Tech Update August

This month’s update gravitates around cloud and data science, two subjects very near to our hearts here at MM Guide. 

First up, a story of how a misconfigured Azure blob led to a massive leak at a Dutch fishing supply specialist. The resulting leak was 18GB in size, containing the details of more than 246.000 customers. Since private customer data has been leaked the company, with annual revenue of around €17 million, has most likely violated our data protection law GDPR. One of the consequences of such a GDPR violation might be a hefty fine. This goes to show how important it is to recognize potential dangers when using any technology, have sufficient testing in place, and only store data you really need for your business logic.

Speaking of securing personal data, I am an avid VPN user. Using a VPN connection for your day-to-day browsing is good practice to make sure your internet behavior is harder to track. One of the blogs of my VPN provider caught my attention. In this post, a comparison is being made between the various messenger apps out there. What app is being used most in what country, what are some pros and cons of the various messengers? Please forgive the obvious sales pitch drenching this blog post and take away some useful statistics and facts about the messengers we all use on a daily basis.

So, the fact that inappropriate configuration of Azure storage can lead to some undesirable situations does not mean we should stop analyzing data! The opposite is true, new technologies enable us to examine data better every day, as long as you design and implement it with security in mind. One of such new technologies is the Azure Spark 3.0 connector for SQL Server, which has been available on the Azure platform last month. This connector lets you use transactional data in big data analytics which you can use for your queries or reports. For us, who predominantly use Microsoft technology, this is a welcome addition to our toolkit!

Sticking to the tools you know happens to be one of the key recommendations to get a prototype or pilot scaled up. This article gives us some tips on how to escape “The Pilot Paradox” and while it is mainly focused on AI projects, you can generalize many of the statements and use them for a host of different kinds of software prototypes.

Two other helpful articles I came across might be a good read to strengthen your day-to-day operations. While most of us use visual tools to connect to remote systems, this is not always a possibility. In that case, you can use SSH in the command line to set up your connection, a handy workaround in a pinch:

scp path/to/local/file.png user@hostname:/path/to/upload/

One of the most satisfying things for a software developer is writing a super-fast or super-efficient algorithm. It’s just one of those things that brings joy to a programmer’s heart. To “git gud” at creating these algorithms, you just need practice. Practice by reading about it, making them, and using them. Take this algo to traverse bottom-left to top-right in a binary tree. Before you read it, do a little thought experiment on how you would write this algorithm. Did you get it correct?

This concludes this month’s tech update. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned something. See you in the next one!

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