Tech Fun Day at DevNation – a review of Tuesday

WARNING: Shameless plug! If you do nothing else today, you should go to these two Red Hat Summit tracks. Not only are the guys speaking the smartest dudes in the room, closet super heroes and have all held world records for Olympic speed walking, they work in the same department as me and can give you a look into how Red Hat IT is using Red Hat products.

Meeting the challenge with PaaS: OpenShift in the enterprise – 10:40 with Tom Benninger, Andrew Butcher, and Anderson Silva — Track Details

Red Hat JBoss Middleware in the trenches – 3:40 with Tim Bielawa and Andrew Block* — Track Details *Andrew is in consulting at Red Hat, but since he presenting with my teammate Tim, he gets a shameless plug too. 😀 

Now… let’s talk about what I did all day yesterday.

DevAssistant: What’s in it for you? with Slavek Kabrda

  • What: DevAssistant is a project that is built on the idea developers also need automation for the tedious tasks they have to accomplish before they start to write code.
  • Why: Automate all the things!
  • Who: Beginners or developers changing platforms

This was a pretty neat demo for me to see, especially after hearing feedback from our development community in Red Hat IT that it takes longer than it needs to to set up environments. Using DevAssistant, Slavek set up his development environment for django in less than 5 minutes. Check it out, and contribute if you feel this is an awesome idea!

User Experience Bootcamp with Catherine Robson

Loved this session! It had a lot of practical advice for applying good design principals to every day engineering work. Catherine started the presentation by saying that developers spend 50% of their time solving issues that are avoidable and then proceed to give very usable tips on how to create a design that won’t result in rework.

  • User centric design — understand your users by building personas or “example users” and if you don’t have a reason why you are doing something… find out!
  • Usability testing — test your design with your users and iterate into something that is usable for them based on that feedback (and it doesn’t need to take that long… she showed us a design that she iterated through and it took her about 3 hours).
  • Visual design — practice advice for visual design? strive for simplicity and don’t add things to your design that won’t add value to your users.

Containers all the way down: Q&A with the Docker Team with Solomon Hykes

Most important points you need to know:

  • Docker really has the best logo ever
  • If you want to make coffee, you can use Docker.
  • Docker is awesome
  • Docker 1.0 will be “production ready” and is targeted to be released before DockerCon in June. They are doing their best to release 1.0 without “breaking things.”
  • There are many people coming at Docker with a lot of different problems and perspectives. There is a very healthy community of disagreement and exchange and they are going to figure it all out because they have the smartest people on the planet. Find more about their community here.
  • Docker is awesome
  • Wait… what was that? They are getting @#$% done? That sounds familiar.
  • One future for Docker?

“After we solve one container, we want to solve what it means to have multiple containers working together.” -Solomon Hykes

Software collections: Keeping pace without sacrificing platform stability with Adam Miller

The first project I worked on with Team Inception required us to write about 33% more code to support older versions of Python. 47 out of 143 “lines” of code was to support our enterprise infrastructure in Red Hat IT. If you value simplicity from a development perspective, Software Collections and what it could do for your teams should be compelling.  Key reasons to want Software Collections:

  • users want the new hotness, difficult to do that and keep things stable
  • developers want to be able to work with the latest tools <— YES!
  • operations teams require stability to maintain the business infrastructure <— That too.

Check out more information about it here, and there are also some great blog articles on the topic on developerblog.

Linux distros failed us – now what? with Donnie Berkholz

What have linux distros been doing to support DevOps? Not much. -Donnie Berkholz

I’ve been loving the questions that are asked in presentations at DevNation. They encourage me to ask the same questions of my own department. So relevant for our situation today:

  • how are developers shipping apps?
  • do they still care about distributions?
  • what do your current users want?
  • what do other users want?
  • what do distro maintainers want?
  • how have all of these changed over time?

Things to think about:

  • Things have largely held static in the Linux distro space.  Traditional Linux distribution systems got left in the dust. Whoops.
  • Distro stability vs. rapid release- how do you cope with this? what needs to go out with rapid releases vs. requiring stability
  • New technology is being built on the concept of “how do I not worry about bumping into my distro” essentially doing everything they can to avoid working with distros (Software Collections comes to mind)
  • Windows has a pretty solid ecosystem for package management – Look at NuGet, CoApp, Chocolatey as examples.
  • Using docker as a package manager
  • Still no integrated configuration management in distros

P.S. Docker is awesome.


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More about DevNation:  DevNation 2014 was our inaugural open source, polyglot conference for application developers and maintainers. View some of the DevNation 2015 session recordings here.  DevNation 2016 will be in San Francisco, USA, the week of June 26.  Be sure to follow its status and register at www.devnation.org.

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