Inspired by Julia Evan’s own “2016: Year In Review” … this is the start of an archive/reflection of sorts that I hope to get into the habit of writing down every year’s end. It focuses on career growth and avoids the personal stuff.

Conferences 📝

  1. Rubyfuza (4th-5th February)
  2. DevOps Days Cape Town (7th-8th November)

Open Source 💻

Toolset 🛠

Last year I got started with DevOps sometime in October and I hit the ground running with:

  • ELK+F stack - centralise log collection for easier and fast debugging using:
    • Elasticsearch – stores and indexes logs.
    • Logstash – parses, stores and indexes logs.
    • Kibana – dashboard to access logs in Elasticsearch e.g. search.
    • Filebeat – ships logs to Logstash.
  • TIG stack - centralise metric collection, also for easier and faster debugging using:
    • Telegraf – ships metrics to InfluxDB.
    • Grafana – dashboard to access metrics stored in InfluxDB.
    • InfluxDB - stores and indexes metrics.
  • Chef – automation solution for both infrastructure and applications
  • Docker – encapsulate applications securely isolated in a container, packaged with all its dependencies and libraries.
  • Elastic Container Service (ECS) – Amazon’s container management service on AWS that supports Docker containers and allows you to run applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.

This year I maintained that momentum mostly by building upon the foundation laid in Oct-Dec last year:

  • Ansible – automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment.
  • Kubernetes – platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts, providing container-centric infrastructure.
  • Kubernetes-Kops – tool to deploy Kubernetes clusters from the command line, with options that support H/A masters (on AWS).
  • Terraform – tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently.

I’ve also gotten way way way better at:

Access Control • Amazon AWSBashContinuous DeploymentContinuous IntegrationGitLinuxNetworking • PythonRuby+RailsSecurity

The Next 8,760 Hours 🎯


  1. I learnt a lot more than what’s listed here. Unfortunately I didn’t blog much this year so this is really the best attempt at capturing the highlights that I remember.
  2. I’m not at liberty to share some of the details of the stuff I work on. There’s a lot of fun stuff that I got exposed to so that cuts out another big chunk! Hopefully, we’ll be able to set up an engineering blog to formally share work stories.