A few people I follow on twitter mentioned they’d contributed to 97 Things Every SRE Should Know. It’s a book full of short, 1-3 page chapters, focused on topics dear to an SREs heart. So i had no choice but to buy it. In an attempt to be more deliberate with my reading and what I’ve retained from the book I’ve decided to create some reading notes for future me. This post is broken down into a section per chapter. Read on →

Gremlin recently ran a small twitter hashtag challenge called “#talesfromtheNOC” where people were invited to share their scary sysadmin stories. Reading through of the entries I was reminded of one slightly less than welcoming environment that led to a lot of learning, frustration and trepidation. I’ve captured my posts here. Opening Volley I was hired as the new sysadmin at a financial services company and had no hand over as my predecessor had apparently ‘left on short notice’. Read on →

Over the last few weeks I’ve been on a slight rubocop rampage with some of my older ruby based projects. Running a static code analyser like rubocop over code originally written for ruby 1.9.3 has been a nice refresher in how idioms change over time. Once I learned to accept I’m going to use the occasional override, or even just turn certain rules off, I came to agree that it’s helped improve my code. Read on →

Sometimes you stumble onto things in the oddest ways. Some of my relatives were discussing how a few of my nephews and nieces spend their time “Watching other people play games” in a predictable tone you’d never experience when discussing large sporting events. I am an acceptably mediocre gamer and so I thought I’d watch a few and see how the platform worked and how good the production quality, and the players were. Read on →

If quarterly road maps are to be believed in a month or so I’ll have a lot more terraform back in my life so I’ve been dipping my toe back into terraforms ecosystem and supporting tools. One of the areas I’m most interested in updating myself regarding is automated testing, from static analysis tools and linting to integration testing the resources it creates. I recently spent a few days playing with rego, conftest and OpenPolicyAgent related tools in the Docker space (Playing with conftest and yum repository policies) and while it also supports Terraform I didn’t enjoy the process or the tooling and decided to look else where. Read on →

There’s often a deadline sitting between pragmatism and perfection in a code base and during an exploration of Pythons pytest extensions and plugins I found a couple of exemplary examples of straddling that line. The two modules Flaky, and the more subtly named, pytest-rerunfailures each help blur the lines a little by allowing you to rerun failing tests and often take the “two out of three approach” to handling troublesome tests. Read on →

I recently took the opportunity to heavily over engineer what should have been about 15 lines of python into a docker based microservice called humanised-jobname. I had a small application that I wanted to add Docker-esque memorable names to and over the course of a few lunch breaks I essentially built an entire repository around the equivalent to 12 lines of code from the Moby container name generator. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Read on →

Not a single piece of the Internets infrastructure seems to stand still for long anymore and after a lunchtime discussion about a HTTP header I’d never heard of, Permissions-Policy, I thought it was time to do a brief refresher on the current recommendations. Rather than looking through the recent specs and RFCs I decided to make it a little more entertaining and try to improve my SecurityHeaders.io grade. SecurityHeaders is an awesome site that checks HTTP headers and reports on any important ones that are missing. Read on →

Summer is in the air and it seems like time to replace my entire home lab monitoring system once more. Sensu has been plodding along nicely but I’m in this for the learnin’ so I’m looking for something more interesting that a major version bump and move to Golang. I’m thinking of giving Prometheus a spin to see how it’s changed over the last few years and as a first step I decided it was time to upgrade my local test bed Docker Compose Prometheus and add some bells and whistles. Read on →

I’ve been a big theoretical fan of Honeycomb.io for a long time now. The technology seems both timely and needed. The employees are prominent in our field and the people that start using it seem to very quickly become convinced of its worth. What’s made it theoretical for me is that I’ve just not had a reason to actually delve into it and have a play around. Or I hadn’t until I saw Observability in the SSC: Seeing Into Your Build System. Read on →