Weeknotes #013: DevOps Salad

What I did in the 49th week of 2020


Ok I admit it.

I do not really enjoy DevOps, or the Infrastructure building part of being a developer. Yes, it is an essential part of the job. Yes, your apps need somewhere to run. Yes, there is some joy in a well running machine. However I never get excited about wiring these bits up. It is always a means to a more exciting end.

A healthy, balanced developer diet is not always the most exciting, but I know I will be a better dev for regularly partaking.

This week ended up looking like a DevOps salad. A tumble of little infrastructure jobs, tweaks and learning about our servers. I refreshed myself on our deployment pipelines with concourse, learned how the UK’s Platform as a Service scales on AWS, and helped improve our monitoring. For all my complaining, it was actually quite nice, the variety helps!

Pretty good timing too, I went on call again this week. Occasionally you need to move quickly to fix something, this balanced diet of server and monitoring knowledge surely helps.


Oof, even with easing back into tiered restrictions (a mere “tier 2” in my patch), I am missing a bit more difference. I have let things become slightly repetitive and a little same-y. I think usually holidays, visits to friends and other adventures would have broken things up a bit.

I’ll have to try and make life salad next week and find a way to sneak some variety in there too. Some leave coming up should help.


I kept on reading this week, re-starting “Who We Are and How We got Here” a mindblowing book on genetics and human history by David Reich. I am reading and re-reading it slowly, and should write something soon. I feel each chapter is littered with exciting surprises from a cutting edge of paleontology.

I also read all of The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung. A really interesting read with a strong premise (an entire country loses a month?), it has a strong piece it wants to say about power, rule and China. Its structure is also very unlike things I have read before, I wonder how much of this is a Chinese literary style or just this Author.

Finally I also read The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I read “Children of Time” and “Children of Ruin” a year or so ago. The author pulls a similar trick here giving us something alien that is very close to home. I love these kind of books, gives me something truly alien to marvel, with all the familiarity and plausibility of things that I can find in my back garden. You get a fun story and newfound wonder for what is outside your own door.

Listened to

A bit of current affairs but not a lot again. I am actually thinking of cutting back on my podcast subscriptions a bit. The ever growing pile starts to feel like an in tray. Plus, I am really enjoying books right now.

Thinking about

| Huw