What is the War on .env Files?

It's not what you think?
Oct 25, 2021

‎Of all the link-bait subtitles in existence, the "Hint: It's not what you think" and all of its variations have to be one of the most infuriating and blatantly obvious attempts to generate views. But this isn't your typical tech blog post, so in that sense, at least, the subtitle has some truth to it.

So what is this blog post about?

This is an experiment to see if we (Doppler) can talk about secrets management topics such as .env file usage in a hopefully, more interesting and less predictably dull fashion than if I spoke directly to the camera for 9 minutes and 26 seconds.

To be clear, it still is me talking directly to the camera for the whole thing. But different versions of me. Not like Fight Club, though, because both of my characters have names.

So what do you do when no one is interested in interviewing you about secrets management? You just interview yourself, of course!

Not sure if that's a stroke of creative ingenuity or just flat-out weird. It could also be that I stole this concept from another guy named Ryan, who made his fortune selling a Gin distillery and enjoys acting on the side.

Either way, I was up for trying something different. Not because YOLO, but I figured if our content was more approachable and enjoyable to consume, it had the best chance of positively impacting a developer and how they approach managing secrets.

The goal was to get out of my creative comfort zone and produce a light-hearted format while having a bit of fun along the way.

Truth be told, I originally did not want to publish this. It was designed as an internal Doppler experiment to generate input from our team.

But Brian convinced me that this was a great opportunity to apply the "done is better than perfect" mantra. I can tell you, that this phrase is easier to apply when it's someone else's work. But I did it.

To be honest, this could be the lamest educational tech video you've ever watched.

But I doubt it, as the Microsoft Windows 95 video instructional video starring Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry sets the bar incredibly high. But I might be in with a chance.