Note: If you’re reading this, you’re winning. You beat 2020. Also, the DevOps’ish Solarwinds supply chain compromise Index has been updated.

I was talking to DevOps’ish readers a bit this week. One reader, in particular, has mentioned in the past that they’d be willing to help put the newsletter together when I’m recovering from surgeries or need a day off. This morning I sat down to get a headstart on the newsletter and realized I should instead work on a checklist or HOWTO or whatever it would end up getting called. Let me introduce you to DevOps’ish’s file. It details how the newsletter is made and some of the guidelines around writing a newsletter, in general. It’s made me realize that I need to look into automating more of what I do. That’s one of the beautiful parts of checklists or good documentation; it tells you where to start looking into automation points.

Another thing we discussed is profit sharing and how that would have to get figured out. Or rather, we need to talk about how to figure that out. Which then triggered an early afternoon of getting GitHub Sponsor up and running. Getting good, long term newsletter sponsors is difficult. Larger newsletters generally outsource it. That seems a little much for me right now. If this system proves to work well, I will flip regular sponsors over to it potentially.

I’m sure every reader gets some value out of DevOps’ish. I’d like those willing to contribute to offset the costs and time it takes to research, maintain, and write DevOps’ish to be able to do so. Pay if you want! No shame if you don’t. Also, I’m very open to suggestions here.

Also, I’m running an experiment. If you use Product Hunt, upvote DevOps’ish’s Product Hunt listing. Yes, I know it’s four years old, that’s part of the experiment.

Last but not least, if you love reading the news as I do, I would recommend you checking out Scroll with your extra holiday money. It’s a really awesome concept and I hope it catches on like wildfire.

DevOps’ish is brought to you by Accurics


Research: Women Are Better Leaders During a Crisis
Some of my best bosses were women. The article talks about how countries led by women fared better during the pandemic. The writers posit that women have worked on interpersonal skills more than men. The hard stuff like communication, being inspiring, motivational, and collaborative are all traits needed to lead effectively. These aren’t “soft skills” at all; they’re foundational and core ones.

2020 Learnings, 2021 Expectations
This is my take on the year that was and the year that will be. As I explain, it’s going to be a wild one.

Ars Technica’s 2021 Deathwatch—2020 was just the beginning
While I tried to stay upbeat and positive, Ars Technica let us all know what will struggle this year. Zoom’s rapid growth has the company on the list. To be honest, I’m already seeing the growing pains there.

97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts
“These concise articles explore the entire cloud computing experience, including fundamentals, architecture, and migration. You’ll delve into security and compliance, operations and reliability, and software development. And examine networking, organizational culture, and more. You’re sure to find 1, 2, or 97 things that inspire you to dig deeper and expand your own career.” This book is by Emily Freeman and Nathen Harvey. Give it a read!

At Work in Pain - Reflecting on 2020: COVID, work from home, virtual events
Julia Ferraioli and I talk about dealing with chronic pain during the global pandemic. We also talk about how awesome it has been to be able to consistently work from home. Oh, and virtual events are democratizing.

Our top 10 articles of 2020 for IT leaders
The fan favorite, The Enterprisers Project, takes us through their top 10 IT leader pieces.

Recommended Engineering Management Books
Caitie McCaffrey recommends some great books for engineering leaders.

Path to a free self-taught education in Computer Science!


Why I’ve Been Merging Microservices Back Into The Monolith At InVision
This is a really good article. It’s a must read. “This quest is intended to ‘right size’ the monolith.”

Download today: Kubernetes security ebook - tips, tricks, best practices
The rapid adoption of Kubernetes to manage containerized workloads is driving great efficiencies in application development, deployment, and scalability. However, when security becomes an afterthought, you risk diminishing the greatest gain of containerization - agility. Download this ebook to learn how to (1) build secure images and prevent untrusted/vulnerable code, (2) configure RBAC, network policies, and runtime privileges, (3) detect unauthorized runtime activity, and (4) secure your Kubernetes infrastructure components such as the API server. SPONSORED

Ticketmaster will pay $10 million for hacking rival ticket seller
This is shady as all get out. “The company and its parent Live Nation admitted to hiring a former employee from rival ticket seller CrowdSurge, then using his knowledge — including old usernames and passwords — to learn CrowdSurge’s inner workings and ‘cut [the company] off at the knees.’” Holy smokes. Can you believe that? That’s some nation state level antics!

Why Software Development is Hard
Amdahl’s law and trying to teach your friends to do what your code would do. Both are interesting points from this piece.

Tech’s top seven companies added $3.4 trillion in value in 2020
“Apple’s market cap jumped by almost $1 trillion this year, followed by Amazon, which increased by over $700 billion.” 🤑🤑🤑 We probably all deserve raises if we’re working at successful companies during this pandemic. It’s a lot different than normal work.

Windows 7: A year after the end-of-support deadline, millions choose not to upgrade
All those doctor’s offices, kiosks, billboards, government offices, and who knows what else ain’t getting upgraded. I always turn my head a little sideways at the often antithetical disconnect between tech and medicine.

“Why are my tests so slow?” A list of likely suspects, anti-patterns, and unresolved personal trauma.
Observability genius, Charity Majors, hits a home run with this article. If you’re building software as part of your life, you should read this and see where you can improve and tune things.

Is Substack the Media Future We Want?
“The newsletter service is a software company that, by mimicking some of the functions of newsrooms, has made itself difficult to categorize.”


Kubernetes Pondering
Christine Dodrill ponders if her Kubernetes cluster is worth it. She’s in a place I want to be so this is interesting to me.

We need your voice!

In partnership with the team at ClearPath Strategies, is collecting insights for changes in software development and operation practices across our industry. How do you see the world and what your team is doing?

Take the survey for a chance to win $500 from Apple, HelloFresh, or Fender. SPONSORED

What’s your favorite Kubernetes feature? Hear from the experts
“In each episode, I ask my guest: ‘What is your favorite Kubernetes feature?’” Fellow Red Hatter and live streamer, Sébastien Blanc, has a regular show where he asks each guest what their fav K8s feature is. Here’s the list so far.

Feature Flags (Toggles) in DevOps: How These Concepts Relate
How and where to use feature flags (or feature toggles) in your pipeline. A good read that includes HARK!!! Testing in production. I love it.

A Vim Guide for Intermediate Users
I would define myself as an intermediate user after using vim on and off for 20+ years. The repeating keystrokes features of vim are what I always forget and have to look up. Bookmark this one.

How to familiarize yourself with a new codebase
“A few weeks ago, a tweet made me take a second and think about something that I’d never consciously considered before; how can you approach an unfamiliar codebase and start to understand it?”

Flow Browser Preview on the Raspberry Pi 400
Flow is a new browser on the scene designed to run in the GPU. Give it a spin on your Raspberry Pi. I hope it catches on like wildfire.

“TabFS is a browser extension that mounts your browser tabs as a filesystem on your computer.”

Sparrow.ps1 was created by CISA’s Cloud Forensics team to help detect possible compromised accounts and applications in the Azure/m365 environment.

🤗 The largest hub of ready-to-use NLP datasets for ML models with fast, easy-to-use and efficient data manipulation tools

“Track how many Twitter followers an account has over time.” In other words, Corey Quinn tries to make me vomit by looking at his coding processes. Which it now dawns on me I bet people reading my code or docs probably feel the same way.


Want more? Be sure to check out the notes from this week’s issue to see what didn’t make it to the newsletter.