Joe Zack Podcast Image

Joe Zack

Software Engineer and 1/3 of the Coding Blocks podcast.
Recent episodes featuring Joe Zack
DevOps: Job Title or Job Responsibility?
Coding Blocks
We debate whether DevOps is a job title or a job responsibility as Michael finally understands‘s name, Allen is an infosec expert, and Joe wears his sunglasses at night. If you aren’t already viewing this episode’s show notes in your browser, you can find these show notes at and join the conversation. Sponsors – Sign up today for a free 14 day trial and get a free Datadog t-shirt after creating your first dashboard. WayScript – Sign up and build cloud hosted tools that seamlessly integrate and automate your – Level up your coding skills, quickly and efficiently. Visit to get 20% off any course. Survey Says … Anonymous VoteSign in with WordpressIs DevOps a ...A job title ... now hiring!A job function ... get back to work!vote News We appreciate everyone that took a moment to leave us a review and say thanks:iTunes: kevo_ker, Cheiss, MathewSomersStitcher: BlockedTicket Is DevOps a Job Title or Company Culture? What is DevOps?What isn’t DevOps?How do you learn DevOps?How mature is your DevOps?The myths of DevOps … Resources We Like What Is DevOps? (New Relic)The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (Amazon)The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations (Amazon)The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data (Amazon)DevOps is a culture, not a role! (Medium)Why is kubernetes source code an order of magnitude larger than other container orchestrators? (Stack Overflow)Welcoming Molly – The DEV Team’s First Lead SRE! (, Molly Struve)The DevOps Checklist ( ( Tip of the Week Edit your last Slack message by pressing the UP arrow key. That and more keyboard shortcuts available in the Slack Help Center. (Slack)Integrate Linux Commands into Windows with PowerShell and the Windows Subsystem for Linux ( readlink to see where a symlink ultimately lands. ( are Durable Functions? ( your Cmder theme to Allen’s favorite: Babun. ( favourite Git commit (
3factor app – Async Serverless
Coding Blocks
We take an introspective look into what’s wrong with Michael’s life, Allen keeps taking us down random tangents, and Joe misses the chance for the perfect joke as we wrap up our deep dive into Hasura’s 3factor app architecture pattern. For those reading these show notes via their podcast player, this episode’s full show notes can be found at Sponsors – Sign up today for a free 14 day trial and get a free Datadog t-shirt after creating your first dashboard. O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference – Microservices, domain-driven design, and more. The O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference covers the skills and tools every software architect needs. Use the code BLOCKS during registration to get 20% off of most passes. – Level up your coding skills, quickly and efficiently. Visit to get 20% off any course. Survey Says … Anonymous VoteSign in with WordpressWhich relational database is your go to?Postgres, the elephant in the room.MySQL, the digital adventures of Flipper.SQL Server. _It looks like you're trying to create a database._ -ClippyOracle, the big red box.RDBMS? pfft ... NoSQL.Graph databases are where it's News Thank you to everyone that left us a review:iTunes: codeand40k, buckrivard Stitcher: Jediknightluke, nmolina Factor Tres – Async Serverless The first two factors, realtime GraphQL and reliable eventing, provide the foundation for a decoupled architecture that paves the way for the third factor: async serverless. These serverless processes meet two properties: Idempotency: Events are delivered at least once.Out of order messaging: The order the events are received is not guaranteed. Traditional vs 3factor app Traditional application3factor applicationSynchronous procedure code.Loosely coupled event handlers.Deployed on VMs or containers.Deployed on serverless platforms.You manage the platform.The platform is managed for you.Requires operational expertise.No operational expertise necessary.Auto-scale when possible.Auto-scales by default. Benefits of serverless architectures No-ops: no run time to manage.Free scale: scales based on utilization.Cost: you pay for utilization. Sample serverless providers AWS LambdaGoogle Cloud FunctionsAzure FunctionsZeitOpenFaasKubelessKnative When to use the 3 Factor app? Multiple subsystems that need to subscribe to the same events.Low latency events.Complex event processing.High volume, velocity data. Benefits Producers and consumers are decoupled.No point-to point-integrations.Consumers can respond to events immediately as they arrive.Highly scalable and distributed.Subsystems have independent views of the event stream. Challenges Guaranteed event