What? This is a title of a pretty good track? How does this connect to an IT Blog?

So it’s official now, why not blog about it? I’ll leave Endticket at the end of April, and join Hortonworks.

Why?

It has various reasons, mostly personal. Endticket is a good small startup. Period. Endticket is a fun place to work at. I just missed the scale. Since I work as a Devops Engineer, I always had the luck to work at systems wich have to perform at an amazing scale. I think this is the measurement of my interests, i mean as an engineer. Otherwise, a totally different story, but hey, this is an IT blog, so thank God I don’t have to talk about my food, music, and female preferences. Plus as you all know, Hortonworks maintains one of the biggest Hadoop distributions around. And as you all know, it’s 100% Open Source! Oh yes, working on a 100% open source system is tempting. Especially if you are a community conscious person, like me, and want to give back to the world as much as you can, making it a better place this way. “Because human knowledge belongs to the world , like the works of Shakespeare or Asprin”. Yes, this is a quote, a cheesy one, but reflects my opinions on software engineering perfectly.

Also what about your Open Source stuff?

I won’t abandon anything. Especially not Openduty. I’ve got plans, huge plans. Check this domain. https://www.openduty.com . Yes I plan to build a hosted SAS service for it. Would you be interested in such a thing, dear Reader?

Long time, no see. Don’t worry, I’m not dead, not even remotely dead. I’m just pretty busy. I’m actually working on great stuff at work and some great music when not at work. But this is a tech blog, so let’s talk about code, and infrastructure.

Lately I do a lot of coding in ruby because of logstash, some node, because it’s still great stuff, and obviously Python.

Ruby and Logstash:

We started to use Logstash, in our central logging solution, that’s not any kind of a secret. But not all of the needed plugins were available, or up to date. So these two were born:

Node:

Oh I did lots of stuff in node lately, The majority of them are already open, the minority never will be. But believe me, it’s great stuff, with zipstreams and ceph involved, and token based authentication. You can guess what it does. We use Hipache for load balancing, it’s a great piece of software, i just had to tweak some nuts and bolts around it, For example it’s web based admin interface, or the healthcheck system around it. The other part where I have been deeply active lately, is monitoring and alerting as always. In this case this nice little thingie, which happened to be abandoned, sadly. It just needed some care, and someone to take the dust off it and not it’s more shiny than ever. Basically, it’s a service to monitor your site’s uptime and alert when the site goes down.

Python:

The Openduty related pythonic part of my life goes on, and so does tweaking some internal stuff in the backend of Endticket, but to mention some interesting stuff also, did you ever want some centralized control dashboard where you could for example trigger new container builds, deploy some code, see deployed versions, maybe initiate some DB backups, or add new users to your VCS? We’re building something like this, and when we get to the point, it’ll be open, I promise.

Wanna be smart?

Also, after working on open source, i want to turn in some of the earned positive karma. Do you want to work on great stuff, or maybe work with me? Endticket is looking for cats who code and have Linux sysadmin skills!

I did a short presentation about openduty at Cloud Budapest approximately a month ago about my beloved open source project Openduty. It’s a talk about alerting, monitoring, why we need those, how does it apply to the growing business requirements, and about the project itself.

The slides are in english, the talk was in hungarian. I hope you’ll enjoy both of them.

Slides:

Recorded presentation:


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

And a nice little picture taken before the talk

After almost 2,5 years of never ending fun and hard work, at the end of February I’ll leave one of the greatest tech companies of central Europe, Ustream.

Why?

I haven’t been fired, and I haven’t gone insane neither, I just had a great opportunity, to work at a startup from almost the very beginning. And my good old ego wouldn’t allow me to let this opportunity slip away. I think at my age(I’m 23, doh, so old[no, not really), you have to take some risk. I enjoyed every moment of this 2,5 years at Ustream, and thanks for them again, for being as awesome as they are. I Love you all guys, and I always will.

So, what now?

So, I’m starting to work at Endticket from March, as the Infrastructure guy of the company, and start to establish new and polish existing processes and workflows related to build, deployment, monitoring, alerting, uptime and so on, you know the usual stuff, in the name of Devops.

And what will happen to the open source stuff built at Ustream?

I won’t abandon any of my open source projects. I’ll remain to be the maintainer of Openduty, Specialist, and Errbit Proxy. Plus, expect some Slack related hotness to arrive until the end of February, because I want to see that stuff open sourced, as long as I have the chance to do so.

Misc

I already have some pretty crazy and useful stuff in mind to build there, and the good news is: Everything not tightly coupled to the business logic will be open sourced, because of the previously mentioned Ego related craziness of mine. And open source is good for the company as well.

So Endticket, here we go soon!

image

So I just came back from the sunny Barcelona yesterday, and I have to admit, Barcelona is az amazingly beautyful city. But more importantly Velocity is an amazing conference. This post will be a short recap from my point of view grouping my key takeaways from that conference.

Open source tools:

So my favourite topic, I’ve heard great talks about tools we already know and love, like Etsy’s very own nagios-herald, and some new ones i didn’t really hear about yet, but was totally amazed by, let this be just a short list, and check them out yourself:

Commercial tools:

I’ve seen some pretty awesome commercial tools, which were new for me and blew my mind as well. Let’s progress with a list which one is not odered, because i can’t decide order based on awesomeness.

