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Paul Nasrat

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DevOps talk at London Java Community [Jul. 17th, 2010|07:08 pm]
Rumors of my disappearance into a void are somewhat overrated.

I was invited to talk at the London Java Community on DevOps, I decided for that community it'd be good to have some examples with some code in. Fortunately my previous employers have open-sourced some of the frameworks used including their version of feature switches and a handy log configuration servlet.

It was good to catch up with old colleagues from ThoughtWorks, the London DevOps community and also meet new people.

The slides and talk are my own work, and do not represent the opinions of my employer...

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Puppet Camp 2009 [Oct. 4th, 2009|02:06 am]
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I have to say I've really enjoyed Puppet Camp. It's a reinvigorating experience, despite the jetlag, to meet up with smart, passionate and engaged operations people from all walks of life. My highlight really has been the people, and that's what I love about smaller unconferences is that you can meet everyone and everyone has something to contribute. Agile 2009 was great to go to, but I personally find I get more from smaller events.

I was happy to see the wide range of companies both in terms of size and domains who are using puppet and thinking about how to improve operations and systems engineering. San Francisco is an awesome city, and I've enjoyed finding some little havens of coffee drinking bliss, good food, fantastic cocktails and shopping heaven in my limited explorations so far.

Unfortunately I was a little nervous during my talk, which I'm pretty sure comes down to tiredness. I need to write up in more depth. For now here are my slides, video should be up shortly - I was really impressed by time to put up initial video by SFSU, and then them cleaning up the audio for the re-push.

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Agile Operations - Thoughts on Operations Testing [Aug. 19th, 2009|09:03 pm]
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When we talk about agile systems practices the subject of testing often comes up. In the development world practices such as Test Driven Development and Behaviour Driven Development provide a supporting practice to enable iterative development, make change safe (enabling refactoring), and provide a way to do just enough to deliver what is asked for.

It's important to look at why developers test in order to think about what the enabling practices in systems and operations is. For those not familiar with test-driven development Nat and Steve have a great introduction in their forthcoming book: http://www.mockobjects.com/book/tdd-introduction.html

I think about tests for systems administration in terms of what they provide both in terms of quality and confidence. Coming up with the right language to describe testing for operations is hard.

I've seen a lot of development teams internally struggle with the naming of what Nat and Steve call Integration Tests and Acceptance Tests (Functional Tests, Customer Tests, System Tests). If we agree with the premise that testing types a certain level is desirable for operations teams then we should focus on what we achieve by that and a first step approach. It's also important to have a clear language that everyone can understand what you mean - so if your team is using Integration Tests to mean something specific, then don't use that language to mean something different in operational testing.

It's important to think about what the different test levels give you and how that maps to operations/systems engineering. Also we're hitting the fact you illustrated that testing and monitoring are conflated. For development internal quality of code driven by unit tests enables ease of understanding and ease of change. If we want to have a practice in operations that makes our intent clear and enables ease of change this is not monitoring.
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Agile Systems Administration Slides from Manchester Geek Night [Aug. 7th, 2009|02:09 pm]
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I spoke in Manchester last night, it was nice to be back in the city I spent five years failing to get a degree in. It's the place I first started working in systems at the Faculty of Arts helpdesk, first exposure to gopher, lynx, usenet and the web, and where I installed my first Linux systems.

The venue was the Kilburn building and the area outside the room had displays of Baby which was nice.

The group was small and mostly dominated by sytems people, I felt it went better than my previous talk on this at skills matter - I was more focussed and I think the presentation was more polished. Following we went on to the SandBar for good beer and further discussion.

Thanks to ThoughtWorks for inviting me up and putting me up in Manchester.

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Talking in Manchester [Aug. 1st, 2009|11:20 am]
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I'm giving a talk about Agile Systems Administration in Manchester on Thursday August 6th.

http://manchestergeeknights.wetpaint.com/page/Agile+Systems+Administration

If you're in the area and interested in agile practices, developer and operations relationships, automated infrastructure and continual deployment you can sign up on upcoming.
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Event: London Talk and Discussion on Agile Systems [Apr. 14th, 2009|04:36 pm]
I'm giving a talk and discussion on Agile Systems Administration and Infrastructure at Skills Matter on April 23rd.

http://skillsmatter.com/event/agile-scrum/agile-pragmatic-systems-administration
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Fosdem 2009 [Jan. 17th, 2009|10:31 am]
I finally got organinsed and booked going to FOSDEM, I didn't get there last year and am looking forward to it. Hopefully get a chance to catch up with some people.

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting
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A new entry into the state driven config management field [Jan. 16th, 2009|09:55 am]
Whilst reading my daily blog roll I noticed that Ezra posted about a new configuration management tool chef and fact gatherer project ohai from the guys as opscode.

There is more details on the wiki, and I'm interested in finding out design differences to puppet and facter. An initial look at ohai looks good - JSON output of facts leads to clearer ability to collect nested facts than namespacing ipaddress_eth0.

chef looks to use ruby rather than an external dsl for it's cookbooks (recipes).
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Puppet gets Continuous Integration [Dec. 1st, 2008|08:43 pm]
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Whilst I was caught up with the day job (long, long commutes ...) Puppet seems to have got itself a CI setup:

http://reductivelabs.com/trac/puppet/wiki/PuppetContinuousIntegration

If you have a weird and wonderful os you want hosted in it for functional/integration testing follow the instructions.
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puppetdoc goodness [Nov. 20th, 2008|10:19 am]
More puppet goodenss from masterzen in the form of improved puppetdoc allowing inline manifest documentation:

http://reductivelabs.com/trac/puppet/wiki/PuppetManifestDocumentation

Sample output here:

http://www.masterzen.fr/puppet/rdoc/index.html
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