delivery.Processing events in order.Processing events exactly once.Latency related to initial serverless start up time. The five key phases of software development. Resources We Like 3factor app ( Canonical App (GitHub) Event-driven architecture style ( Functions and CosmosDB from MS Ignite (episode 92)Two General’s Problem (Wikipedia)Erlang: The Movie (YouTube)Erlang: The Movie II: The Sequel (YouTube)Ultimate Dog Tease (YouTube)Reggie! Don’t eat him! (Facebook)Docker for Developers (episode 80) Tip of the Week Keep your email address private in your GitHub repo’s git log by setting your email address to like git config (GitHub)Darknet Diaries: True stories from the dark side of the Internet ( Template Viewer for VS Code displays a graphical preview of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates. ( Support Framework for IntelliJ and RubyMine ( Visual Studio Code Remote – WSL extension lets you use the Windows Subsystem for Linux as your development environment within VS Code. ( is Azure Data Studio? ( DevOps Handbook is available on Audible! And iTunes! (Audible, Amazon, iTunes)
3factor app – Reliable Eventing
Coding Blocks
We discuss the second factor of Hasura’s 3factor app, Reliable Eventing, as Allen says he still _surfs_ the Internet (but really, does he?), it’s never too late for pizza according to Joe, and Michael wants to un-hear things. This episode’s full show notes can be found at, just in case you’re using your podcast player to read this. Sponsors – Sign up today for a free 14 day trial and get a free Datadog t-shirt after creating your first dashboard. O’Reilly Velocity Conference – Get expert insight on building and maintaining cloud native systems. Use the code BLOCKS during registration to get 20% off of most passes. – Level up your coding skills, quickly and efficiently. Visit to get 20% off any course. Survey Says … Anonymous VoteSign in with WordpressWhat's the first thing you do when picking up a new technology or stack?Take a course, like on the pros and cons. Share the ones that support your opinion. Bing the best practices. Pray there are some.Find the Stack Overflow answer that you most agree with and supports your News Thank you to everyone that left us a review:iTunes: !theBestCoder, guacamoly, FishsliderStitcher: SpottieDogWe have photographic evidence that we were in the same room with Beej from Complete Developer at Atlanta Code Camp. @BowtieBeej hanging out with @THEjoezack @theallenu @iamwaltuo from @CodingBlocks #atlcodecamp— Complete Developer #MusicCityTech (@CompleteDevPod) September 14, 2019 The Second Factor – Reliable Eventing Don’t allow for mutable state. Get rid of in memory state manipulation in APIs.Persist everything in atomic events.The event system should have the following characteristics:Atomic – the entire operation must succeed and be isolated from other operations.Reliable – events should be delivered to subscribers at least once. Comparing the 3factor app Eventing to Traditional Transactions Traditional application3factor applicationRequest is issued, data loaded from various storage areas, apply business logic, and finally commit the data to storage.Request is issued and all events are stored individually.Avoid using async features because it’s difficult to rollback when there are problems.Due to the use of the event system, async operations are much easier to implement.Have to implement custom recovery logic to rewind the business logic.Recovery logic isn’t required since the events are atomic. Benefits of an Immutable Event Log Primary benefit is simplicity when dealing with recovery. There’s no custom business logic because all the event data is available for replayability.Due to the nature of persisting the individual event data, you have a built in audit trail, without the need for additional logging.Replicating the application is as simple as taking the events and replaying the business logic on top of them. Downsides of the Immutable Event Log Information isn’t (instantly) queryable, not taking into account snapshotting.CQRS (command query responsibility segregation) helps to answer this particular problem.Forcing event sourcing on every part of the system introduces significant complexity where it may not be needed.For evolving applications, changing business needs require changes to the event schema and this can become very complex and difficult to maintain.Upcasting: converting an event record on the fly to reflect a newer schema. Problem with this is you’ve now defeated the purpose of immutable events.Lazy upcasting is evolving the event records over time, but that means you’re now maintaining code that knows how to understand each version of the event records in the system, making it very difficult to maintain.Converting the entire set of data any time a