Editor’s note: Times are hard for a lot of folks right now. Take your time. Your emotions are valid. Process them. Managers should give their people some grace over the coming days. Reader’s in pain, I am with you.

This week has been a week of milestones. 1) My daughter turned 21. Yes, I feel old. 2) Julie and I are celebrating ten years of marriage this weekend in Traverse City, Michigan.

On #1, Aubree has been in my life for more than half of it now. In the late 00s, I said one day, “Being a father helps me be a better leader. Being a leader helps me be a better father.” During one busy summer, I had 50 people working for me at one point. Managing that many direct reports isn’t something you do easily. My trick was to manage the natural groups of friends that formed. But still, maintain team cohesion. At the same time, I was playing the role of a single father to a Kindergartner. A lot of the skills I was teaching at work were helpful at home and vice versa. I had to deliver presentations to senior leaders. This was very normal for the work I did.

Aubree was asked to do a short presentation on a famous person (past or present) and why she liked this person for one assignment. Aubree picked Abraham Lincoln because he ended slavery (this was my kindergartner). So she had what she was going to say written down, and the expectation was for her to read it to the kids in class. It was a few sentences. She had some trouble reciting the words from the half-page of paper in her handwriting. So I typed it and printed it out to see if that helped. A little, but she didn’t sound confident. That’s when I realized she’s not a “from notes” presenter. She’s better at memorization right now. The typed-up piece of paper became a thing I carried around and would work with her at random intervals to help her memorize her talk. It took a couple of days, but she learned to deliver her speech with confidence from memory. When it was time, she nailed the presentation getting the highest grade in her class for that assignment. That’s just one of many memories over these 21 years that I haven’t forgotten.

On #2, Julie and I are each others’ most prolonged affairs of the heart. Driving up here to Traverse City, we were discussing how far we’d come, how we’ve instinctively aligned ourselves around roles and responsibilities that play to our strengths in our household. A recurring theme lately is, “How far we’ve come since 2010.” From me having to decide to restart my life. Julie deciding to leave her job with so many friends to take a role helping out Head Start families, to Julie’s job in Wake Forest, to building a house in Wake Forest, to us moving up here to Michigan, to the recent decision to join AWS… The list has many more details but all outcomes appear to have been worth the work.

We’ve made every decision as logically as possible. Have met every challenge head-on together. Given the obstacles, I think we’ve been successful. Since 2010, we’ve weighed the benefits and consequences of every significant decision in our lives and then taken action as a team. I remember walking our dog Sunny behind my apartment in Hope Mills, NC when we decided that I’d leave the public sector. I’d move in with Julie in North Raleigh and find a job in what I call the Palo Alto of the East Coast, The Research Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), North Carolina. Then years later, that one boss at my last job in Raleigh encouraged me to start public speaking. This enabled me to make a splash at DevOpsDays Detroit 2016. That positioned us to move Max closer to his cousins in Michigan. Now we could take REAL vacations (not always going to Michigan)! Six months in a lousy job (for me) in downtown Detroit with frequent trips to speaking engagements and satellite offices turned into three successive great remote jobs.

Then COVID-19 hit. Our four family households made the conscious decision to create a bubble. Julie was setting data-driven parameters for not just our whole family but Max’s preschool too. Julie’s natural attention to detail has resulted in not just four households not getting COVID, but to an entire multi-age preschool not getting COVID. I’m relatively certain we wouldn’t have made it through COVID in North Carolina. Without anyone to play or socialize with as we could in Michigan, we would’ve ended up moving during COVID. Luckily we were well established in Michigan before the pandemic. In 2010, making that public/private sector pivot was a tough choice that in early 2011 felt like a mistake. But, with Julie’s confidence building skills, support, and love, everything is turning out alright. I commented yesterday that I’m a completely different person now than when we went out on our first date. Julie agreed. I wish I could write it all down. Maybe someday I will. Now, here we are, celebrating it all, in a place we fell in love with this summer, 4 hours from our house. I look at it and marvel at it all. I had a lot of other folks’ help, and for that, I’m truly thankful. But Julie has been there the whole time.

Long story Short, we’re in a good spot right now after years of hard work. There’s still more work to be done, and we’ll make it happen together.


Cassidy Williams
“When I was in 8th grade, I overheard a neighbor say, “Check out my website” on my way home from school. I didn’t realize having your own website was even possible, or know anyone in tech, but immediately looked up how to make my own.” This is an awesome piece about an awesome person.

