The Flatiron Health Engineering Blog

Uniqueness in PostgreSQL: Constraints versus Indexes

While doing a bit of database cleaning, I noticed many tables with more than a few indexes and constraints. In particular, a few tables had both a unique index and a unique constraint for the same column. Constraints and indexes come at a cost: they add write overhead with each INSERT and UPDATE and they can take up significant amounts of space. Since a unique constraint and a unique index...

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Making the Most of Your Logs - DNS with Splunk

Prior to Flatiron, my main experience with logs was limited to scanning the output of tail -f on a flat file during a deploy or the occasional frantic search for strings like “error” when a system malfunctioned. I was excited when I discovered Silver Searcher, and started replacing grep with ag. I find this somewhat comical in retrospect. While manually digging through logs from the command line can be an...

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Grokking Your Terrain

When you’re working with a small codebase, given enough time, you’ll come up with a decent map of how everything fits together in your head. If you have to add a new feature or debug an issue, you’ll likely have a good hunch of where in the code to start.

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DevNetSecOps

Network security group automation with Ansible, AWS, git, and Jenkins to move fast with security and auditability.

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Manager Therapy

Like most software engineers who transition into people management, I did most of my learning by trial and error. “Engineering Management 101” doesn’t appear anywhere on my college transcripts and to the best of my knowledge, is not a course that is offered as part of any major Computer Science curriculum. I happened to start my management career at a big company with an established employee education program, including some...

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Dobby: A simple hack for on-demand remote execution

Motivation: running long jobs on your laptop sucks At Flatiron, we run a lot of data pipelines. Early on, we were processing fairly small amounts of data, so investing a lot in tooling didn’t seem worth it. But around a year ago, we signed a contract that increased the number of patients we were processing by several orders of magnitude.

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