schema needs to change. Keeps things in sync but at a potentially large cost of taking the hit to update everything.Considerations of event granularity, i.e. how many isolated events are too much and how few are not enough?Too many and there won’t be enough information attached to the event to be meaningful and useful.Too few and you take a major hit on serialization/deserialization and you run the risk of not having any domain value.So what’s the best granularity? Keep the events closely tied to the DDD intent.Fixing bugs in the system may be quite a bit more difficult than a simple update query in a database because events are supposed to be immutable. Resources We Like 3factor app ( Canonical App (GitHub) Atomic commit (Wikipedia)DDD & co., part 2: Semantics over CRUD ( Sourcing ( ( they don’t tell you about event sourcing ( Practical Guide to GraphQL: From the Client Perspective ( Tip of the Week Use docker system to manage your Docker environment.Use docker system df to see the the disk usage.Use docker system prune to clean up your environment.How To View Clipboard History On Windows 10 ( docker-compose down -v to also remove the volumes when stopping your containers.Intel 660p M.2 2TB NVMe PCIe SSD (Amazon)Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems (Amazon)
3factor app – Realtime GraphQL
Coding Blocks
We begin to twitch as we review the first factor of Hasura’s 3factor app, Realtime GraphQL, while Allen gets distrac … SQUIRREL!, Michael might own some bell bottoms, and Joe is stuck with cobalt. If you’re reading these notes via your podcast app, you can find this episode’s full show notes and join in on the conversation at Sponsors – Sign up today for a free 14 day trial and get a free Datadog t-shirt after creating your first dashboard. O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference – Microservices, domain-driven design, and more. The O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference covers the skills and tools every software architect needs. Use the code BLOCKS during registration to get 20% off of most passes. – Level up your coding skills, quickly and efficiently. Visit to get 20% off any course. Survey Says … Anonymous VoteSign in with WordpressWould you be interested in doing a Coding Blocks Fantasy Football League?How has this not been a thing for six years?! YES!!!Sportsball ... puuuuuhhhhhhhleasssseeeee ... NO!!!A fantasy game for soccer? Silly Americans News To everyone that took a moment to leave us a review, thank you. We really appreciate it.iTunes: Zj, Who farted? Not me., Markus Johansson, this jus10, siftycat, Runs-With-Scissors Stitcher: wuddadid, unclescooter Zach Ingbretsen gives us a Vim tutorial: RAW Vim Workshop/Tutorial (YouTube) 3factor app and the First Factor 3factor app The 3factor app is a modern architecture for full stack applications, described by the folks at Hasura.High feature velocity and scalability from the start:Real time GraphQLReliable eventingAsync serverlessKinda boils down to …Have an API gateway (for them, GraphQL).Store state in a (most likely distributed) store.Have services interact with state via an event system.Versus how did we used to do things using a REST API for each individual entity.Let’s be honest though. We probably created a single very specialized REST API for a particular page all in the name of performance. But it was only used for that page.Related technologies:Web SocketsServerlessLambda / Kappa – Types Streaming architecturesEvent based architecturesMicroservices Factor 1 – Realtime GraphQL Use Realtime GraphQL as the Data API Layer Must be low-latency.Less than 100 ms is ideal.Must support subscriptions.Allows the application to consume information from the GraphQL API in real-time. Some Comparisons to Typical Backend API Calls Traditional application3factor applicationUses REST calls.Uses GraphQL API.May require multiple calls to retrieve all data (customer, order, order details) – OR a complex purpose built call that will return all three in one call. Uses GraphQL query to return data needed in a single call defined by the caller.Uses something like Swagger to generate API documentation.GraphQL will auto-generate entire schema and related documents.For realtime you’ll set up WebSocket based APIs.Use GraphQL’s native subscriptions.Continuously poll backend for updates.Use GraphQL’s event based subscriptions to receive updates. Major Benefits of GraphQL Massively accelerates front-end development speed because developers can get the data they want without any need to build additional APIs.GraphQL APIs are strongly typed.Don’t need to maintain additional documenting tools. Using a UI like GraphiQL, you can explore data by writing queries with an Intellisense like auto-complete experience.Realtime built in natively.Prevents