Ship It!

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A podcast about getting your best ideas into the world and seeing what happens

Ship It! Ship It! #29

Find the infrastructure advantage

Zac Smith, managing director Equinix Metal, is sharing how Equinix Metal runs the best hardware and networking in the industry, why pairing magical software with the right hardware is the future, and what Open19 means for sustainability in the data centre. Think modular components that slot in (including CPUs), liquid cooling that converts heat into energy, and a few other solutions that minimise the impact on the environment.

But first, Zac tells us about the transition from Packet to Equinix Metal, his reasons for doing what he does, as well as the things that he is really passionate about, such as the most efficient data centres in the world and building for the love of it.

This is a great follow-up to episode 18 because it goes deeper into the reasons that make Gerhard excited about the work that Equinix Metal is doing. This conversation with Zac puts it all into perspective.

By the way, did you know that Equinix stands for Equality in the Internet Exchange?

Ship It! Ship It! #28

What does good DevOps look like?

This week Gerhard is chatting with Romano Roth, Head of DevOps at Zühlke, a company founded by Gerhard Zühlke in 1968. Nowadays they help companies all over the world build, ship and run anything from factory robots, to AI assistants in complex regulatory environments, and even medical devices that perform autonomous robotic surgery.

When Romano is not leading a team of 30 software engineers that specialise in operations, infrastructure and cloud, he is one of the organisers of DevOps Days Zürich, and also the DevOps Meetup group which is how Gerhard and Romano met in 2019.

Having started his career as a .Net developer back in 2002, Romano had his fair share of dev and ops challenges, and he always enjoys seeing real business value delivered continuously in an automated way. In recent years, Romano’s perspective broadened, and now he sees DevOps realities across many companies. If you are curious about what good DevOps looks like, and what are the real challenges, then Romano has some good insights for you.

Ship It! Ship It! #27

OpenTelemetry in your CI/CD

In this episode, Gerhard is joined by Cyrille Le Clerc, Product Manager Lead on Observability at Elastic, and Oleg Nenashev, Principal Engineer at CloudBees.

It all started with Oleg’s tweet back in July, in which he was promoting Akihiro Kiuchi’s work on Jenkins monitoring with OpenTelemetry. This was done in the context of Google’s Summer of Code - a link to Akihiro’s demo is in the show notes.

As you may remember from episode 20, instrumenting our pipeline is on Gerhard’s mind, and this conversation helped him clarify a few things. If you are thinking of instrumenting your CI/CD pipeline with OpenTelemetry, this episode is for you.

Ship It! Ship It! #26

Gerhard at KubeCon NA 2021: Part 2

In the second set of interviews from KubeCon North America 2021, Gerhard and Liz Rice talk about eBPF superpowers - Cilium + Hubble - and what’s it like to work with Duffie Cooley.

Jared Watts shares the story behind Crossplane reaching incubating status, and Dan Mangum tells us what it was like to be at this KubeCon in person. Dan’s new COO role (read Click Ops Officer) comes up.

David Ansari from VMware speaks about his first KubeCon experience both as an attendee and as a speaker. The RabbitMQ Deep Dive talk that he gave will be a nice surprise if you watch it - link in the show notes.

Dan Lorenc brings his unique perspective on supply chain security, and tells us about the new company that he co-founded, Chainguard. How to secure container images gets covered, as well as one of the easter eggs that Scott Nichols put in

Ship It! Ship It! #25

Gerhard at KubeCon NA 2021: Part 1

This is Gerhard’s first set of interviews from KubeCon North America 2021.

William Morgan shares with us some of the finer Linkerd details, such as the underlying security theme, why native Kubernetes objects are preferable to more CRDs, and the joy of meeting team members in person.

Frederic Branczyk speaks about Parca, a new continuous system profiling tool that uses eBPF to help you understand what is happening on your hosts.

Andrew Rynhard gives us a great Talos OS and Kubespan perspective, and shares some really good follow-up videos on these topics.

The last conversation is with David Flanagan - you know him as Rawkode - about new beginnings. It’s only been less than two months since we’ve had him in episode 18, and he kept really busy. Caleb, his 3 weeks old baby boy, was the youngest attendee at this conference, and some talks made him sleepy, so good job everyone.

Ship It! Ship It! #24

Connecting your daily work to intent & vision

This week Gerhard is talking with Arnaud Porterie, founder of EchoesHQ, a new utility that measures and communicates engineering activity.

