Weekly Newsletter – 9/27/2021
Last week I spent some time in Draper, UT – about 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake City – at the new Pluralsight HQ building for the annual Author Summit. The summit is only two days long, but the Pluralsight team packed in a ton of great sessions and social time for authors and staff to mingle and learn from each other. I came back from the trip feeling energized and excited to create new educational content for y’all.
There are three main takeaways I had from the trip:
- Video courses are not enough – People learn by doing, and Pluralsight is focused on making interactive labs that seamlessly weave into their courses.
- Live video is more engaging – I kind of knew this based on my YouTube experience and a talk from Simon Allardice further cemented that feeling while providing practical guidance for incorporating it into my courses.
- In-person events aren’t going anywhere – This was the first in-person event I attended since the pandemic started and the difference between Author Summit and virtual conferences was stark and sobering. We might have convinced ourselves that virtual was good enough during the height of the pandemic, but last week showed me what a pale version of in-person these virtual events were.
I covered these takeaways in more detail during my Daily Check-In episodes, two of which I recorded while in Utah. Fun fact: my carry-on bag got flagged for additional inspection both ways due to the Rode Podcaster mic looking like something suspicious. On the way home, the TSA agent even did the chemical wipe to test for possible explosives. No offense dude, but it’s pretty clearly a microphone even on the X-ray scan. Ah, the perils of being a traveling podcaster.
Here’s what going on with Ned in the Cloud this week.
YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/NedintheCloud/
Last week was an off week for Terraform Tuesdays, so I was working on demos for future videos. I’ve got a few interesting things in the hopper:
- GitHub Actions with GCP part 2 – Wherein we use our self-hosted runners to provision infrastructure and a Python application in GCP using Terraform.
- Libvirt – Still trying to get all the things working with the Libvirt provider from the Terraform registry.
- Local Values – As part of the Terraform Basics series, I am going to do a video on local values.
This week I will be publishing the Local Values video. It will likely be a relatively short video, because local values are just not that complicated. They are local values you define in your configuration to make life easier and that’s about it. But it’s important to understand the scope of local values, how they are different from input variables, and different strategies for placing them in your files.
I am writing my own Python app for the GitHub Actions video. This is completely unnecessary. I could just grab any example Flask app and run with it. However, it (a) gives me an excuse to learn more about Python and (b) gives me a chance to write an example app I can use for other demos that is mine and mine alone.
Day Two Cloud – https://daytwocloud.io
Making the move from individual contributor to a management position is not an easy path to walk. In previous episodes, Ethan and I shared our stories, and we chatted with two people who have made the transition successfully. This time we’re talking to Shelley Benhoff, who not only spent some time in management, but has also created courses for Pluralsight about being a better manager. Shelley is a burgeoning podcaster in her own right, with her show Tiaras and Tech launching at the end of October. Check out the episode and keep an eye on her forthcoming podcast launch!
This week we have a sponsored episode with Akamai to talk about how they helped IBM Cloud restructure their public facing portal and API. IBM Cloud went from having region specific portals backed by a monolithic app without any CDN to a single unified portal using microservices leveraging Akamai services for CDN and more. I love it when we get to dig into a real world example of how technology evolves and migrates. Both Tony Irwin from IBM and Pavel Despot from Akamai were candid and transparent about the challenges they faced and how they solved them. These are the type of conversations I love to have on Day Two Cloud!
I skipped Wednesday last week, since I was on a plane, in the air. Something told me my fellow passengers wouldn’t appreciate me trying to record a podcast mid-flight.
- Brevity and Efficiency – How can I slim down my instruction while still maximizing content?
- In-person Isn’t Going Anywhere – Virtual doesn’t hold a candle to in-person.
- Better Learning Through Video – Apparently people engage better with a face than a slide.
- Thoughts on Tech Startups – I’d recommend embracing SaaS, cloud-native, and cloud-agnostic. You know, ALL the buzz words.
Highlighted episode – I thought my episode on Tech Startups was pretty relevant to anyone looking to get into the field or evaluate a product.
Top Five Cloud Posts:
- Canonical Gives Admins a Little More Time – You’ve got Ubuntu 14.04 for a couple more years.
- Good News! No more passwords at all – Now generally available for everyone.
- Bad News! Your passwords are compromised – Dammit Autodiscover! You know better.
- Give the Developers What They Want? – If what they want is a platform…
- Web 3 and NFTs – I’m sure this thread will age well.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! If there’s something you’d like to see in my newsletter, please let me know.