over-fetching. Sorta. To the client, yes. Not necessarily so though on the server side. A Little More About GraphQL GraphQL is a Query Language for your API.It isn’t tied to any particular database or storage engine.It’s backed by your existing code and data.Queries are all about asking for specific fields on objects.The shape of your query will match the shape of the results.Queries allow for traversing relationships, so you can get all the data you need in a single request.Every field and nested object has its own set of arguments that can be passed.Many types are supported, including enums.AliasesGraphQL has the ability to alias fields to return multiple results of the same type but with different return names (think of aliasing tables in a database query).FragmentsFragments allow you to save a set of query fields to retrieve, allowing you to later reuse those fragments in simpler queries. This allows you to create complex queries with a much smaller syntax.There’s even the ability to use variables within the fragments for further queries requiring more flexibility.OperationsThree types of operations are supported: query, mutation, and subscription.Providing an operation name is not required, except for multi-operation documents, but is recommended to aid debugging and server side logging.VariablesQueries are typically dynamic by way of variables.Supported variable types are scalars, enums, and input object types.Input object types must map to server defined objects.Can be optional or required.Default values are supported.Using variables, you can shape the results of a query.MutationsMutations allow for modifying data.Nesting objects allows you to return data after the mutation occurs,Mutations, unlike queries, run sequentially, meaning mutation1 will finish before mutation2 runs.In contrast, queries run in parallel.Meta fieldsGraphQL also provides meta fields that you can use to inspect the schema that are part of the introspection system.These meta fields are preceded by a double underscore, like __schema or __typename.GraphQL schema languageObjects are the building blocks of a schema.Fields are properties that are available on the object.Field return types are defined as well – scalar, enum or objects.Scalar types: Int, Float, String Boolean, ID (special use case), or User Defined – must specify serializer, deserializer and validator.Fields can also be defined as non-nullable with an exclamation after the type like String!. This can be done on array types as well after the square brackets to indicate that an array will always be returned, with zero or more elements, like [String]!.Each field can have zero or more arguments and those arguments can have default values.Lists are supported by using square brackets. GraphQL’s type system supports interfaces.Complex objects can also be passed as input types, however, they are defined as input rather than type. Resources We Like Instant Realtime GraphQL on Postgres ( app ( Canonical App (GitHub)GraphQL Code ( architecture (Wikipedia)Kappa Architecture ( Much Data is Created on the Internet Each Day? ( state transfer (Wikipedia)SOAP (Wikipedia)Web Services Description Language (Wikipedia)What is considered a good response time for a dynamic, personalized web application? (Stack Overflow)RFC: GraphQL Subscriptions (GitHub)SWAPI GraphQL API ( (GitHub)REST vs. GraphQL: A Critical Review ( Docker the New Git? ( Tip of the Week From Google’s Engineering Practices documentation: How to do a code review ( is part of the larger Google Engineering Practices Documentation ( CTRL+SHIFT+V to access Visual Studio’s Clipboard Ring.Take control of your tab usage in your browser with Workona.Theme your Chrome DevTools! TIL you can add custom themes to Chrome’s DevTools!— Ali Spittel (@ASpittel) September 5, 2019
Building a Podcast Search App with Joe Zack
Developer Side Quests: The Podcast
Guest Bio Joe Zack is a Druid of the Moon, able to take the shape of the animal that best suits the needs of the moment. Sometimes that animal is a newt, and sometimes it's a Giant Octopus but either way Joe is always ready to lend a tentacle, or whatever. What was the quest? I love to learn via listening, so I wanted an app where I could search for podcast episodes by topic. I launched a little proof of concept and was surprised to see that there were other people interested in the project, so it's been a collaborative effort. There have been some challenges, but ultimately it's been very rewarding because of the product, but mostly because of the people I got to know while working together on the project. Links: Website: Twitter: YouTube: Special Guest: Joe Zack.
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Jun 2nd, 1980
Orlando, FL, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 week, 4 days