They start by re-creating the 60 seconds Y Combinator pitch, and then shift focus to what it was like to get EchoesHQ off the ground. Next, they tackle something which is always on Gerhard’s mind: Why is it important to connect our daily engineering activity to intent?

Before EchoesHQ, Arnaud used to run the core team and the open source project at Docker, and combined with other engineering leadership roles that he held for over a decade, he kept encountering misalignment that was preventing organisations from making meaningful progress. Let’s hear why EchoesHQ might just be a great way of addressing this.

Ship It! Ship It! #23

A universal deployment engine

In today’s episode, Gerhard is talking to Sam Alba, Docker’s first employee, and Solomon Hykes, the Docker co-founder. Together with Andrea Luzzardi, they are the creators of Dagger, a universal deployment engine that trades YAML for CUE, and uses Buildkit as the runtime.

Why? Because we should stop rewriting the same application deployment logic in scripts, makefiles or continuous delivery configuration. That’s right, this is the YAML vaccine that we have all been waiting for.

Gerhard believes that one day, Dagger will become just as meaningful for application delivery, as Docker is today for application code.

Ship It! Ship It! #22

It's crazy and impossible

Today we have a very special episode, where Gerhard gets to share his favourite learnings from Steve Jobs. If it wasn’t for his determination to build a better personal computer, Gerhard would have most likely continued with a career in physics.

We know what you’re thinking: it’s crazy and impossible to interview Steve Jobs, but on his 10th memorial anniversary, Gerhard was determined to combine the things that Steve said with his passion for computers, automation, and infrastructure.

Live your life and ship your best stuff because there’s nothing like the present.

Thank you, Steve.

Ship It! Ship It! #21

Learning from incidents

Things go wrong all the time. We all make mistakes. And that is okay. What is not okay, is to think that it won’t happen, or that there will be someone else around when it does. In that moment, it doesn’t matter who wrote that module, package or microservice. But there is a better way to think about this, and there is an approach that makes people actually look forward to incidents.

It all starts with thinking of incidents as opportunities to learn, and then share those learnings with everyone, so that you can all improve. In this episode, Gerhard is joined by Stephen Whitworth and Chris Evans, co-founders, and former Staff Engineers at Monzo.

They get it, we get it, and now you can get it too.

Ship It! Ship It! #20

Kaizen! Five incidents later

This is our second Kaizen episode, where Adam, Jerod & Gerhard talk about improvements since episode 10. OK, so Gerhard deleted the DNS API token. Not only did he take the time to understand how that happened, so that he could actually learn from his mistake, but now we have a system in place so that we can share learnings from incidents. By the way, these are publicly available in our #incidents Slack channel.

A great & unexpected thing that happened since we recorded this episode, is Jerod fixing 99% of all the errors that were happening in prod. The top error was the broken Twitter auth - sorry Matt - which was a result of us upgrading to OTP 24 a few months back. Episode 3 show notes include a YouTube stream which captures it all.

We wrap up this episode by each of us sharing the improvements that we would like to do until our next Kaizen. You heard it from Adam first: Ship It Driven Development

Ship It! Ship It! #19

Real-world implications of shipping many times a day

This week Emile Vauge, founder & CEO of Traefik, joins Gerhard to share a story that started as a solution to a 2000 microservices challenge, the real-world implications of shipping many times a day for years, and the difficulties of sustaining an inclusive and healthy open-source community while building a product company.

Working every day on keeping the open-source community in sync with the core team was an important lesson. The second learning was around big changes between major versions.

The journey from Travis CI to Circle CI, then to Semaphore CI and eventually GitHub Actions is an interesting one. The automation tools inspired by the Mymirca ant colony is a fascinating idea, executed well. There is more to discover in the episode.

Ship It! Ship It! #18

Bare metal meets Kubernetes

In this episode, Gerhard talks to David and Marques from Equinix Metal about the importance of bare metal for steady workloads. Terraform, Kubernetes and Tinkerbell come up, as does Crossplane - this conversation is a partial follow-up to episode 15.

David Flanagan, a.k.a. Rawkode, needs no introduction. Some of you may remember Marques Johansson from The new setup for 2019. Marques was behind the Linode Terraforming that we used at the time, and our infrastructure was simpler because of it!

