A cautionary tale of DevOps negligence & why it should be at the heart of any project

After recently finishing up a HUGE terraform refactor, I was left reflecting on why it’s essential to establish DevOps principles at the start of any large project; and the horror stories that can happen when it’s not.

Over the last decade, DevOps has gone from strength to strength and proven itself as a core component to many success stories. However despite this, in my experience as a software and cloud consultant, it’s still frequently overlooked and ignored in favour of application development.

I’m…


Time for a new type of data storage

Amazon Timestream is AWS’s newest addition to their storage offerings. It’s a fast, scalable, and serverless time series database; something in my experience both the community and businesses have been clamoring for.

Recently I spent an afternoon testing out Timestream and I thought I’d share what I learned during that time and my initial impressions.

What is a time series database?

A time series database is a system optimised for storing and serving time series data. A time series being a sequence of records represented as data points over an interval. …


My top 10 guide on the AWS services I think all AWS developers should know.

AWS is huge. With its multitude of services and continuous updates AWS is a playground for developers, but the sheer scale of it can be overwhelming for newcomers.

This is why I have put together a handy guide on my Top 10 AWS services, that I think all AWS developers should know; regardless of whether you are working on big data, machine learning, web apps, IoT, or networking, because you’ll likely need to interact with them at some point.

In no particular order, here are…


This is a step by step guide on how to set up Amazon Connect in under 30 mins

Amazon Connect enables you to have your own virtual call centre, where agents can log into and receive calls from clients via a web portal using only a pair of headphones.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of Amazon Connect then I suggest you checkout my recent high level summary on it first.

This demo does require you to already have an AWS account set up, ideally with admin level permissions to provision the required services.

If you’ve got that…


Create a virtual cloud based call centre through AWS Connect.

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/connect/

Recently I found myself spending some time with some of the less well known AWS services, and I wanted to draw attention to just how great some of these services are.

One of them, AWS Connect, has proven to be an interesting use case.

With the growing demand to work remotely, it has seen increased usage during the COVID-19 outbreak. It allows companies to create a virtual cloud based call centre, that enables and empowers staff to answer from anywhere they have access to a PC.

A cloud based call centre?

AWS Connect markets itself as “an omnichannel cloud contact center”, but what does that…


Source: https://aws.amazon.com/events/summits

What was a virtual conference like?

Now that I’ve written up each talk, I thought I’d write a bit about what attending a virtual conference was like?

The first thing I noticed is that all the videos were pre-recorded, rather than live streams. This meant that there was no back and forth with the presenters, and that any questions were instead answered by an “AWS Expert” via a text chat. That definitely didn’t give me a feeling of being part of something in the same way a conference would. However it did mean that there were no latency or connection issues. …


Source: https://www.headwaters.co.jp/

Having originally come from a Data Science and ML background, before focusing on Cloud implementations and Serverless, I was interested in AWS AI Specialist Solutions Architect Julian Bright’s talk on Machine learning ops: DevOps for data science.

Ops, Ops, Ops

MLOps (Machine Learning Ops) is another new term, following the pattern of DevOps and GitOps (not to forget DevSecOps, DataOps, AIOps, and anything else you can append “Ops” onto), that I’m seeing more and more in the industry.

MLOps largely revolves around solving similar issues as DevOps does — deployments. …


Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/qjnAnF0jIGk

What is Best Practice?

While I have my own opinion of best practice, I think it’s good to constantly check your standards against peers and industry leaders to ensure you haven’t fallen behind.

Therefore I decided to dial into AWS Solution Architect Loh Yiang Meng’s talk: CI/CD at scale: Best practices with AWS DevOps services at the AWS Online Summit US & Canada in May 2020.

Overall I felt that this talk was best pitched for those unfamiliar with the AWS CICD tools, as he gave a good overview of the AWS Developer tools (Code Commit/Build/Deploy/Pipeline), and how these integrate with each other. …


Souce: https://unsplash.com/photos/6Vg8N8u61aI

What’s hard about containers?

I tend to work with a lot of enterprise clients and, as much as I believe in and desire modern workflows with Kubernetes, Flux, and GitOps; my experience has been that many enterprise clients are still stuck in the traditional delivery format and have a tentative understanding of containerization and microservices.

I believe this is due to the business concept of an “application” being easier to comprehend as a single monolithic codebase rather than a set of loosely coupled microservices. …


Source: https://aws.amazon.com/events/summits/

As someone who’s spending more and more time with kubernetes and but has only dipped my toe into GitOps, I was interested to hear what the AWS approach would be to GitOps.

Therefore, I dialled into AWS Solution Architect Jason Umiker’s Kubernetes GitOps on AWS, at the AWS Summit Online, May 2020.

This talk did not disappoint.

I’ve become a Flux convert.

After covering the basics concepts of CICD we went straight into an overview of Flux, the GitOps operator for Kubernetes and part of the CNCF; and what GitOps actually means to a workflow, mainly being able to control…

Joel Lutman

Tweets @joellutman. Cloud & Data Engineer ☁️ Certified AWS CCP, SAA 🌍 Terraforming at github.com/jhole89 🐟 Director of Manta I

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