  • Ruxit What Ruxit does is the following: It has an agent on your box, and monitors your system, this is really common for a monitoring system, right ? :) But the mindblowing little added value comes here: They call it contextual alerting. So, it creates correlations between incidents, so when you get hit by an alert you can see what was the root cause, what was the problem that originated from that roout cause, and the other little failing checks that originate from the same root as well. Saves lots of time for on call guys. Awesomesauce, right?
  • Cedexis Cedexis provides free R.U.M solution, and a paid Load balancing service. What Cedexis does, is they collect the network data in they free RUM tier, so they have a global map of the network traffic. And based on that, believe it or not, they provide the best routing between your service and the enduser. DNS load balancing based on global metrics, well this is my reaction:

image

Technologies:

We’ve heard lots of great talks around various technological topics, covering containers, anomaly detection, an particularly good talk by Google’s very own Ilya Grigorik about optimizing TLS performance. Just WOW.

Theoretical stuff:

As I mentioned before, we had great talks in the topic of anomaly detection, and oh boy, fiddling with time series comes with glorious amount of deep deep math, the talk by Arun Kejariwal was heavy on math, but I enjoyed every moment of it. The other anomaly detection talk was by the guy, who is highly recognizable by his ever changing facial hair, Theo Schlossnagle, the summary of his talk can be found here. We also heard pretty good amount of talks around microservices, deployment, and uptime monitoring.

Linux Containers

Linux containers are a really hot topic nowadays, and it’s totally understandable why. It’s the ops equivalent of the microservice oriented code. And as so, it’s meant to serve as a backbone of a microservice oriented infrastructure. There was a presentation, which one ripped apart the real meaning of linux containers, how they really work, and what docker, or LXC actually abstract away from the enduser. Slides The other great tutorial in this topic was about Core OS and Kubernetes.Material at Github

Summary

To summarize, I learned a lot, networked a lot, met lots of nice people, and enjoyed the show maximally. I’m really thinking of going back next year as well.

This post is just my personal opinion, I don’t want to tell You , to finish or don’t finish university, it’s up to You to decide. Thanks.

So, it’s official now, I’m an university dropout. And actually I don’t really mind it.

Why?

  • You don’t have to have a CS degree of any level to be a great engineer.
  • Mathematics was lectured on a high standard, it was cool like this, but sadly, you can’t say the same about programming at all. We only had programming courses, because we had to have them (you know, CS faculty.).
  • lots of the material (approx. around 90% in Hungary, on ELTE) is basically useless to someone, who has seen some code before university. I’ve picked up that 10% of the material, that I’ve found useful, so I’ve wasted no time
  • Instead of the 90% useless material I can learn 90% useful stuff. For example Go, I’m into learning Go right now.
  • Since i work at my current place, I took 2 passive semesters, because I wanted to focus on the things i do there. I like to work on problems, and learn useful stuff a lot more, than to sit at a course and listen to a class about “How to write a class in Java” 4 hours long (it’s a true story actually)
  • I don’t want to state, that you don’t need deep theoretical knowledge to be a great software engineer, but you can learn the needed material on your own, maybe it will be a bit harder, but it can be done. Have you ever heard of coursera? I’m pretty sure you all did.
  • Experience is worth more than the diploma

Basically I had to make a choice, go to night course after work (giving up work was not even on my mind, I love it way too much), and give up on every spare time, pet project, social activity. Well you see my point,I think. So that was it.

As an Infrastructure Engineer lately I’ve the lovely task to develop new, or select existing Open Source tools which fit our needs at Ustream, and even extend them to fit our needs better. Such tools have a massive potential to improve developer productivity in many ways, and I’m a developer, I want to be productive, and I want to help other devs to be more productive too. This is why I love it so much. I remember how astonished I was, when I used for example Vagrant for the first time. My reaction was an immediate WOW. It was a really cool experience, to be honest, not to speak of more “visually intense” tools like Graphite. After that , I went to Monitorama, and I still refer to it, as the most inspiring conference I ever visited. I fell in love with tools there irreversibly. Now more than 1,5 years have passed since then, and now I can proudly tell, I’ve got my (at least partially) own tools.

The first ever tool i had the chance to work on was Errbit, which is an error logging and aggregation service, like airbrake.io . I really enjoyed working on it, and working with it, because it solved a real problem, logging errors can be hard.

Then came GitLab, which is a super awesome self hosted git repository management thingy, something like Github enterprise , just for free.

And then the totally own stuff : Openduty which is the result of the first ever Ustream Hackathon (see previous post).

After that I even had the chance to contribute to some awesome piece of code written written by one of my best friends working at Prezi called Changelog

And I’m still working on great stuff inside and outside the office. So yes, tools are awesome, and make life more awesome too, if they are used well. Automation makes life better, so:

image

There was a the first ever Hackathon held at Ustream a good month ago, this is just a short summary about my experiences, and how fun it was.

Long story short, i led a team named Call of Duty and we reached the 4. place out of 12 teams, so it was a pretty decent achievment, i’ve got to say.

The story of the Hackathon, you have an idea, you collect your team, and you get one day to make a working protoype based on your idea. We wrote an alerting and incident escalation application, much like Pagerduty, and it is free, so the name DutyFree was absolutely trivial.

Soon you’ll find the source code on Ustream’s github account, we just got to clean it up a little. Here is a good photo taken at 4 a.m of the team.

Előadtam 2014.03.25. este a Balabitnél tartott PHP Meetupon a hibákról, Airbrake.io-ról, Errbitről, és arról, hogy a Ustreamnél mit csinálunk a hibáinkkal.. Aki lemaradt, és átélné az élményt, ahogy prezentálok, az most megteheti. Recorded:


Video streaming by Ustream

A prezentációm:

So after 4 years i decided to move from Byethost(i also deleted my EC2 instance at the same time btw.) to Digital Ocean. I also decided to give up wordpress and give Octopress a try. It was easy to set up, and finally i have a nice static super fast blog set up. I was getting tired of having a box on EC2 to do stuff, and have another one to host my blog, now it’s all in one place and feels much better. And thanks for DigitalOcean for their awesome pricing, which is more than affordable.YAY.