Ship It!

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

Ship It! Ship It! #51

From Kubernetes to PaaS - now what?

Today we talk to Mark Ericksen about all the things that we could be doing on the new platform - this is a follow-up to episode 50.

Mark specialises in Elixir, he hosts the Thinking Elixir podcast, and he also helps make Fly.io the best place to run Phoenix apps, such as changelog.com. In the interest of holding our new platform right, we thought that it would be a great idea to talk to someone that does this all day, every day, for many years now.

We touch up on how to run database migrations safely, and how to upgrade our application config to the latest Phoenix version. We also talked about some of the more advanced platform features that we may want to start leveraging, like the multi-region PostgreSQL.

Ship It! Ship It! #50

Kaizen! We are flying ✈️

This is our 5th Kaizen where we talk about the next improvement to changelog.com: we are now running on Fly.io and our PostgreSQL is managed. This is a migration that many were curious about, including Simmy de Klerk, the person that requested this episode.

After migrating all our media files to AWS S3 (check episode 40), we thought that this part was going to be easy. Plan met reality. Pull request 407 has all the details.

We want to emphasise the type of partner relationships that we seek at Changelog & why they are important to us, as well as to our listeners. Honeycomb & Fly embody the principles that we care about, and Gerhard thinks that we are currently missing a Kubernetes partner.

Ship It! Ship It! #49

Improving an eCommerce fulfillment platform

Alex Sims, a Senior Software Engineer at James & James, an eCommerce fulfilment company, reached out to us about the Kaizen story of the third-party logistics (3PL) platform that he has been involved with for several years now.

The system delivered 16 millions of orders in 10 years, and 4.5 million in the last year alone. All the numbers are going up, and there is only so much that a single PHP monolith deployed as VM images can handle. So how do you even start thinking about the architectural improvements, and inspire everyone involved to move towards better?

We encourage you to look at the architectural diagrams in the show notes, especially the 10 year roadmap, and ask Alex for a blog post follow-up. While today’s episode was a good conversation starter, there is a lot that we did not have time to cover.

Ship It! Ship It! #48

Launching Dagger

In this episode we talk about launching Dagger with all four founders: Andrea, Eric, Sam & Solomon.

While you may remember Sam & Solomon from episode 23, this time we assembled all four superheroes in this story and went deeper, covering nearly three years of refinements, the launch, as well as the world-class team & community that is coming together to solve the next problem of shipping software. Container images and Kubernetes are great steps in the right direction, but now it’s time for the next leap into the future.

You can use Dagger to run your CI/CD pipelines locally, without needing to commit and push. You can also use Dagger as a Makefile alternative, which resonates with Gerhard, but go further and your perspective on documentation & automation may start shifting.

Gerhard believes that this is the Docker moment of CI/CD.

Ship It! Ship It! #47

The Docker Swarm story

This episode was requested by Tyler Smith who feels that he may not need Kubernetes just yet. Tyler has a few questions about Docker & Docker Swarm, so Andrea Luzzardi, former Docker Swarm Lead, joins us today to answer them.

We talk about Docker Swarm beginnings, some of the challenges that it faced, and what Andrea’s recommendation is for Tyler’s journey with Docker Swarm.

After dedicating four years of his professional career to Docker Swarm, Andrea is the best person that Gerhard knows to talk about this subject. And guess what, the same thing happened now as it did at KubeCon 2015: Sam pointed to Andrea. It will all make sense in the first five minutes. This one is going to be fun!

Ship It! Ship It! #46

A simpler alternative to cert-manager

Nabeel Sulieman, Senior Software Engineer at Vercel, talks about KCert, a simpler alternative to cert-manager that he built. Gerhard tried it out, and he thinks that Nabeel is onto something. If you want to see the video that they recorded, ping us on Twitter or Slack.

We love this story, especially the long-term approach of working on something that one truly believes in, and the only reason is because it’s fun. The world needs more people like Nabeel, and we hope that this episode inspires you to go all out, and do just that.

