You should get in on it.
Long version: I joined 10up last October as a Senior Systems Engineer and have been head-down in systems for some pretty large customers since then. Obviously, blog output has suffered. *grin*
We (10up) just launched a nifty little plugin called PushUp Notifications that ties in with Apple Push Notifications for Safari to, get this, send push notifications from your WordPress blog. Publish a post, click the “Push desktop notification” checkbox, and hit “Publish” and all your subscribers will be notified. No RSS feeds, no Facebook updates, it just goes right to their desktops. Right now, it’s a 1.0 product, so it works with Safari for OS X, but in the future, we’re talking about extending it to Firefox, Chrome, iOS — the sky’s the limit, really.
If you’re reading Literal Barrage on Safari, you would’ve been prompted to allow push notifications for the site on your first visit here. Make sure to hit “Allow” and you’ll get notified whenever* I update the site.
Check out the demo video if you want a better sense of how this all works:

*Yeah, I know.

Rack Stanking: The Perils Of An Inferior System (Stack Ranking)

I came across an article on Slate this morning bemoaning the “Stack Ranking” employee rating system employed by Microsoft (and apparently pioneered by Jack Welch at GE). I’ve had some experience in companies employing a stack ranking system, or one very close to such a system and so I took to Twitter with a few of my thoughts, reproduced below.
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