Knife EC2: Manage Amazon EC2 Instances With Chef

by on August 3, 2015 · 22 comments

Chef enables you to automate your infrastructure. It provides a command line tool called knife to help you manage your configurations. Using the knife EC2 plugin you can manage your Amazon EC2 instances with Chef. knife EC2 makes it possible to create and bootstrap Amazon EC2 instances in just one line – if you go through a few setup steps. In this article, I want to show you how to setup your Chef installation and AWS configuration so that you can easily bootstrap new Amazon EC2 instances with Chef’s knife.
[Read more…]

Kanban vs Scrum vs Agile

by on July 27, 2015 · 11 comments

When inflexible and wasteful software development processes are making your organization inefficient, it’s time to introduce an agile methodology. Kanban vs Scrum then becomes an essential question: Which agile software development methodology is better suited for my own situation? And is Kanban agile? What about Scrum vs agile? Confusion is spreading… Let’s have a look how to sort out all those questions.
[Read more…]

Enable Your Teams to Rapidly Ship and Operate Quality Software

by on January 30, 2015 · 0 comments

How often do your development teams release to production? Who gets the alert in the middle of the night when everything crashes and burns? Do these questions make you uncomfortable or rather their answers? Or maybe you are already discussing changes to your current deploy process? Because it sucks, right? If you’re honest, it will always suck because it constantly needs to be adapted to the current business requirements.

Enter the “Platform Team”: a group of build & deploy experts that jumpstart your teams down the road to operational success while providing a safety net. And, no, I’m not referring to a System Administrator with a pager. Instead, I’m suggesting a three-ply construction of automation, containerization and monitoring.
[Read more…]

Supporting Millions of Pretty URL Rewrites in Nginx with Lua and Redis

by on October 13, 2014 · 0 comments

About a year ago, I was tasked with greatly expanding our url rewrite capabilities. Our file based, nginx rewrites were becoming a performance bottleneck and we needed to make an architectural leap that would take us to the next level of SEO wizardry.

In comparison to the total number of product categories in our database, Stylight supports a handful of “pretty URLs” – those understandable by a human being. With you have a good idea what’s going to be on that page.
[Read more…]

3 Reasons Why Your Team Needs Rituals

by on July 10, 2014 · 1 comment

It’s the same every morning: you get up and grab your morning coffee. No matter whether you brew it at home or fetch it on the road, your morning coffee is a ritual you never want to miss.

A ritual is a practice everyone knows how to do. It’s conducted regularly or on well defined occasions. Rituals help to create an identity for a group of people: nations, sports clubs or teams. How can rituals help form a high performing team?
[Read more…]

How Hubot Automation Crystallized Trust within our Development Team

by on February 20, 2014 · 0 comments

“Hey Dan, could you deploy the coolPics branch to test? Sorry for the bother :(”

“No problem, man. Tell me the SHA and I’ll deploy it.”

I had been having this conversation 4-5 times a day for a couple of weeks now. Being a huge fan of continuous integration, I wondered how to automate this. Why shouldn’t the developers be able to push whatever they wanted to test?

A colleague, overreading this back-and-forth in our HipChat room, told me to take a look at Hubot. It was custom made for automating rote tasks like webapp deployments. One weekend later, I was hooked. Here’s how I took the first step in transforming our abstract sense of team trust to tangible ownership.
[Read more…]

Test Driven Chef Cookbooks With Meez

by on February 6, 2014 · 0 comments

When cooking a new dish, things get out of control if you try to manage too many things at once

You might face a similar situation when trying to write a new Chef cookbook.

Getting your arms around all those tools and frameworks needed to write solid, tested cookbooks gets you spinning. You need to install Food Critic, Chef Spec, Berkshelf – and the list goes on. This set up can easily take up to half a day or more.

French Chefs arrange all the ingredients which they’ll need well before they start cooking. They call this set up procedure „Mise en place“, or in short „Meez“.

And you should do the same

That’s what Meez is all about. It’s a Ruby Gem which creates a cookbook for you which has puts all these tools in place before you start cooking. Now you can work like a professional Chef concentrating on the recipe at hand instead of juggling new tools.
[Read more…]

Why you need to customize your agile methods

by on September 19, 2013 · 0 comments

You’re starting off with a new laptop. The OS is installed, but using it feels awkward. Nothing looks like it used to on your previous one. You’re really frustrated how slow you move around just because you’re missing your beloved customizations.

A few days later you feel the flow again. You’ve tweaked your OS and apps to best fit your workflow.

Your agile process also needs to fit your workflow

[Read more…]