Making The Move From Sysadmin to DevOps
Everyone’s professional path follows a slightly different trajectory. We are each a unique recipe of skills, experience, and interests, which shape who we are and how we come to be in the careers that we have. My experience in moving from a systems administrator to a devops role is unique, because, well, we are all unique.
DevOps & Evolving Systems Administration
The phrase “DevOps” gets thrown around quite a bit, so I thought it might be helpful for me to write down exactly what it means to me. DevOps is the evolution of systems administration. A few years ago, I noticed that the SysAdmin field was finally starting to change, after years of being relatively static. For decades, A sysadmin would set up the hardware, install the operating system, setup SSH (or, telnet in the bad old days), install your application, and get it running. Even when virtualization became more mainstream and worked its way into production workloads, it didn’t change the core tasks of a sysadmin. There were simply more boxes to manage, and without appropriate configuration management, each virtual machine became a unique little snow flake. A few tools became more commonplace like CFEngine, Puppet, or Chef to ease the burden of virtual machine sprawl, but it wasn’t until cloud computing came along that the role of a sysadmin really started to change.
And everything is changing for me again. The CTO of the company I work for spoke with me yesterday, our office is being shut down and they are laying off the staff. I’ve got till February 1st to find something new.
Mac Power Tools
My brief experiment with mutt ended mostly how I expected it would. With me turning on my email in Mail.app again and carrying on as normal. I try to understand the draw to using such an archaic tool as mutt, but there’s simply nothing about it that appeals to me. Not at this stage of my life anyway.
After reading through Matt Gemmell’s latest post on mutt and the good doctor’s response, I fired up my old mutt config and gave it another run through. Well, after being a bit snarky on Twitter, of course.
Sometimes I think I’d like a really great magazine, like The New Yorker, but for Mac geeks. A beautifully printed, monthly magazine with all the best news, tips, opinions, analysis, predictions, and howtos from the Mac community. I’m not looking for what Macworld used to be, I’m thinking more along the lines of The Atlantic. Something classy, something worthy of printing and keeping out in the living room under the coffee table. Something I’d look forward to reading cover to cover every month.
So, I won NaNoWrimo, and wrote a “novel”. Although, it’s not really a novel, more like a novella, and it’s not really written just yet, it’s 50,000 words that somewhat make up a complete story, but with more plot holes than you can shake a stick at. Couple that with the number of inconsistencies in the world building, flat characters, characters who’s names I forget half way through the writing, and two chapters that I decided I was going to throw away completely, and you’ve got what is colloquially known as a first draft.
US Cellular Strikes Back
Let me start by saying that US Cellular has the best coverage in Iowa. No matter where we go in the state, we’ve got a great signal, almost always in LTE. My Internet access is fast, and I can’t remember the last time I dropped a call. The cellular service is great, and the only reason I stick with US Cellular. After days like today I need to remind myself of these facts, because almost every time I interact with them face to face, on the phone, or over the Internet I leave frustrated and feeling like I’m being duped.
Faith, Hope, Love
What if Christians actually lived the way Jesus commanded us to?
I’ve been slowly working through my list of books, and Saturday I finally knocked another one off the list, Moby Dick. Herman Melville’s whaling epic took me a while. Inside those 663 pages, there’s probably a good 300 page book, as it is, Moby Dick covers both the human condition and the intricacies of butchering a whale in the middle of the ocean.
I was having problems with my lower back, not an uncommon issue, especially for those of us who spend our day staring at a computer screen. My problem was exasperated by my poor posture in my chair. I tend to slouch after a couple of hours, and then slowly slide lower and lower into my chair until, at the last moment before I fall out of it, I reposition myself and sit up again. I also run in the morning, and I rarely have time to stretch properly after a run, a bad habit that needs to be addressed. By the end of the day I’d stand up and crack my lower back three or four times, and know that if I turned in the wrong way I would be out of commission for a week or so while my back untwisted itself.
I’m not sure if I discovered Daring Fireball through NetNewsWire, or NetNewsWire through Daring Fireball. Either way, in my mind the two are inexorably linked to my introduction to the Mac community. A group of people who value usability and good design, typography, readability, and simple good sense. Before the Mac, my thoughts on software were that it was either written by thousands of contributors across the globe, or thousands of drones in basement cubicles. What I learned through NetNewsWire was that individual craftsmen made the best software, and I could get to know them through their work. I started making it a point to follow the people who made the software I used.
Link Blogging With Quicksilver
I can’t quite make up my mind on how I feel about “link blogging”. On the one hand, there’s already a lot of people out there who do it better than I can. On the other hand, sometimes I want to share something and make a few pithy comments about it. It’s out of that second feeling that this script is born.
Starting a New Post With Automator
Automator is one of my favorite tools on the Mac, and unfortunately one of the most unappreciated. I have several workflows and services that I’ve built up over the years, things that I could have turned to a third-party tool like Keyboard Maestro, Alfred, or even my beloved Quicksilver for, but I like the simplicity of using a built-in application.