Ship It! Ship It! #45

Swiss Quality Assurance

Pia Wiedermayer, Lead QA at Zühlke, is talking with Gerhard today about software quality. If the name sounds familiar, check out episode 28. Thank you Romano for the introduction 👋🏻

Do you remember the last time that you used an app, whether it was in the browser or on your mobile, and everything just worked? What about that intuitive feel, snappiness and you achieving the task that you intended to without feeling that you are fighting tech? Experiences like those take a lot of effort across multiple disciplines. They are designed, built and maintained over long periods of time. It all starts with people like Pia that really care about quality. It’s so much more than just automated testing…

Ship It! Ship It! #43

Rails Active Deployment

In this week’s episode Cameron Dutro, a software engineer at GitHub, Ship It listener and someone with an extraordinary attention to detail, joins us to talk about Kuby, a convention-over-configuration approach to deploying Rails apps.

The question that we will be trying to answer is what happened to Rails Active Deployment. The path to that promise land is paved with good intentions, but it’s complicated.

Ship It! Ship It! #42

Kubernetes in Kubernetes

This week we have the pleasure of Rich Burroughs, Senior Developer Advocate at Loft Labs and host of the Kube Cuddle podcast.

We talk about multitenancy in Kubernetes and how to run Kubernetes in Kubernetes with vcluster. If you are using KiND, you will find this episode interesting, and maybe even helpful.

We also talk about the role that Kelsey Hightower played in Rich joining the CNCF ecosystem. The key take-away is that people make all the difference.

ADHD is something that Rich thinks about often. Gerhard was curious about the difference between ADHD and burnout, as well as this Twitter thread on re-reading sent emails.

Ship It! Ship It! #41

Continuous Delivery for Kubernetes

In today’s episode, Gerhard is talking to Mauricio Salatino (@salaboy) about the Continuous Delivery for Kubernetes book that he is currently writing.

Mauricio is a Staff Engineer at VMware where he spends most of his time contributing to Knative, an open source platform for running serverless workloads on Kubernetes. Gerhard & Mauricio spent a few months in 2021 working on Knative Eventing, and they both appreciate shipping great software continuously. Mauricio helped ship Knative 1.0.

The from-monolith-to-k8s application used throughout this book has been a few years in the making. It doubles-up as a workshop-style guide for rearchitecting a Java monolith to a Cloud Native architecture running in Kubernetes.

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! #39

Haunted codebases & complex ops

This week we are talking to Robin Morero, the person behind fabled.se, a DevOps consultancy from Gothenburg, Sweden. Their motto is “move faster and prosper”, which Gerhard prefers to the initial “move fast and break things”.

Fabled works with startups primarily, and after 26 years, Robin has a few interesting insights to share. What do you think, are haunted codebases real? At what point do pull requests become harmful? What about k3s running on KVM as a simple starting point for production? If this reminds you of #7, and the follow-up YouTube stream with Lars, it’s no coincidence.

Ship It! Ship It! #38

Go for the bananas

Gunnar Holwerda (Engineering Manager) and Tom Pansino (DevOps Team Lead) share with us a few stories about how the teams at opensesame.com manage AWS operational complexity. The first link in the episode show notes are the slides that Tom & Gunnar prepared for this conversation. Check them out as you hear us speak about the Inverse Conway Manoeuvre, and why you should always go for the bananas.

If you like this episode, and have a similar story to share, please reach out to us. We all love real-world stories that we can learn from, and perhaps contribute to.

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! #36

Keep on-call simple

Gerhard loves simple ideas executed well, which is why he is excited to be speaking today with Ildar Iskhakov & Matvey Kukuy about their startup Amixr, a.k.a. Grafana OnCall.

Ildar & Matvey started with a simple idea and a simple stack - Django, Celery, RabbitMQ & MySQL - all running on Kubernetes. Because they kept their main thing their main thing, and kept improving it every day for a couple of years, now your on-call can be simple too.

This is another Big Tent philosophy story with a Black Swan moment towards the end.