Join us for Honeycomb Developer Week on Dec 13–15! With free hands-on training and snackable sessions, you’ll learn leading-edge observability practices in just a few hours. Find out how to debug why exactly your apps are slow for only some users. Learn to spot patterns, anomalies, and trends with distributed tracing. Tame alert noise and focus on what matters with Honeycomb. SPONSORED

A First Timer’s Journey at KubeCon
I love this review of a first timer’s remote experience of KubeCon.

Top 200 Most Common Password List 2021
“123456” Good lawd…

Cloud Native Hackathon
“Learn by doing at the Cloud Native hackathon! An initiative to bring together students, professionals, and even beginners from around the world to innovate and build projects in the domain of DevOps.”

[SAVE THE DATE] End of Year Contributor Celebration Event
“We have made another trip around the sun, and we’re all systems go for an end-of-year Contributor Celebration. This is the first email in a series of emails you’ll receive about the event.”

Activision Blizzard employees stage walkout, demand CEO Bobby Kotick step down
“Employees at video game company Activision Blizzard walked out Tuesday following a report that CEO Bobby Kotick knew about sexual misconduct claims at the company and didn’t inform its board of directors for years.”


CNCF Working Group Sets Some Standards for ‘GitOps’
“A lot of people think that they’re doing GitOps because they’re using git and they’re doing pull requests and pushing changes out,” said Leonardo Murillo, a co-chair of the GitOps working group. “We want the community to start to see that GitOps is not just CI/CD with git. There is a lot more.”

Infrastructure as Code Automation for Terrafrom and GitOps workflows
Code, No Manual Processes. Automate Terraform tasks, reduce errors and drifts, improve security and auditability of your infrastructure. env0 automates and simplifies the provisioning of cloud deployments for Terraform, Terragrunt and GitOps workflows. SPONSORED

Researchers wait 12 months to report vulnerability with 9.8 out of 10 severity rating
“Palo Alto Networks patches critical buffer overflow bug in its GlobalProtect VPN.”

Streamlabs changes name after complaint from OBS Project
Open source fights back and wins.

Linux has a serious security problem that once again enables DNS cache poisoning
Dag nabbit.

A Fulcio Deep Dive
“Cosign and Rekor get a lot of attention, but I think Fulcio is actually the most exciting part of Sigstore. This blog post explains Fulcio, how it came to be, and what it’s going to do best!”

Google Cloud Status Dashboard
Google Cloud went down and took down parts of the web with it.

Why I Hate Password Rules
“I don’t like them because they’re all different.”


Visualize all your Kubernetes clusters in one place with Amazon EKS Connector, now generally available
“With EKS Connector, you can now extend the EKS console to view your Kubernetes clusters outside of AWS. You can use the EKS console to visualize Kubernetes clusters including your on-premises Kubernetes clusters, self-managed clusters running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and clusters from other cloud providers. Once connected, you can see all of your clusters’ statuses, configurations, and workloads in one place on the EKS console.”

Pulumi: Developer-First Infrastructure
With Pulumi you can build, deploy and manage infrastructure on any cloud using familiar languages and tools. Provision infrastructure using Python, Go, JavaScript, TypeScript, and C#. Get started for free at pulumi.com SPONSORED

Dockershim removal is coming. Are you ready?
The overwhelming answer seems to be no. This concerns me.

I built a $5,000 Raspberry Pi server (yes, it’s ridiculous)
Jeff Geerling max’s out the bus on arguably the most ridiculous Raspberry Pi setup ever.

The 2021 State of the Octoverse
Python overtakes Java. TypeScript holding strong in fourth place. Ruby stays in tenth. JavaScript clear #1.

AWS re:Invent 2020: How to scale beyond limits with cell-based architectures
A must watch, in my opinion.

Living with Kubernetes: 12 Commands to Debug Your Workloads
“It doesn’t matter if you get the dreaded CrashLoopBack or other failures. The commands here will help you narrow down workload problems, so you can fix them. We’ll stick with commands that should work in any cluster, no matter where you run it.”

High-velocity, monorepo-scale workflow for Git

Upgrade everything

mail help config and dot files for mutt with Gmail on macOS (mbsync, fdm, msmtp).

Dangerously user-friendly web server for quick prototyping and hackathons

dutchcoders/cloudman Textual user interface to manage ec2 instances.

Useful sed scripts & patterns

DevOps’ish Tweet of the Week

Aeva 🖤 (@aevavoom) on Twitter) “Every time a PM says “resource” when they mean ‘person’, an angel dies.”

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