Mark Provan

Mark Provan

Software Engineering, Cycling, Cats

Le Tour Up North: Day 3

Le Tour Up North: Day 3

28 Nov 2020 in Cycling

When I was planning this adventure I was worried about the first two days, packing in some big miles to give myself breathing room later in the week. I wasn’t worried at all about my so called “rest day”, a short fifty mile middle section to give myself a little bit of recovery. I spoke to my friend Colin, a Lands End - John O’Groats veteran, on the phone last night and he said, “don’t…

Le Tour Up North: Day 2

Le Tour Up North: Day 2

27 Nov 2020 in Cycling

Waking on day two, the first thing I noticed was the chill in the air. At just over 1000 feet above sea level, it wasn’t the highest point of the trip, but I was the highest point I’d be camping at for the week. I was slightly concerned about how my legs would feel after the first day, but they felt ok as I got up and headed for a shower. I ate the last of the bread and hummus from the night…

Le Tour Up North: Day 1

Le Tour Up North: Day 1

10 Nov 2020 in Cycling

On the 31st August 2020, I set off from MediaCityUK in Salford, to travel back to Pacific Quay on Glasgow on my bike. I wanted to raise money for Children in Need, so I took a slightly different route to the one that would take me directly home as quickly as possible. I've managed to raise a fantastic amount so far and I'm very thankful for everyone's support. If you enjoy this recollection of…

Reflecting on Close Calls

Reflecting on Close Calls

9 Jun 2020 in Engineering

I'd imagine most people reading this are aware of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) meetings.  Maybe you know them better as Postmortems. If you've not attended one or heard of the concept before, RCAs are meetings following an incident that resulted in unexpected outcome in a system. They can be for bugs, human error or third party outages. The goal of an RCA is to understand exactly what happened and…

Chasing Long Shadows

Chasing Long Shadows

18 Nov 2019 in Cycling

Having not ridden with Colin since this years edition of the Five Ferries (Le Cinque Bateaux in 2021 for sponsorship reasons), it was a welcome WhatsApp notification when he asked if I fancied a pre-Christmas spin. We initially planned to meet at the Whitelee Windfarm, to explore the expansive gravel tracks that sprawl away from the visitor centre, but a change of transport availability led us to…

Golf Sticks & Push Bikes: 2020 Season Plans

Golf Sticks & Push Bikes: 2020 Season Plans

22 Oct 2019 in Personal

For me 2019 started off as a year without any particular plan. I was playing golf regulary, not cycling much and I definitely wasn't going to the gym. Fast forward to October what a difference. A golf trophy to my name, a first win at a FWCC event and 2 stone lighter. I've been a regular at the gym and feeling better than I ever have. But what's next? What does 2020 have in store? Golf In 202…

Leveraging Sidekiq for Higher Throughput

Leveraging Sidekiq for Higher Throughput

22 Oct 2019 in Engineering

When your app starts to deal with more traffic, it can be useful to look for hot paths in your code to optimise. A great way for some quick wins is to figure out actions that take a (reasonably) long time, but don’t need to happen in-process. These can be things like sending email or pulling data from a third party API. In the last year or so, I’ve been working on moving such time consuming tasks…

Running Ghost on CoreOS with Docker

Running Ghost on CoreOS with Docker

12 Feb 2018 in Devops

I’ve been wanting get my personal site back up, as well as write more for a wee while now, and finally got round to taking the plunge after seeing Ghost’s incredible new 1.0 features. Not being one to miss a chance to try new things, I saw this as a good opportunity to use CoreOS and get Ghost running in a container. At its essence CoreOS provides a lightweight operating system designed to support…

Managing Infrastructure on Digital Ocean with Terraform

Managing Infrastructure on Digital Ocean with Terraform

18 Oct 2017 in Devops

As a general fan of the approach “automate all the things” I decided it was time to do a little more work on this blog. I wanted to be able to setup my blog, from datacentre to browser in one command. I decided to go with Terraform as a method for doing this, as it looks like a really well documented tool. Lets get started! Installing I use macOS, so I’ll be using brew, checkout Installing…