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3 Questions to ask before automating

If you’re a DevOps engineer who is constantly fighting fires and trying to keep your head down, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of “You ask, I build”. Heck, it’s easy to think that way even when everything is running smoothly. But that’s…

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Automation is not DevOps

A few years ago, if you would have asked me to define DevOps, my answer would have sounded something like “Mumble mumble automation, mumble, automation, mumble mumble, infrastructure-as-code, mumble mumble, strategery.” Thinking that DevOps equated to automation had mostly to do with the fact that…

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A week with Puppet

Prior to the last week, I hadn’t done much with Puppet. Most of my config management experience is with Microsoft tools and Ansible. Puppet was a contender the last time I was involved in picking a CM tool, but was ultimately ruled out. Compared to…

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Three days, two tech conferences

It is 104 degrees, 120 on the sidewalk, but less humid than I am used to, which is nice. As always, Las Vegas’ kaleidoscope of people is disorienting. It’s one of the most interesting places in the world for people watching— desperate to prove Bill…

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Automation isn’t just for scale

A few years back, in a sidebar discussion at a tech conference, one of Netflix’s engineering managers asked me if I was using any automation tools at work. I said, “Not really. It’s a small environment and we’re not delivering any web apps that require…

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How to lead without authority

I spent a lot of time being angry when I started my career. My employers and bosses frustrated me. My coworkers frustrated me. End users, customers, everyone frustrated me. I got angry about decisions that made no sense to me. Most of my complaints fell…

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How to take legacy apps to the cloud

Some apps are easy to move to the cloud. Some apps are born there. Some… aren’t. A scenario a lot of us see as we migrate workloads is that we end up with shiny automated hotness in the cloud and then a bunch of old…

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The scary leap from SysOps to DevOps

I have at least one existential crisis a week during which I stress out about how much there is to learn and the finite amounts of time and attention I have to do that learning. Someone releases a new cloud service, a new programing language,…

Satya Nadella just fixed Microsoft’s biggest problem

For as long as I can remember there have been two Microsofts: Microsoft Sales and everyone else. It’s a split that exists in most tech companies, but those that are most successful at the moment have a different divide; Google is Engineering and everyone else,…

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A local colo is not the place to start your cloud migration

If you’re in IT leadership, you’re probably getting flooded right now with salespeople from regional colos and managed services companies trying to get you on-board for their cloud services. Most of those services are just rebranded flavors of what they’ve been offering for years — I’ve seen…