Friday, 28 October 2016

Personal Blog 4

This post cover my 7th and 8th weeks at the QA Academy. At this point I am deep into my DevOps training. I have spent the last two weeks working with Docker primarily, this is a container management system which functions a bit like Puppet but better. We began the first week covering the basics of the Docker with the aim of doing a group project where we would continue the trend of installing a software suite automatically using the new program. I was excited for this as I was set to be the project manager and everything, we even had a team name (Team Blubber). Sadly is was not to be as it was decided that this would work better as an individual project. This proved to be even more of a problem for me personally as I was away for the Wednesday and Thursday of that week to attend my graduation which was when the project began.

Graduation was an interesting break from work, I ended up going down to London on the Tuesday evening and stayed at the house of a group of friends still studying for their Masters degrees. It was a great opportunity to catch up with people even if the guy who I had originally asked to stay with had disappeared off that day without telling anyone so I had to wander around Soho looking for another person to let me in. The actual ceremony was rather tedious due to the number of babies in the audience but wandering around in a gown all day was fun. Unfortunately that night I picked up a cold which has plagued me even up to now at the end of the two weeks.

So then I returned to QA full of cold, coughing my lungs out and two days behind on the docker project. So all in all it was not the best Friday of my life. We then spent the next week continuing to work on the project, with multiple deadline extensions being applied which allowed me to catch up well enough. We also began working on our interview technique for when we are ready to be deployed. We had some lectures and some sessions in which we practiced simply having a conversation. We have also been given an indication as to where we may be heading after our training is finished. I am being sent off to Ipswich to do AWS  cloud things for a company called Kcom. This is a pretty unique opportunity as everyone else is going to London for various roles. I may even be able to live with my uncle in Colchester for cheap accommodation. All in all I would say that I am excited to move forward into the world of cloud technology.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Personal Blog 3

This post comes at the end of week 6 of studying at the QA academy. 2 weeks ago I was informed of my specialisation within the academy. This was chosen by a dark and mysterious process which seems to have little to do with our personal preferences and probably more to do with some kind of dice rolling. That is not to say I am disappointed with the selection, for whilst I had initially pushed for DevOps, I was selected for AWS Cloud which I am quite happy with. So there I was thinking about all of the cool cloud things I will be doing, when it turns out the cloud people are basically doing DevOps anyway for the first 4 weeks. So ultimately I ended up getting what I originally wanted anyway.

The past two weeks have primarily been spent working on a group project based around using puppet to do what we did in the original CI module back in week 2. That project was completed in two days individually. This time we had a group of 5 people and two weeks to do basically the same thing. Turns out that puppet is a bit more complicated than just using bash scripts (not that there weren't a lot of bash scripts to be written anyway. So after large numbers of setbacks errors, red text etc. we finally managed to produce a working automated installation through vagrant and puppet. Then we upgraded to puppet enterprise which broke everything and set us back to square one on most of the modules.

I feel like this has been a highly educational module in the value of knowing what is going on. I personally spent a day and a half trying to install Zabbix from a .iso file only to conclude that it was basically impossible to automate the procedure. At which point we mentioned this to the instructor who told us to download a completely different file and start from the beginning. Equally it turns out that files consisting of nothing but text can apparently contain additional information which they don't tell you about until you are 15 minutes into a test installation and a syntax error is called. We then had 3 different people combing a file for an invisible question mark for about 3 hours. It didn't show up until we copied and pasted the text into another text editor...

So in conclusion DevOps is a slow and painful process fraught with errors and I look forward to continuing to watch copious amounts of green and red text flow past on a screen.