Ship It! Ship It! #35

How I found my lost network packets

Today Gerhard shares the entire story behind his lost packets. He is talking with Drew Marshall, director at Trunk Networks and No One Internet, a Cloud Services Provider & ISP based in Sussex, UK.

Gerhard’s Vodafone ISP gateway was losing packets, and recording some of the previous episodes used to be challenging as his internet connection would cut out up to 10 seconds at a time, multiple times per recording session. He was convinced that his Unifi Dream Machine Pro was not the issue. Drew helped Gerhard realise that it actually was. Not only has Gerhard’s DNS latency improved by 3x, but he can now fail-over between two WAN connections. And because nothing beats a real-world experiment, you can guess what is coming in this episode 😉

You will find latency & packet loss graphs, speed test runs, and a few other interestings in the show notes. We hope that they inspire you to setup a better home network. Most importantly, may you find your humble & brilliant Drew.

Ship It! Ship It! #34

Where is the cloud native App Store?

In our first 2022 episode, Alexis Richardson, co-founder and CEO of Weaveworks, is talking to Gerhard about going fully remote, what a great team looks like, and GitOps. While you may have heard of GitOps, now is a good time to check out opengitops.dev.

The most interesting part of today’s conversation is the missing cloud native App Store. While Apple revolutionised the world with the App Store and the iPhone, we don’t yet have something similar for cloud native apps. You may be thinking “But what about OperatorHub?”, or all the Helm registries out there? The registry fragmentation, operator deprecations and lack of curation are not what people have in mind when they think App Store. But there is more to it, so let’s hear how Alexis thinks about this.

Ship It! Ship It! #33

🎄 Merry Shipmas 🎁

Merry Shipmas! This is our special Christmas episode which sums up two months of very early mornings and a few late nights. After many twists and turns, stuff which didn’t work out, as well as pleasant surprises, this is what we ended up with:

  • 🎁 PR #395 - CI/CD Lego set with Guillaume de Rouville & Joel Longtine
  • 🎁 PR #396 - Continuous CPU profiling with Frederic Branczyk
  • 🎁 PR #399 - Auto-restoring Kubernetes clusters with Dan Mangum & Muvaffak Onuş

While we initially intended to have five Christmas presents in total, only three got delivered in time. We planned, worked hard and eventually shipped the best we could just in time for this special Christmas episode. Our hope is that the latest additions to our changelog.com GitHub repository will help you just as much as they will help our 2022 setup.

🎄Merry Shipmas everyone! 🎄

Ship It! Ship It! #32

Crossing the platform gap

In 2014 Gerhard joined CloudCredo, a startup co-founded by Colin Humphreys, Paula Kennedy & Chris Hedley. They stuck together through two acquisitions: Pivotal & VMware. This year, Colin, Paula & Chris co-founded Syntasso, the Platform-as-a-Product startup.

Today they all get together to talk about about what it takes to build a platform team, why Team Topologies is a good conversation starter and why a curated blend of off-the-shelf, composed, and self-created services are required in any organisation operating at scale.

Your hunch is right, all of them used to share the same Pivotal London office with Tammer Saleh, our guest from episode 31. Chris used to win all table tennis matches without even breaking a sweat, and today Gerhard gets his comeback. Touché!

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! #30

Kaizen! Are we holding it wrong?

This is our third Kaizen episode in which Adam, Jerod & Gerhard talk about GitOps the wrong way, ask questions with Honeycomb and realise that they must be holding the CDN wrong, and the effort that has been going into moving all changelog.com static files from regular volumes to an S3-like object store. If you like a good yak shake, listening to this one is a lot more fun than doing it.

Gerhard is most excited about the Ship It Christmas gifts that we have been preparing for you. While GitHub Codespaces is not going to be part of the upcoming Christmas special episode, today’s talk covers why investing in a Codespaces integration is worth it.
Changelog #459 and Backstage #20 are related to this topic.

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 changelog.com 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 chainguard.dev.

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.

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