Let’s make meetings efficient!

by Sanjeev on February 23, 2018

You probably just got off a work meeting with a dozen people. Few feeling vague about their presence in the meeting, few passively listening to other’s conversation, few who are absolutely clueless and few have something to contribute, but don’t get an opportunity. Hence, the objective of most meetings doesn’t seem to meet.

Here are some steps to make meetings effective:

  • Make sure only relevant people are invited to the meeting. All other interested parties should get updates from notes that comes out of the meeting. This gives an opportunity for others to be updated at their convenience. Also open up a dialog in the meeting notes page if someone has a different opinion and would like to be a participant next time
  • Add link to the meeting notes as part of the invite so you can add details and context to the page without resending the invitation. Those who are attending can decide if they need to be in the meeting or just follow the updates on the page.
  • Create a parent page for the topic/problem. List names of stakeholders and what their role is for particular topic/problem.
  • Attach meeting notes as child pages. Make sure people subscribe to get notifications of new contents in the parent page.

Below is an example confluence template for efficient meeting notes, that is a slight modification from default meeting notes


With growing number of people separated geographically, it’s incredibly hard to know who is talking in a remote meeting and reactions of others.

I have worked in a team that was separated by different timezones. We came up with an idea of using webcam for all meetings. Initially, it was hard for us to make using web camera a habit. But once we got accustomed to it, we could see that everybody’s engagement in the meeting improved. We started using Video calls for 1-1s, troubleshooting sessions, pair programming sessions etc. Became part of how we work.

High performing team research that google published is a very good place to start.

“Google found that teams with psychologically safe environments had employees who were less likely to leave, more likely to harness the power of diversity, and ultimately, who were more successful.”

For a team to establish trust, it takes lot of face time. With video conference, it has become possible to virtually bring everyone in the same room.


AWS – Microsoft AD setup with terraform

by Sanjeev on April 25, 2017

Goal – To setup Microsoft Active Directory in AWS


  • Create DHCP option set

  • Associate it with the VPC

  • Create an IAM role for the instance to use

  • Create SSM document. You can create a template file, but currently terraform doesn’t support list substitution.

  • Spin up an EC2 instance and associate the instance with the SSM document

  • Login to a machine that’s spun up and test out if the machine is connect to the domain you have created.
  • You will have to install Active directory management tools on the machine that’ connected to the domain


SSH to private machines through public bastion – AWS

April 13, 2017

Assumptions: You have an EC2 machine setup in a private subnet. Bastion host setup in a public subnet. Security groups setup to allow required access. You have access to private keys for both the machines Below is the setup for ansible to use bastion host in order to run playbooks against a private instance Bastion […]

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Terraform – Mount EBS volume as part of user_data on an linux EC2 machine

February 19, 2017

Assumptions : You have an EC2 machine running with an attached EBS volume. Goal : To learn how to manually/automatically mount the volume Below is the terraform excerpt to add an ebs volume ec2.tf

Manual: Login to EC2 machine and mount the EBS Volume

Automatic: Mount the disk as part of user data […]

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Download speed : vagrant init vs wget vs aria2

February 15, 2017

Downloading a large box file is not fun. After trying to download the it multiple times, waiting for more than couple hours, I gave up on the belief that I will ever have a successful download via vagrant Below are couple different ways to achive that and how long it took for me. Each person […]

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Managing multiple ssh keys for git repositories

October 4, 2016

In order to manage multiple ssh keys and identities between different git repos, below is the list of steps to follow Create a new ssh key in the folder of your choice.

Update ~/.ssh/config with the below contents

Copy the public key to your profile. For bitbucket go to settings->SSH Keys-> Add key […]

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Install nvm to manage node versions

February 23, 2016

I have installed node in a traditional way and run into multiple issues – one of them being running commands as sudo. Not able to easily change the version of node I want to use. Below is a script that would remove previously install node, nvm etc and install a node version that’s needed https://gist.github.com/snandam/b8f235819a94011791d1 […]

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Vagrant proxy configurations – access internet behind a firewall

February 23, 2016

If you are behind a corporate firewall and want your vagrant machine to access internet Install vagrant plugin vagrant-proxyconf Find your company proxy settings. ** For Mac – you can find it in System Preferences -> Network -> Wired/Wifi -> Advanced -> Proxies -> Automatic Proxy Configuration -> url ** For Windows – you can […]

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December 20, 2015

History of 99h1b.com I have known about the public LCA data several years before when I first heard about it. I was easily able to write sql like query with the data using logparser. Soon it became a go to place when I wanted to know if a particular company has previously sponsored H1B and […]

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Logstash: Convert zipcode/postal code to geo_point (latitude/longitude)

November 29, 2015

One of the most Powerful things about ELK stack is to be able to visualize data, slice and dice them in whatever way that is most meaningful. I ended up having to analyze huge dataset that contained zipcode/state/city/address but were missing latitude/longitude data. elasticsearch index should contain geo location field to be able to visualize […]

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