Nick Hammond

Software Developer, Cyclist, & Traveler.

Creating a dynamic lookup table in Zapier

In automation, zapier

I’ve been working on automating more and more these days and a common issue I keep dealing with is mapping data from one platform to another within Zapier. I have a user or project that exists in the one system that needs to go to the right place in the other system.

Zapier has lookup tables but you have to add every single possible match manually, you can’t easily populate the key to lookup via a previous data source. I figured it was a good time to come up with a simple pattern and figured I’d share it.

Learning to love bin/dev in Rails 7

In development, rails

Rails 7 introduced a new way to deal with assets via import maps and they also introduced a new way to run your app locally, the new bin/dev file. It’s not installed by default(yet) unless you create a new app with the -css option or it’s installed later on when you run the css:install command.

Setting up your Rails 7 cloud-based development environment for your iPad

In development, rails, ruby

I’ve always loved the idea of being able to work on software on the go and the newer iPad setup is a perfect device for that. The battery life is really great and offloading the core computing resources to a machine in the cloud is much more accessible now. Using the iPad is also a very enjoyable experience over a MacBook and the portability can’t be beat.

It’s been fairly difficult and not really worth it to run a setup like this but with more online IDEs becoming available including GitHub’s codespaces,, GitPod, and Cloud9 I wanted to revisit a roll your own approach. I’m also not using VS Code as my primary editor and still enjoy the split and flexibility of VIM + Tmux. I did try out a few of these IDEs but just found them to be a bit slow and you’re also learning all of the configuration and tweaks for that specific system, instead of a system I already know and love. And really, I was frustrated with Codespaces not being generally available yet too, soon though.

So you want to Terraform that thing?

In devops, terraform

Terraform is a great utility to manage your infrastructure and it’s often used to provision new infrastructure but it’s also pretty simple to start using it with existing infrastructure. Terraform just deals with managing the base infrastructure and then you layer on some provisioning steps with something like Ansible or Puppet.

You can utilize existing infrastructure within Terraform in a couple of different ways. If you just want to reference the existing infrastructure so that you can connect it to other resources that you’re managing you can utilize a Terraform data source. If you want to modify and fully manage existing infrastructure then you can utilize a Terraform resource. Whichever way you go about it though it’s best to go one step at a time instead of trying to integrate everything in one go.