My first few weeks at NEWMEDIA have certainly been exciting!
I have been enjoying meeting and collaborating with my new colleagues and getting settled in. The team is very talented and after working here for a few weeks it is no surprise to me that the Denver Business Journal awarded NEWMEDIA as one of the “Top Denver-Area Software Developers”. It has been a whirlwind introduction to technologies, processes, and methodologies that are very new to me. Applying my fifteen years of operational systems implementation and design into my new role as a DevOps Engineer presents a pretty big challenge. For me, working to grok the new technologies and methodologies is something that I am enjoying wholeheartedly.
Kevin Bridges has graciously taken the time to get me rolling with git, chef, rspec, kitchen, and most importantly employing a test driven development (TDD) processes from the very beginning. I credit using a TDD methodology as one of the reasons I was able to effectively get our varnish chef recipe going. TDD requires you to really focus on what you are trying to achieve from the very beginning and is helping me avoid the pitfalls associated with implementing too much functionality all at once. It is a really great way to approach a task as, in the past, I would go about addressing an issue in the reverse order. Ending up writing a test verses starting with one and writing to the code that. In my opinion it is a much cleaner an ultimately effective way to work. I can see myself struggling to internalize it for awhile but I am sure it will certainly pay off ten-fold once I do.
Two tools that I have been recently introduced to and have become instantly indispensable (seriously I could not live without them now) are https://github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh and http://www.sublimetext.com/ . I would strongly suggest checking them out if you have not looked at them.
It has been a heck of a couple of weeks with lots of new information and processes to learn (and some old bad habits to forget). I am working to finish up our varnish recipe as well as jump into our nmdbase project to help expand it to cover more platforms and functionality. Please take a look at the projects as they are both freely available on http://github.com/ and send any suggestions that you may have.