Ship It!

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

Ship It! Ship It! #62

Operational simplicity is a gift to you

Gerhard’s transition to a senior engineer started 10 years ago, when he embraced the vim mindset, functional core & imperative shell, and was inspired to seek simplicity in his code & infrastructure. Most of it can be traced back to one person: Gary Bernhardt, the creator of Execute Program, Destroy all Software and the now famous Wat idea.

Few stick around long enough to understand the long-term impact of their decisions on production systems. Even fewer are able to talk about them as well as Gary does.

Ship It! Ship It! #58

How to keep a secret

Rob Barnes (a.k.a. Devops Rob) and Rosemary Wang (author of Infrastructure as Code - Patterns & Practices) are joining us today to talk about infrastructure secrets.

What do Rosemary and Rob think about committing encrypted secrets into a repository? How do they suggest that we improve on storing secrets in LastPass? And if we were to choose HashiCorp Vault, what do we need to know?

Thank you Thomas Eckert for the intro. Thank you Nabeel Sulieman (ep. 46) & Kelsey Hightower (ep. 44) for your gentle nudges towards improving our infra secrets management.

Ship It! Ship It! #40

Kaizen! New beginnings

We finally did it! All our static files are served from AWS S3. This is the most significant improvement to our app’s architecture in years, and now we have unlocked the next level: multi-cloud. We talk about that at length, and how it fits in our 2022 setup. The TL;DR is that changelog.com will fly, both literally and figuratively.

We also address Steve’s comment that he left on our previous Kaizen episode - thanks Steve!

Towards the end, we talk about Gerhard’s new beginnings at Dagger, where he gets to work with a world-class team and build the next-gen CI/CD. That’s right, Gerhard is now walking the Ship It talk all day, every day. If you want to watch him code live, you can do so every Thursday, in our weekly community session.

Kaizen!

Ship It! Ship It! #37

Building fully declarative systems with Nix

Vincent Ambo –the person behind nixery.dev, tvl.fyi, and a former Google engineer– shares his take on monorepos, Nix, and fully declarative systems without any Flux, Argo or Kubernetes.

While the tooling is impressive, it’s the principles behind it that captivated Gerhard’s imagination. Vincent has a rather interesting take on the monorepository idea, including one change - one version - one deploy. There are a lot of interesting links in the show notes, including all the code that Vincent uses to manage infrastructure.

As a result of this conversation, Gerhard is running Nix on one of his Macs, and also started experimenting with his first NixOS production instance.

Ship It! Ship It! #31

Is Kubernetes a platform?

Tammer Saleh, founder of SuperOrbital and former VP of Engineering at Pivotal, is joining Gerhard to talk about table tennis, remote work, and challenges that teams have with K8s.

Some years ago, both Tammer & Gerhard used to work in the same London office on CloudFoundry, and nowadays they are both into Kubernetes. Tammer and the SuperOrbital team are deeply experienced in this topic, and they help teams at companies like Bloomberg, Shopify, and federal U.S. agencies tackle hard Kubernetes and DevOps problems through engineering and training.

Why do companies need Kubernetes in the first place? Which are the right reasons for choosing it? Is Kubernetes a platform? Gerhard’s favourite: we are doing Kubernetes wrong, but it works better than when we were doing it right, so what’s up with that? This last one was a lot of fun, and we left the entire minute of laughter in at your request. Enjoy!

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! #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! #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 changelog.com, 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! #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 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♀️

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