selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

Competency in software development, the hidden cost

There’s a hidden cost in the software development industry that often gets left behind by any kind of productivity metric that processes like Agile try to quantify. In fact, unless you do rigorous Agile in the sense of proper planning poker between the senior and junior developers and striving hard to have a facilitator on-board to ground the discussions and communication towards finding the balance of complexity a feature or user-story has, it will be probably impossible to pinpoint this hidden cost.

Now we all know that nobody does Agile rigorously. In fact many have “adopted” Agile to their business which basically means there’s a faux-Agile in the interest of business only hidden as a form of corrupt and evil project management. In such an environment, this hidden cost that grows can only thrive and flourish.

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round green clock at 2:20

Writing software is a creative endeavor

A few books I’ve read and in fact the majority if not all of them (from decades old Mythical Man Month to Agile Estimation and Planning or more recent) all repeat the idea that the act of creation of software is a creative endeavor in the artistic sense of the word. My years in this domain for sure confirm it and furthermore, as with any “art” if it’s not done with pleasure, it’s not worth doing.

I wanted to write this post based on a discussion with former colleagues from a previous common employer which I shall not name who had the nerves of calling to the office a big batch of employees in full pandemic rise of COVID-19 only for the reason of a top-management visit, though the same employer had 2 recent infections in the ranks of other fellow colleagues. Of course, my friends were angry for being imposed to take a risk they do not want to take and because of the “slave” mentality of the employer.

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Getting there …

Another midnight catches me tinkering away at my own little cloud on the Internet. Since renting these 6 machines in Hetzner I’ve been literally hacking away for the past month on setting things up fully automated (that means also dns-01 challenges for all my domains automated with Ansible + FreeIPA for the core services, DNS included and tightening up security).

Out of all 6 machines, given 6TB per machine accumulated 36TB on top of which I put a few volumes of Gluster, two of them as “backup” and “ha-vms-root-fs” as I called it. Understandably, one is for (local, fast recovery) backups, doh, one is to host HA VMs declared as “resources” in Proxmox so the cluster takes care of making them HA if one machine fails). The one for backups in addition to TLK (TurnKey Linux) which provides the “tlkbam-backup” cron.

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Moved on my own LXC

I’m undeniably an OCD kind of guy and a control freak by definition. Why else would I abandon the easiness of WordPress.com for hosting this blog on my own (backed-up, d’oh) LXC container on some random machine?! For control.

It’s 00:00 midnight and I’m writing this after a full week of migrating off-cloud to my own machine. I’ve recently found out about Proxmox VE, a mostly Debian-based virtualization engine based on KVM/qemu and LXC and since I’m a Debian fan, I quite jumped-in on the fact that it could be what I was potentially looking for.

For the past months I’ve been trying to put an old i7/32GB of RAM machine of mine to work. Since I have a growing kid and not much of time, I wanted something dead-easy for a homelab slash DIY/Wordpress hosting slash CI/CD machine with an Nexus (binary artifact repository) slash anything that can run in isolation. So I went off, bought 3 Western Digital HDDs, installed the Proxmox ISO making myself an RAIDZ ZFS-backed array for the upcoming VMs or containers and there you go.

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Dear open-source, stop being free

I tried to kind of ignore this problem and not write about it. But it kept appearing and reappearing on my daily Slashdot feed up to the point I’d also want to say something. We seem to have a problem that about defining what it means to be open-source and what is expected of the developers behind these projects.

Let me first start by saying I’m an advocate of open-source. I’ve tried my best to use open-source software in all my architecture designs, respecting the licenses of the products I’ve used, trying to also give feedback where it mattered (eg. Docker/moby on IPVLAN, Grafana’s Elasticsearch support and other tickets). I did this directly or through my fellow peers encouraging them to take action and feedback the community. I’ve always been thankful of the hard-work some people (not me) are putting in. I made myself small contributions, bug reports I could call them, from using the open-source software. I was thrilled to be a part of that and to contribute something that got into the next change-log as a fix (eg. Cassandra).

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Re-learning to blog

A few years ago I used to blog. I believe it to be 10+ to 15 or so years ago. It was tempting. I was an PHP developer working my way through the inter-webs and it was interesting. Everybody blogged. Blogging was hype. Blogging was awesome. You didn’t have a blog, you didn’t exist. Kind of like Facebook or Instagram now.

In the mean-time, I grew old and I do hope, more mature. Made a family. Have a 1.6 year old toddler. Thinking about blogging at night. But more than that, thinking about sharing experience. Of what I know, what I’ve tried, what’s interesting to follow, what to avoid.

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