Johnathan.org

July 2015 Archives

My First Legitimate Vagrantfile

I feel like I’ve created this sort of new kind of being. Previously, I had rarely used Vagrant or Docker or anything of the sort, so the idea of being able to craft an on-demand virtual machine with whatever the hell I want inside of it was both exciting and terrifying.

Linux isn’t foreign to me, and neither is the idea of automation, but after being so accustomed to working in a Windows environment against my better judgement for several years, there was a lot of cobweb removal.

Needless to say I could have prevented the aging of my knowledge by staying up to date on every development and deployment technology I could get my hands on. There are, however, only so many hours in the day. Something had to give.

Now I’m paying for that decision as I work on slowing transitioning myself into a more software-development oriented career path. I enjoy ops-y stuff, but I like building things. I like tinkering (hacking?). My boss made a joke today about how involved I get whenever there’s a discussion about minor HTML tweaks to one of our sites.

Hey… I like that s–t.

One thing that made it easier for me to get into this new and soon-to-be-awe-inspiring technology is that I had a purpose. There was a clear goal I wanted to meet and beat.

One of our software offerings runs on JIRA. If you’re unfamiliar with the product, it’s a Java-based project management/issue tracking/development/agile tool for organize and keep track of just about anything. Software companies and app development teams are likely the largest consumers of this product. On a regular basis, my team is spinning up and burning down JIRA instances in the never-ending hunt for bug reproduction, walkthroughs, and everyday troubleshooting.

Unfortunately, installing JIRA by hand isn’t fun if you’re running a Linux box. The Windows installer is pretty hands-off but Windows is Windows.

My end goal was to be able to fire up the almighty Vagrant, have it build out a Linux image with a database, JIRA, and be ready to accept input in the browser. I piggy-backed off a couple other like-minded setups I found on GitHub so it only took a couple hours to get it doing what I wanted.

So without further ado, here’s the link. It’s a work in progress as I’d like to someday have data pre-filled and JIRA pre-installed. I’m not sure how feasible that is given JIRA’s licensing structure. For the uninitiated, the license key is unique and time-based. The key starts to wither away the moment its generated instead of the system stopping working after 30 days from install.

Next week I might try the same with Docker. I’d love to be able to manage a cluster of these types of setups that can be built up and torn down as needed with little overhead. Instead of making the pre-game ritual longer, I want to make it shorter but more enjoyable.

Point of No Return

The point at which I can’t turn back as I pivot my career is approaching. I see it coming, though, which allows me to prepare. Although I’ll never be fully ready, I know I have time to at least pack my suitcase.

Sunday Fun Day

It’s Sunday, and the one thing I enjoy doing on Sunday is watching (American) football. Since it’s still 19 days away from the Seahawk’s first pre-season game–that I might end up missing because I live in California, now, and DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket is both over-priced and only available on DirecTV–I might have to find my way to a Seahawks bar… if they even exist in the Bay Area.

If that doesn’t end up working out, my guess is it’ll be chores and projects… and games. I try to fit in some game time whenever I can because it’s relaxing for me. being able to shut off for a bit and kill some monsters is almost as good as coffee.

Leaf Turning

Ever heard the saying:

I’m turning over a new leaf?

I’d say that, but in this case, the leaf is the same one. This morning I took the time to get back into a morning routine that makes me feel the best.

I’m also working on better planning of my week, as per this video:

If you’re not doing this, do it with me. I’d love to hear how it goes.

On Docker (Briefly)

Ever since I discovered Docker, I’ve been a fan. Trying to explain Docker to the un-initiated is also fun. I describe it like so:

Docker is like a Lunchable (or bento box). The container of said Lunchable is Docker and the VM it controls. Every section inside the container is each of the apps it runs.

I try to tell folks that you use a Virtual Machine if you need to control an entirely specific environment. You use Docker if your interest is just with apps. In this day and age, trying to maintain a fleet of systems or virtual machines can be daunting.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography