Automation 😍

Away from the day job I have been immersing myself in DevOps land, nothing major, just exposing myself to the power of scripting, automation and the importance of dev ops. I have to say, I am loving things so far, but it has been very challenging.

I am very lucky that I have found a great mentor in the field, someone that I expect can accelerate my learning dramatically as opposed to going it alone. It helps me avoid the pitfalls and highlight what’s important and must learn etc.

I am only at the very beginning of this journey, getting hands on with Docker, containers, VPS, shell scripts and Makefiles, but the power of them is already very apparent. I am very excited to take a deep dive in each as well as going further and looking at continuous integration and continuous development.

It has actually been very refreshing to get out of javascript land, which was something i was a little anxious about initially. JavaScript (even though I am still relatively new) has become my comfort zone, I am confident there and although I don’t know everything (far from it), I get by and I can (most of the time) find a solution or at least know where to look and how to go about it.

All of this stuff is completely new, so it was tough, it reminded me of my early pains with JavaScript, but I have welcomed that pain and I am really enjoying developing my skills.

A pleasant surprise

Another part of automation, and operations in general is helping the user, I guess I knew this intuitively, but at the same time often overlooked it. Instruction, documentation and as I said helping out your users is of massive importance in operations.

In other words a lot of writing is involved, which is something I have a passion for, so alongside all of my new work and learnings I am trying to document the process and definitely see the value of that.

Any devs out there probably have already seen this value, we much prefer working with programs and packages that have thorough well written docs.

What's next?

To be blunt, to keep going, I have so much to learn, I am picking up new things daily and trying to reinforce them as much as possible too.

I have a few plans to write mini programs that will automate some of my more repetitive tasks, more specifically I want to write a program to start a new project in git. I want to be able to do everything from the command line, no browser at all, so git init in the project root already works, but we then need to go to the website and do things there, I would like to automate this if possible.

To take that a bit further. When starting with a new project I usually include a mix of packages, often the same ones, but not always, but usually a mix of a few common ones, so a program to ask if I want to install package a, b, c, d etc.

I guess I could potentially make one program to do both. Hopefully I can do this soon and get them on my projects page.