Writing

This is an aggregated list of all my blog posts, newsletters and ramblings for the various projects I work for and have worked for.

How I set up a RaspberryPi to share my files and media

How I set up a RaspberryPi to share my files and media

Over the past months, I’ve been slowly assembling a suite of self-hosted tools and services on a shiny new RaspberryPi 400, and finally, I think I am finished and ready to write up my experiences. At the least, it will help remind me what I have, but I hope it might also help others taking similar journeys.

The Differences Between a Service Catalog, Internal Developer Platform, and...

The Differences Between a Service Catalog, Internal Developer Platform, and...

There are many services and tools to help manage microservices. This post looks at some options to highlight the similarities, differences, and when or why to use one.

Tools to help generate screenshots for your documentation

Tools to help generate screenshots for your documentation

Docs as code is an increasingly popular approach for tech writers that follows similar principles for writing that developers follow for writing code. Docs as code typically means writing in markup languages such as markdown, asciidoc, or restructured text. The tools for writing in these markup languages are different from the specialized technical writing tools you might have used before, and again, are often designed for coding or general writing. This post looks at some of the best you can try if considering a switch to docs as code.

Reducing negative and biased language in documentation

Reducing negative and biased language in documentation

The discussions on what represents negative, biased, and diverse language continue in many open source communities, often sparking heated and strongly opinionated debate. Setting those discussions aside, say you have decided what language you want to increase, decrease, or change in your community. How do you enforce and track those changes?

Our Favorite DevOps Tools for 2022

“DevOps” merges Development and Operations team functions through practices and tooling, all the while making continuous improvements to applications. Teams that adopt DevOps tools, culture and practices perform better and build faster. Let’s walk through each stage of DevOps and the popular DevOps tools you may want to consider in 2022.

How to use Chronosphere to monitor your GKE Autopilot deployment

As big Kubernetes users ourselves, we know that one of the best ways to run Kubernetes is to use Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Earlier this year, Google Cloud announced a new mode for running GKE called Autopilot. Google Cloud designed Autopilot to reduce the operational cost of managing clusters, optimize clusters for production, and yield higher workload availability. Autopilot takes a lot of the legwork and complexity out of managing Kubernetes clusters, saving you time and money. But, like all critical infrastructure, you still need a plan for monitoring and observability for the cluster. That’s where Chronosphere comes in.

Migrating applications and data to a new Mac without using Time Machine

You want to migrate data to a new Mac but are also interested in using a clean install instead of restoring from a backup to remove any of that unnecessary crud that gathers, especially when you someone like me who constantly installs and uninstalls applications and tools. I have been trialing a handful of tools and processes recently building towards helping with this and now I have a shiny new M1 Pro laptop it seemed a perfect time to see how useful they were. Here’s what I wanted to test and how the process went.

Nanowrimo 2021 wrap up and novel status

For Nanowrimo (national novel writing month) 2021 I continued my novel from last year. To remind anyone who hasn’t followed my sparse updates on the novel, the novel is a speculative fiction set after a global zombie and human conflict where the two (let’s call them) species coexist in a tense harmony. For Nanowrimo this year, I set myself two targets.

How PagerDuty and Chronosphere work together to help you get alerted faster

One of the most important capabilities of an observability platform is alerting. How quickly can you know when something is wrong, so you can rapidly triage and remediate that problem? Chronosphere recently released a new approach to defining alerts called “Monitors,” which gives users more flexibility with alerts and makes them easier to create and manage. An alert is only useful if it’s seen quickly and by the right on-call team, and that’s where PagerDuty comes in. Many of our customers use Chronosphere and PagerDuty together to.

An eye on observability for November 2021

As conference season slowly draws to a close, and we fill that few months between the end of summer and the start of the seemingly never-ending holiday season (hemisphere and region-dependent naturally), there has been a flurry of activity in the observability ecosystem, so it’s time to, err, cast an eye over it 😬.

Continuous Delivery With the Humanitec Postman Collection

Continuous Delivery With the Humanitec Postman Collection

Humanitec provides an API-first way to build your Internal Developer Platform to enable developer environment self-service. This post shows how to use that API with Postman collections to make creating environments even easier.

