The tale of sharpening your knife skills
We are all a bunch of tech and tool nerds. We enjoy hacking out a clever solution. Finding exactly the right commands and switches to solve the challenge at hand. Sometimes we go a bit overboard. Many developers don’t think Git is something that we should tinker with. But it is!
I have taught Git many times to a wide variety of people. Usually I’m on top of my game and got answers at the ready. But one day a question stumped me: “Why should I learn Git? I’m just a software developer”. To the developer in question, I was some kind of special breed, those that enjoy tooling. And while that is true, I still believe that being proficient in Git ( or whatever inferior SCM you are currently using ) is an essential part of being a skilled developer.
I had taken it for granted that, of course, everyone should learn Git, but now I was challenged on my assumptions. What a delightful and helpful exercise for me to answer that question.
We all have expectations of software developers, be it ourselves or others. Proficiencies, understandings and competences a skilled developer should possess. Here’s a few common ones.
I think this is the least controversial of the “pillars of skill”. I expect a skilled developer to know something about the things that they are making. If you are an embedded developer this could be the trouble with interacting with hardware, working on a real Real Time system, or working with restricted resources. When developing Windows applications, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the ability to interact with Windows core features These are things you might not know when you start in a new position, they are skills you hone. They separate the rookies from the skilled developers.
Your IDE is likely the place you spend most of your time when developing software. (My condolences if that’s actually PowerPoint or SharePoint.) So to be efficient, you need to work gracefully within that setting. Do with a simple keystroke what novices do with multiple messy menus and deceptive dropdowns. Know how to tweak the configuration so that it suits your workflow and domain.
A skilled developer should be proficient with the language they work in. They understand the idioms, features and limitations of their language and know their way around the standard libraries. If I’m coding Java everywhere I’m doing it wrong.
There are a lot of items that can go in a ‘miscellaneous’ category. We, at Praqma, tend to shed light on a lot of dark corners in this area. I expect a skilled developer knows how to build and release his own software. But many places “It’s Steven who can make the release, it works on his machine”, so I might be very naive in that aspect. But If you are not able to release your piece of software, how can you bring value to the business?
Many developers are handed a toolstack, and get complacent. “The tools team has got it”. However, you need to work efficiently, and an external dependency on a separate team is not facilitating that.
So after all of these points, why do we not expect our software developers to
When I started using Git I could commit, pull and push. Merge conflicts gave me sweaty palms and I often found myself deleting a repository and cloning it again.
I also tended to have multiple versions of The Software lying around.
The_Software_02-05-17-going-home. It is clear that while I was using Git, I did not know Git.
There are many benefits to knowing Git. Here’s a few:
Being comfortable with Git’s lightweight branching model makes it trivial to go on tangents, while keeping the experiments isolated yet easily integrated.
Software Development is most fun when you are collaborating. But the ability to use the full force of Git while not being connected is very strong. You can still make many checkpoints in your history and check out previous versions. This, for many people, is reason enough to use Git.
Git branches are made for Continuous Integration and automation, so they will enable all your automation efforts. A branch can be used as a flag, a branch can make sure all automation work is isolated, and doesn’t even duplicate any data.
Git does not impose any workflow on your organization. You can choose for yourself. While this is a double-edged sword, and requires some up-front investment, it will empower you. Rather than compromising your flow to fit the tool stack, you dictate the flow and easily customize Git to suit your needs.
We do a lot of training in Git at Praqma. We’ve even done free Git Training Course and Continuous Delivery Academies for students. We also train professionals, check out our Mastering Git course. If you want to do some self study, look into our excellent Git Katas.
The Continuous Delivery and DevOps Conference in Scandinavia
Gain a deep understanding of Git, and make the most of it
When you embark on your cloud native journey there will be important choices to make about cloud providers, continuous deployment, environments’ setup and separation. This guide will help you make the right choices by sharing lessons learnt from running cloud native apps in production.
Kubernetes has become the de facto container orchestration platform. When we help clients of different sizes and domains start their cloud native journeys in Kubernetes, we assist them in making sound decisions and technology choices. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing cloud providers, CI tools, continuous deployment pipelines etc., so it is important to make the right decisions at the start. Failing to do so can be very costly in terms of lost time and money.
Start well with Kubernetes
How to make the right technical choices on your cloud native journey
Learn how Docker and Kubernetes work and the key benefits they bring. Using real demos, I show how Docker is a great packaging and distribution technology, and how Kubernetes provides a powerful runtime for containerized applications.
Video - Docker and Kubernetes in 40 minutes
Watch this introduction to Docker and Kubernetes at the Trondheim Developer Conference (TDC)
In the world of Agile and DevOps we use many figures, charts and diagrams to argue and reason about our world and how we prioritize and make choices. However, at all levels of the organization, we misuse and misinterpret figures. It’s time to be explicit, measure the right things and act on them. Watch this talk from DevOpsDays Zurich in May 2019.
Misused Figures of DevOps
Watch this talk from DevOpsDays Zurich
Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, whether you’re at the beach, in a summer house, or cozy at home. If your book backlog is on the short side, don’t worry! We compiled a list of great books for summer reading.
Six books you should read when working with DevOps
Inspiration for your summer reading list
At Praqma we believe in knowledge sharing, and we love to teach our technical expertise. Watch this series of videos to learn how traefik reverse proxy works step by step.
How to use Traefik reverse proxy
A video seminar to learn how Traefik works
What testing steps should you include in your Continuous Delivery pipeline? Don’t just string together existing manual processes - use simple, collaborative tools to design something better!
Pipeline - The Game that Delivers!
A new card game to design Continuous Delivery pipelines
In the Accelerate book, researchers explain several metrics which they have shown will measure the performance of a DevOps organization, and crucially, drive performance of the organization as a whole. I will explain why this is important, using an analogy with your risk of a heart attack.
Winning with DevOps and Reducing Your Risk of a Heart Attack
Clinical Trials and Software Process
Your repositories are cluttered, you’re storing irrelevant builds, and your disks are full. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for advice. Here’s how to set up automatic cleanup.
Artifactory Retention Policies
How to set up automatic Artifactory repository cleaning
In many security and safety critical environments there can be requirements for long-term reproducibility of artifacts that are created. In this talk from NDC Tech Town, Mike Long shows how to use Docker to create binary reproducible applications from a C++ application.
Binary Reproducible Builds
How to Create Binary Reproducible Builds using Native Build Tools and Docker
In distributed architectures networking is usually taken as a given. However, when it does not function as we expect it is often hard to understand the reason. This blog post outlines some general insights into networking with more specific techniques for understanding the networking infrastructure of a Kubernetes cluster.
Debugging Kubernetes Networking
How to Find a Needle in a Virtualized Network
Hear about upcoming events in Scandinavia, latest tech blogs, and training in the field of Continuous Delivery and DevOps