Thoughts about a secure enclave for Jenkins Pipeline

· jenkins · pipeline · opinion · otto ·

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) projects might just be one of the hardest to lock down and secure. As system designers and implementors we must enable developers to automate their builds, tests, and deployments. And yet, in doing so, we also give those same developers the ability to bypass many of the boundaries we may have set up to secure our environments. If you give me the ability to automate my deployment with a script, I can think of a number of ways in which that ability can lead to information disclosure or other types of breaches. Jenkins Pipeline is filled with any number of problematic examples here the same feature can be looked at as empowering or as compromising. I believe the immense flexibility of Jenkins Pipeline also gives us a path to provide automation which is inherently more secure than some competitors. In this post, I’ll outline one such idea: a pipeline secure enclave.

Using custom root certificates with Minikube

· kubernetes · scribd · minikube ·

If you were to draw a coordinate system for software, where the x-axis was “important to use” and the y-axis was “enjoyable to use”, x509 certificates would be at the extreme edge of the bottom right of quadrant four. Much as I dislike them, they are absolutely critical to securing practically everything we do. As is the case with most companies, Scribd uses custom root certificates to establish a controlled chain of trust for internal resources. A sensible practice, but can be a great learning exercise, causing you to discover all the various ways in which trust is defined and managed in a modern development environment.


· opinion ·

The fire at Notre Dame is certainly unfortunate, but with President Macron having committed to rebuilding the famed cathedral, the destruction is in no way permanent. Restoring or building new architectural masterpieces is expensive and challenging, but it is definitely not impossible.

Jenkins should not be the only line of defense

· opinion · jenkins · cicd · otto ·

This past week a missed security update contributed to a compromise at As I have said before, for purposes of infrastructure design, it is prudent to consider CI/CD tools like Jenkins as “remote code execution as a service.” In the Continuous Delivery world, I think we have a serious problem with user education around securely running CI/CD tools; anything which can touch production represents a potential liability.

Self-sabotage with enterprise pricing

· opinion ·

“Enterprise Software Sales” is not something I ever imagined spending as much time considering as I have over the past four years, but life is full of surprises isn’t it? At my previous gig we had changed our pricing model at least once during my time, and I learned quite a bit from the trade-off discussions which were had. Now sitting on the other side of the table, I get to enjoy a different perspective on the same underlying problem: how should enterprise software be priced? The question is important to answer, not just from a business perspective, but from a user perspective; the pricing model determines how your software will be adopted and used.

No True Microservice

· opinion ·

“But they weren’t doing true microservices” he droned on, while my train of thought came grinding a halt on the assertion. In my experience, many software developers apply all sorts of purity tests to the world around them, especially when it comes to “legacy” code. In most of my experiences, it has been delivered more subtly than this textbook example of the No true Scotsman fallacy. “Microservice” is already a silly term, one which many people defend by evoking the mythic status of “the unix philosophy.” Composition of components is definitely a valuable trait in a system, especially as an organization scales with new people and projects, but the microservice purity test fails in many cases.

Building static binaries with TypeScript

· typescript · javascript ·

The ability to shamelessly ask stupid questions has led me to numerous interesting projects and in some cases truly novel solutions. The subject of this blog post fits into the first part of that equation at least. I find the single static binaries produced by Rust and Golang to be quite compelling for system utilities, at the same time however I am fond of writing TypeScript. Why can’t I mix chocolate with my peanut butter?

Publishing to Azure Event Hubs from Rust

· rust · kafka · azure ·

Turn back now, this blog post is so niche that it’s statistically impossible for you to find this useful. Last night I was thinking about building a little app which needed to deal with an event stream, and started poking around the Azure Event Hubs documentation. I noticed that they apparently can now speak Kafka which means I can use my existing Kafka library tooling, nice! Since I was already working with Kafka and Rust for another little project, I took a quick detour and tried to see if I could publish to an Event Hub over Kafka, from Rust. As luck would have it, I can!