Protecting your AWS keys with Credulous

Every week, AWS credentials leak into the wild and are used to mine bitcoins or worse.

In April 2014, DrawQuest closed down after a security breach in which their Amazon Web Services credentials were used to create hundreds of EC2 instances, probably for mining bitcoins. DrawQuest decided they could no longer trust that their core data wasn’t compromised, and closed their doors.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that could help prevent this sort of thing happening? Well, now there is — enter Credulous.

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Distributed Agile

Our IT teams have been working in a distributed agile way for about 3 years now, we’re really pleased with the results.  Distributed working is a challenge, so I’d like share what’s worked for us, I’m confident these can be repeated in many other organisations.

Here’s the basic set up:

Distributed Agile Part I Map

We have 2 delivery centres.  Centre #1 is at our headquarters in Melbourne.  That’s our largest centre with many cross functional teams, each team here including IT delivery, IT operations, product managers, sales and other business folk.  Centre #2 is in China, it is owned and operated by our partner ThoughtWorks, with a focus on software delivery but increasingly other functions too.

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Interview: James Nathan, Co-Founder of Food Orbit

We admire passion and purpose at REA Group, which inspired us to recently sponsor a prize recognising those very two qualities at Tech23 – an event that lets budding technologists pitch their ideas to investors and bring them to life.

We chose Food Orbit as our winner; an innovative online marketplace community that connects and empowers trade between chefs, local farmers and restaurateurs.

tech23cheque

Tomas Varsavsky, Head of Technology – Media & Developer at REA Group, awards James at Tech 23, 2013

We loved the community centric idea and were thrilled to present founders James Nathan and Melissa Foster with their prize, which included having James come and spend some time with our inventors and makers at REA – soaking up our culture, ways and means of working. We knew we’d learn a lot hanging out with James too!

James joined us for our 15th Hack Day and Hackers Market. In between pitching ideas, swapping insights and tacos, we had a chat about what he does, why and how he does it, and what he and his team have learned.

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Automating CartoDB administration tasks

CartoDB is a mapping and visualisation platform we are using at REA to help us analyse and visualise our data. If you want to read more about how to set up a local CartoDB environment read here.

When you create a CartoDB account you can access the CartoDB dashboard which allows you to perform a stack of administrative functions such as loading data and creating visualisations. Continue reading

Setup CartoDB dev environment on Mac OS X

“CartoDB is a geospatial database on the cloud that allows for the storage and visualization of data on the web. Using CartoDB will allow you to quickly create map based visualizations.” (cartodb.com)

This document walks you step by step to have a development CartoDB running on your Mac OS X

Step 1 – Prerequisites

  • First of all, install Ruby if you haven’t (recommend using RVM or rbenv)
  • Install homebrew if you haven’t
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  • Or, update homebrew if you already have it
    brew update

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Working with AWS

At REA we’ve been working with AWS for several years now.  It’s an enabler for us to work the way we want to, using techniques such as continuous delivery.  It provides us a global platform on which we serve key elements of our sites,  integrating with our data centers.  Above all, there’s a great cultural alignment between us.  I recently had the opportunity to talk about our relationship, which I’d like to share …