Building a Devops Team (Part One)

Another entry from the archives. I had the honour to work alongside and mentor Brian Henerey, for Sony Computer Entertainmenr Europe, in 2011. It was a fascinating time for us, deeply fulfilling and rewarding. This post is the first of two that Brian wrote in 2012, talking about the strategies…

How to Manage Documents With Long Lines in Vim

When using a text editor as a software developer, we're generally aware of conventions around line length, and develop good habits, or adhere to coding standards established by the team or community that we're contributing to. We rarely have to cope with very long lines, or thinking about the formatting…

Imaging vs Automation: A Perspective from 2010

From the archives, Bitfield Consulting's John Arundel discusses the merits of configuration management vs images. I find it fascinasting to reflect on how the way we approach application automation has changed. The drive towards containers is, in effect, the re-emergence of the golden image, only with pipelines, service discovery, and…

Understanding Pushd and Popd

One of the more powerful, and under-used, under-appreciated, and little-understood capabilities of text-based command line environments is the ability to interact with the filesystem as a stack with the `pushd`, `popd`and `dirs` commands…

The First Ever Devopsdays

I've been reviewing old articles on Agile Sysadmin, as I dust it down and polish it up, ready for more writing. It's fascinating to see the things that have changed, the things that are still problems, and to get, can you believe it, 9 years of perspective on this thing…

Incrementing Macros in Emacs

Emacs macros are amazing. I was editing a document today, which started off as a list of sentences which I wanted to convert into numbered headlines, followed by some boilerplate text. Let's suppose the list looked like this: this is the first thing this is the second thing this is…

The Return of the Hipster PDA

Years ago, when I first started using GTD, the work/life management system pioneered by David Allen, my first cut at a GTD implementation was the Hipster PDA. The HPDA (called hipster more because it fits in one's hip pocket, rather than because it's beloved of node.js developers in…

Using Test Doubles in ChefSpec

One of the improvements to ChefSpec in the 3.0 release is the ability to extend test coverage to execute blocks. Doing so requires the infrastructure developer to stub out shell commands run as part of the idempotence check. This is pretty simple as ChefSpec provides a macro to stub…