Last week was a rough one for me. As you might have read in last week’s newsletter, I broken my pinky toe while out on a trail run. While I knew it was broken last Sunday thanks to an urgent care nearby and the miracle of X-rays, I didn’t know what the recovery process looked like. There is a trail race coming this Friday, and I really hoped that somehow I would be able to run it. That is not going to happen.
I went to see a podiatrist on Wednesday, and he told me that the recovery time is 4 to 6 weeks. I might be able to comfortably walk on it in a couple weeks, but doing anything strenuous would likely result in additional injury and a longer recovery time. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I get to wear this super fashionable footwear for the next 4 weeks.
Needless to say, I was feeling a bit down last week, and my productivity suffered as a result. But I have pulled myself out of the mire, and I am ready to get some good stuff cooking. I’ve just started multiple projects including a full redo of my Terraform – Getting Started course on Pluralsight, some consulting work with Terraform, and a Manning liveProject using AKS, Terraform, and Azure DevOps. My dance card is now quite full, and I think it will serve as a healthy distraction from my toe.
Here’s what going on with Ned in the Cloud this week.
This was an off week for Terraform Tuesdays, so I worked on my Python application for a GCP video I will publish this week. In a previous video, I walked through setting up self-hosted runners for GitHub Actions on GCP. The next step in the process is to have something to deploy on GCP with those runners. To that effect, I have written a simple Flask app that allows you to create polls and vote on them. It uses Flask on the front end and Google Cloud SQL on the backend. The video this week will show how to deploy the application using an instance group, secrets, and Cloud SQL.
There will be two more videos in the series after this. Once the application is being deployed successfully using Terraform, I will move it into GitHub Actions for deployment. The last video will involve setting up branches and releases to deploy updates to the infrastructure. Should be a good time!
Last week we spoke to Emily Omier about growing your open-source community. While the podcast mainly focused on open-source, I think the lessons apply more broadly to any project or product you are working to develop. Emily had some key insights around developing your messaging, working with contributors, and listening to user feedback. As someone who has read their fair share of press releases and product websites, I am constantly surprised at how badly most of them communicate what their project or product actually does. Pro tip: If I’m three paragraphs into your product copy and I still have no idea what it does, you have failed at a fundamental level. Clearly communicating what your product does and the value it provides should be top of mind for any content that is aimed at potential users.
This week we pivot to cloud security with sponsor Valtix. You may not have heard of Valtix, but you probably know some of the products the founders have worked on, including Andiamo, Big Switch, and Cisco ACI. Their basic pitch is to create a centralized security control plane for all your cloud deployments, which can provide visibility, reporting, and policy. The policy gets pushed down to their managed gateways running in your cloud environment, so your data never leaves your boundary. The coolest part is that the reporting and centralized control plane are both free! You only have to pay for any managed gateways you stand up. Basically, you can get analysis of your cloud environments at no cost. With multi-cloud becoming so prevalent, I see cloud agnostic tools as the future, and Valtix definitely sits in that category.
(See what I did there? I described what a product does and its benefit to the user in a single paragraph. Quick, someone pay me thousands of dollars!)
I missed two days last week on account of self-pity and general wallowing.