Last week’s advice that SQL (!) is a good language for working programmers to learn early in their careers spawned plenty of comment and follow-up. One aspect that deserves more explanation is my casual characterization of SQL as “declarative”. That’s uncontroversial; it’s quite common for instructors to mention that SQL (or sometimes only its SELEC TRead More
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“What language should I learn next?” is an exceedingly frequently-asked question among programmers, sysads, and devops. Any active online forum will entertain the subject eventually, and many return to it repeatedly. My own current favorite answer is one others rarely mention: SQL. Here’s why: Conventions and assumptions This exchange is typical of the genre. NearlyRead More
SQL is a great domain for attention to performance, because it so often happens “in the wild” that a modestly altered coding boosts performance by an eye-popping factor. It’s exciting to accelerate a query that takes a day to execute, into one that finishes in five seconds. Almost all the written examples of these speed-ups,Read More
Advanced monitoring tools enhance your value as a skilled devops practitioner; they’re not a threat to replace you. That’s not the impression many executive-level decision-makers have, of course; they truly believe that the next dashboard or console will substitute for expertise, and allow them to staff datacenters with entry-level screen-watchers. From their perspective, “deskilling” isRead More
If you’re in DevOps, you need to know about expect. If you’re in DevOps, accustomed to working on nitty-gritty back-end details of datacenter configuration, and you want a quick career boost, you truly need to learn a little Expect. Expect is the real “Internet duct tape”. While that label has been applied to everything fromRead More
This is a blog post by our friends at Heroix, you can read more here: Heroix Blog Recently an article was written on the impact “Application-Aware Network Performance Management”* has on business operations. Organizations that utilize important information technology (IT) resources such as mission critical applications and systems have long known that optimized IT resources meanRead More
Provisioning a new host in five minutes rather than an hour. Licensing for variable loads slashed by a large fraction. Another ‘9’ in availability (from 99%, say, to 99.9%). Many of the potentials of a “DevOps” orientation are familiar by now among systems administrators. Not so well known are several of the time-tested techniques programmersRead More
American Airlines (AA) lost tens of millions of dollars in one day recently. ‘Still have trouble communicating to decision-makers that IT (information technology) is a serious matter? Remind them of what happened to AA. It’s not just AA, of course. Technical choices and management that sound like matters purely for specialists end up affecting hundredsRead More
Most discussions of “technical debt” understand it as something that afflicts software developers. As automation extends to system administrators, “devops”, and network managers, though, I’ve argued that they, too, will learn how technical debt feels. Here’s a simple “Puppetization” example: The curse of software: it does what it’s told, not what was intended An informationRead More
The methodology specialists at OnTechnicalDebt have the right emphasis: “technical debt” is a metaphor whose greatest power is to facilitate communication and analysis. Matt Holford, for instance, puts it concretely: “Not everyone understands test cases, aging platforms, crufty code bases, or security loopholes, but everyone understands debt …” Realization of a metaphor That quote isRead More