This is not just a great conversation about bare metal and Kubernetes, there is also a Rawkode Live following up: Live Debugging Changelog’s Production Kubernetes 🙌🏻

Ship It! Ship It! #17

Docs are not optional

On this week’s episode, Gerhard is joined by Kathy Korevec, former Senior Director of Product at GitHub, and now Vercel’s Head of Product. Docs play an essential role in GitHub Actions, and Gerhard’s experience has proven that. Building, testing, and shipping code with GitHub Actions works better because of their excellent docs. However, the docs that Kathy pictures are not what you are imagining. She explains it best in her post, Maybe it’s time we re-think docs, which is what started this whole conversation.

The bottom line is, just as you wouldn’t ship untested code, shipping code without documentation is not optional. Today’s conversation with Kathy explains why.

Ship It! Ship It! #16

Optimize for smoothness not speed

This week Gerhard is joined by Justin Searls, Test Double co-founder and CTO. Also a 🐞 magnet. They talk about how to deal with the pressure of shipping faster, why you should optimize for smoothness not speed, and why focusing on consistency is key. Understanding the real why behind what you do is also important. There’s a lot more to it, as its a nuanced and complex discussion, and well worth your time.

Expect a decade of learnings compressed into one hour, as well as disagreements on some ops and infrastructure topics — all good fun. In the show notes, you will find Gerhard’s favorite conference talks Justin gave a few years back.

Ship It! Ship It! #15

Assemble all your infrastructure

In this episode, Gerhard follows up on The Changelog #375, which is the last time that he spoke Crossplane with Dan and Jared. Many things changed since then, such as abstractions and compositions, as well as using Crossplane to build platforms, which were mostly ideas.

Fast forward 18 months, 2k changes, as well as a major version, and Crossplane is now an easy choice - some would say the best choice - for platform teams to declare what infrastructure means to them. You can now use Crossplane to define your infrastructure abstractions across multiple vendors, including AWS, GCP & Equinix Metal. The crazy ideas from 2019 are now bold and within reach. Gerhard also has an idea for the 2022 setup. Listen to what Jared & Dan think, and then let us know your thoughts too.

Ship It! Ship It! #14

Cloud-native chaos engineering

In today’s episode, Gerhard is joined by Uma, CEO and co-founder of ChaosNative, as well as Karthik, CTO and also a ChaosNative co-founder. They talk Chaos Engineering and Litmus.

Chaos Engineering is not just for super SREs. It is not meant to prevent outages. And, it is not just about hardware. Chaos Engineering is about testing how reliable your systems are. It’s meant to show you how things fail, including when other dependent systems fail - think cascading failures. This is a good way to discover inconvenient truths about that beautiful code that you wrote. Everything fails, and great insights are to be found when it does.

Ship It! Ship It! #13

A monorepo of serverless microservices

In this episode, Gerhard talks to his Skyhook Adventure friends: Alan Cooney, Saul Cullen & Wycliffe Maina. They are the ones that introduced Gerhard to the world of serverless in the context of Amazon Web Services. Gerhard shared his experience with remote work, how to ship software with confidence and consistency, and what to look for in infrastructure as code.

At the heart of Skyhook Adventure are adventure trips, and 2020 was not a good one for this business. As you can already tell, code and infrastructure was not the biggest challenge for this team. Having said that, serverless, microservices, a monorepo and the event-based architecture played a big part in successfully navigating the challenges.

This is a story about what happens when a good team allows itself to be guided by solid experience and keeps doing the right thing, long-term. It’s fun, real, and it applies to many.

Ship It! Ship It! #12

Grafana’s "Big Tent" idea

Gerhard talks to Tom Wilkie, VP of Product for Grafana Labs. They talk about Loki, Tempo, and how can Grafana Cloud offer such a generous free tier. The solution is in the Cortex architecture, which was used in Loki and in Tempo too. Yes, Tom is the Cortex co-author. We recommend that you listen to this episode in combination with episodes 3 and 11. That’s the best way to get a more complete picture of the topics that we discuss today.

Lastly, would you like to watch Gerhard & Tom pair-up and build Grafana dashboards like pros? Tom has this really interesting approach that Gerhard would like to learn too. We can either have a live YouTube stream, or record and then publish the video. Let us know your preference via our Changelog Slack, or just plain Twitter.

Ship It! Ship It! #11

Honeycomb's secret to high-performing teams

Gerhard talks with Charity Majors, ops engineer and accidental startup founder at about high-performing teams, why “15 minutes or bust,” and how we should start using Honeycomb in our own monolithic Phoenix app that runs There is just one step, and it’s actually really simple!