The open source tracing landscape

Distributed tracing tools help you track a request through an application or system that consists of multiple applications, services, and infrastructure. This gives you a deeper understanding of what is happening within the system through graphical representations of how much time the request took on each step. A span is the building block of any distributed trace, with each component in a service contributing a span to the distributed workflow. There are a handful of well known open source tracing tools, and another handful of lesser known ones. Most work in similar ways, with one or two nuanced differences, and this post walks through most of them to help find the right tracing tool for you.

Digital tools for boardgames and roleplay games

Digital tools for boardgames and roleplay games

I endlessly discover cool digital tools, apps, and websites for enhancing board games and roleplay games and needed an excuse to try them. So I wrote a blogpost!

Reporting back from Container Days Hamburg

Nestled amongst the port of Hamburg, the sound of cranes loading containers of a different kind onto vast cavernous ships, I’m at my first in-person conference in about 18 months. It’s taking place on an old cargo ship, the HMS Bleichen (German), a ship obsoleted by the arrival of containerization and now home to talks about containers of a different kind.

My audio and video production setup

My audio and video production setup

I’ve been running podcasts for years, and while I worked on some video courses in the past, over the past year I have invested more time in my audio and video setup, primarily for live-streaming. After months and months of getting It to a point where I am “kind of” happy with it, I thought it was high time I documented it. Partly so others can learn from my setup, and partly so I can keep tabs on it myself.

Nextcloud and Kubernetes in the Cloud With Kuma Service Mesh (article)

Nextcloud and Kubernetes in the Cloud With Kuma Service Mesh (article)

Want a powerful, self-hosted personal cloud? Then look no further than Nextcloud running on Kubernetes with a service mesh to add all the help and features you need.

An eye on observability for August 2021

How did you enjoy the first installment of this regular look back at a month in observability? Well, it’s back again, and as August and vacations draw to a close, the amount of news and content to tell you about is increasing. It’s time to get started, and as always, get in touch if you have stories for inclusion.

An eye on observability for July 2021

Welcome to the first installment of a monthly look back at the latest news in observability and the related cloud-native landscape. If you have any stories you think are worth considering, get in touch.

Open source monitoring and metrics landscape

Metrics and managing and understanding them is an essential part of any modern complex application. As with any active and busy technical ecosystem, there is a proliferation of competing open source monitoring standards. A handful emerges as the most popular solutions. Slowly, the community creates a standard that most projects follow in some way.

Why your software teams need an internal developer platform

Why your software teams need an internal developer platform

Companies that are built upon or are building software typically want to move fast and not break things. But how can growing teams allow developers to keep building new features and fixing bugs without operations teams slowing them down with complex and arduous processes?

How can recording and roll-up rules help your metrics?

If you need to reduce the amount of metrics data stored in your time series database (TSDB) or improve query performance, there are generally two common methods to do so.

An Introduction to PromQL

For metrics stored within Prometheus, the Prometheus Querying Language (PromQL) is the main way to query and retrieve the results you are looking for. Chronosphere supports querying metrics data using PromQL and Graphite functions, but as PromQL is the most popular option we see customers use. PromQL has some differences to other query languages you might have used. Here is an overview guide to get you started.

KubeCon EU 2021 - Observability and Interoperability take center stage

As many large-scale events start to feel they’re close to “getting back to normal,” this year’s KubeCon EU was the second online, and while it lacked any large announcements, there was plenty of consolidation and maturing of concepts.

10 great podcasts for software test engineers

10 great podcasts for software test engineers

Software development practices change fast. Development teams use an endless stream of new tools, frameworks, and practices, and it’s your job as a test engineer to make sure that no matter what your development teams use or create, everything runs and works reliably.

The Pros and Cons of GitOps

The Pros and Cons of GitOps

GitOps takes familiar tools such as Git and Continuous Delivery pipelines to automate infrastructure. The GitOps approach is vendor-neutral, provides a clear history of changes, and allows you to reproduce or roll back deployments. Yet, we can’t ignore the problems with this approach: Proliferation of repositories, no help for secrets management, or simultaneous file writes. Let’s explore.