Welcome, I’m Nick Groenen

I’m a Site Reliability Engineer at Castor, an international healthcare company working to accelerate medical research by building a modern data capture platform for clinical trials. To learn more about me, check out about Nick Groenen.

This site serves as both a traditional blog where I primarily publish articles on technical subjects related to software engineering and infrastructure, as well as a Digital Garden for myself and others where I work openly on notes that are still developing.

Recent posts

  • The characters ä and ä may look the same, but in fact they're not The Unicode standard allows for certain (visually) identical characters to be represented in different ways. For example the character ä may be represented as a single combined codepoint "Latin Small Letter A with Diaeresis" (U+00E4) or by the combination of "Latin Small Letter A" (U+0061) followed by "Combining Diaeresis" (U+0308). The semantic meaning and visual representation is exactly the same, but the codepoints are different. How do you deal with that?
  • The 4 types of technical documentation According to Daniele Procida, what we call documentation is fundamentally not one thing, but four: Tutorials, how-to guides, references and explanations.
  • Toil in Customer Support One of the core principles in Site Reliability Engineering is a focus on automation to reduce Toil. Toil, in essence, is manual and repetitive work which requires little to no human judgment and could easily be automated away by computers and machine…