They also talk about how Honeycomb uses Honeycomb to learn about Honeycomb, which is one of Gerhard’s favorite questions. As for key take-aways, deploying straight into production is really important, but not as important as optimising for humans - which are not replaceable cogs, that learn and share their learnings continuously. That is the secret to making things easy and happy for everyone.

Ship It! Ship It! #10

Kaizen! The day half the internet went down

Kaizen means “change for the better”, continuous improvement in this context. Failure is essential to learning, but how do we learn as a team? The simplest thing is to regularly dedicate time for taking a step back, talking about what works & what doesn’t, maybe writing some of it down, and eventually deciding what we should improve next. I intend to make every 10th Ship It! episode a Kaizen one.

This is the first one when we talk with Adam and Jerod about the things that we want to improve in our setup over the next few months. We talk about how the June Fastly outage affected, how we responded that day, and what we could do better. We discuss multi-cloud, multi-CDN, and the next sensible and obvious improvements for our app. Let us know via Slack or Twitter what learnings are valuable to you so that we can produce the best content for you.

Ship It! Ship It! #9

What is good release engineering?

This week we talk with Jean-Sébastien Pedron, RabbitMQ and FreeBSD contributor, about the importance of good release engineering for core infrastructure. Both Jean-Sébastien and I have been part of the Core RabbitMQ team for many years now. We have built some of the biggest CI/CD pipelines (check the show notes for one example), wrote and shipped some great code together, while breaking and fixing many things in the process.

We have been wrestling with today’s topic since 2016. Jean-Sébastien has some great FreeBSD stories to share, as well as an interesting perspective on shipping graphic card drivers. Oh, and by the way, it’s probably our fault why your remote car key stopped working that afternoon. It will all make sense after you listen to this episode.

Ship It! Ship It! #8

Cloud Native fundamentals

Why Cloud Native? What are the guiding principles that you should keep in mind as you are choosing a project from the Cloud Native Landscape? How do you build & ship an app in a Cloud Native way? Katie Gamanji, Ecosystem Advocate @ CNCF and former cloud engineer for American Express, Condé Nast and Microsoft, joins Gerhard to cover these topics in the context of the Cloud Native Fundamentals course that she developed. 15,000 students have already enrolled, and the initial feedback has been great. Tune in if you want to know why you should too, how to do it and when the course will become available for free.

Ship It! Ship It! #7

Why Kubernetes?

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Lars Wikman (independent Elixir/BEAM software consultant) why sometimes a monolith running on a single host with continuous backups and a built-in self-restore capability is everything that a small team of developers needs. That’s right, no Kubernetes or microservices. After 2 years of running, a Phoenix monolith, on Kubernetes, what do I think? Join our discuss and find out!

Ship It! Ship It! #6

Money flows rule everything

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Ian Miell, author of Docker in Practice as well as Learn Git, Bash, and Terraform the Hard Way. They talk about being comfortable with the uncomfortable, focusing on the tech while keeping a holistic view of the business. Following the money flows is key. Ian explains this concept really well, and Gerhard feels fairly confident you will be better off if you pay attention. Let us know in the comments!

Ship It! Ship It! #5

The foundations of Continuous Delivery

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Dave Farley, co-author of Continuous Delivery and the inventor of the Deployment Pipeline. Today, most of us ship code the way we do because 25 years ago, Dave cared enough to drive the change that we now call CI/CD. He is one of the great software engineers: opinionated, perseverant & focused since the heydays of the internet. Dave continues inspiring and teaching us all via his newly launched YouTube channel, courses and recent books. The apprentice finally meets the master 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♀️

Ship It! Ship It! #4

OODA for operational excellence

This week on Ship It! Gerhard talks with Ben Ford, former Royal Marine and founder of Commando Development, about the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act). Shipping is just a small part of it. The OODA loop that you know is probably the wrong one. We explore Mission & Command, Situational Awareness and a few other practices that will help you deal with complexity as you code and ship. As a former Royal Marine Commando, Ben learned these skills the hard way, and then refined them over many years as a software engineer. Check out the diagrams in the show notes - they are a work of art and precision.

Ship It! Ship It! #1

Introducing Ship It!

Welcome to Ship It! This is a new show from Changelog about shipping software - and all the details, challenges, and problems that surface. Changelog SRE Gerhard Lazu is taking us on a journey into the world of shipping code, infrastructure, ops, and the people making it happen.

Shipping is near and dear to every developers’ heart. We do it every day. It’s the essential first step. You have to ship it to share your ideas with the world. New episodes ship weekly.

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