Freelance Rancher

After a brief stint at a small consultancy in Cologne I decided to go back to working as a freelance IT architect and consultant, with my favorite open source cloud projects, Rancher and Kubernetes, and everything else cloud native. I have also submitted a couple of papers to regional conferences.

From August onwards I’ll then have two more years at University, and during that time I’ll need to figure out whether I should be starting my own business, continue going solo, or try to find full-time employment again. Main goal: Get my kids through college. And enjoy my work.

On that note: I’ve passed all exams so far and am happy with the results!

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Server housekeeping

From time to time it does make sense to clean your computer systems, literally speaking.

Especially if you run them in a domestic or office setting, any system with a fan will collect dust. A lot of dust.

Nothing a can of pressurized air, a hoover and a set of baby wipes can’t fix though .

Did anyone say weekend?

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FreeBSD

Being a long-time Linux user and ardent fan of Debian GNU/Linux, I find myself more and more in a situation where I favor a BSD-style Unix over Linux.

My first real contact with FreeBSD was through the now sadly defunct Debian GNU/kfreebsd distribution, the next logical step was to set up a FreeBSD workstation (with KDE) and now there’s no turning back. One of the main benefits of using Linux over Windows was always  to have fine granular control of all the processes and steps – systemd is way too much Windows-like for my taste. Nothing against Windows – I do all my daily office work on Microsoft Windows and Office, but on my servers and workstations I want a shell prompt and full control.

I still run Debian on my GCP cloud servers, for my next server at home I’ve settled on FreeBSD though.

I did have a look at the possibility to replace systemd with SysV-init on Debian, I also looked at Devuan, but in the end the simplicity and elegance of FreeBSD won me over.

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(https://www.freebsd.org/art.html)

Inbox Zero

Today is a slow day – Friday after a bank holiday (Ascension), which most people here take off from work (including myself).

Time to appreciate my inbox. My empty inbox, that is.

Ever since I came across Inbox Zero, I tried to stick to it, most of the time. According to its inventor, Merlin Mann, it’s not so much about reducing the number of Emails in your inbox, but about reducing the time you’re thinking about the things in your inbox. From personal experience over many years of working I can fully and wholeheartedly agree – an empty inbox makes your day much less stressful!

I’ve settled on Outlook, Tasks, and OneNote to manage my work, but it’s not the tooling that makes the difference, it’s the mindset.

Give it a try – you won’t regret it!

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(Screenshot of an empty inbox, Microsoft Office 365)

Rancher 2.2 User Meetup

This week we had a Rancher User Meetup in Cologne, and Jan Bruder of Rancher introduced us to the new features in 2.2:

  • Built-in cluster and application monitoring
  • Global DNS
  • Multi-tenant catalogs
  • Backup and Restore for Kubernetes configuration (etcd)
  • Bitbucket support for pipelines

It was a great session and many thanks to Jan (and Rancher) for coming!

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(Taken at location: Gute Botschafter GmbH, Cologne)

Last Day Worked (LDW +1)

A year ago today was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As part of the many reorganizations, HPE were offering very generous redundancy packages at that time and I decided to take them up on their offer and go back to University (FOM), to study Computer Science in Cologne.

I’m now at the end of the first year, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such an enormous privilege to be able to concentrate just on learning, given my age and the fact that I have two (almost grown-up) kids.

To stay on top of all the developments around cloud computing I also work part-time at a small Cloud Consultancy, supporting customers on their journey to cloud; by now I’ve become pretty experienced on all things related to Containers and Security too. Serverless will be next!

In the process I’ve also lost over 40lbs – can’t complain! There’re still a couple of pounds to go, though …

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(At FOM, looking out from our lecture hall)

microXchg 2019

At the beginning of last week I was able to attend a conference on micro services in Berlin, microXchg 2019.

The conference took place in Kalkscheune, an events venue in a former industrial building near Friedrichstadtpalast.

The talks were a mix of in-depth workshop, regular sessions and lightning talks, spread over three parallel tracks.

Of the many talks I want to mention one, “Introduce kids to STEAM and reduce the gender gap” by Laura Luiz, discussing the progress being made by Hackdays4Girls.

Many thanks to the organizers at innoQ Deutschland GmbH – I learned a lot and will definitely come back!

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(Kalkscheune, break area)

KubeCologne

Yesterday we had the first Kubernetes Conference in Cologne, KubeCologne.

With over 150 attendees and more than 15 session I hope we were able to present a good point of view on the current state of Kubernetes and the road ahead.

There was also ample time for networking and sharing – we really hope that people were able to learn a lot and get the information they were looking for.

Thanks a lot to all who joined us, our sponsors and our film crew!

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GoDays 2019 in Berlin

This week we went to the GoDays in Berlin, a technical conference dedicated to Golang and the Gopher.

The conference had two tracks, full with great technical talks around developing in Go and running Go in public clouds or on Kubernetes; the keynote was delivered by Natalie Pistunovich (Fraudster) on The Importance of Beginners.

The organizer (Loovent) provided a great location with Factory Goerlitzer Park and went to great length to make sure that there was good food and ample opportunities for networking.

Highly recommended for 2020!

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Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is now open for the KubeCologne Conference 2019.

If you’re interested in Kubernetes and Cloud Native software development, and want to present something – this event is for you!

Submit you abstract now!

The conference will take place from February 6th to 8th in Cologne, Germany; the event will be held in the KOMED convention center, which is centrally located in Cologne’s Media Park.

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