Back in October, I finally took and passed the CKAD exam. This was a great experience overall and I’d like to study for, possibly take exams for other things. I was hoping there was some kind of cert for Istio, but I don’t see anything like that yet. In the meantime, I may look at something AWS-related. Another exam I’ve thought about has been the CISSP.

HOPE 2020

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This is just fawning praise for HOPE 2020. I’ve never been to HOPE period, and did not really know what to expect given that this year it was virtual. I just knew I wanted to go to HOPE, since it’s only every 2 years and I live so far away from NYC, so this was a really good opportunity.

So I plunked down my cash and took a gamble. I actually realized late in the day of the first day of the conference that it was going on, so I knew I’d have to play catch up and I would be in the car most of the first Sunday of the conference, driving several hundred miles back to the house (we spent some time in South Dakota).

When I got on, and got things set up – I was so impressed by what they had done. They tried to use nearly all libre everything – for instance, using BigBlueButton and Matrix + Element/Riot. And for something without sponsors all over it – it was slick overall – things started on time, MCs did a good job in between, there were hilarious/interesting bits of video running in between sessions, theme music for the conference that an artist had done, and so on. And the people that were in the chatrooms – definitely a very interesting bunch.

They put up most of their content here, as well! So, if you missed it outright, or like me, had to work during the conference, you can catch up at your leisure.

Towards the end of the conference – they did a talk about how they pulled it off, too.

Overall, I’m just in awe of these guys. I hope they make it through COVID ( I signed up for the conference and the digital lifetime subscription to try to help out), and I look forward to what they do in 2021.




Well, UberConfX just wrapped up. I feel really lucky to be living in the same area that this excellent conference just happens to be held in every year and to have had employers that have seen their way toward assisting their talent in their constant journey of learning that this industry requires.

I’ve been going to NFJS events on and off over the years since 2003 or 2004, and they really do seem to be getting better and better each time, and this year was no exception.

The content was very good and very exciting, and as always, I’m excited to go back to work refreshed, reinvigorated and in some ways feeling validated in some recent decisions we have made in the technology sphere. I’m also ready to try out some new ideas, and maybe even to start to work on some new certifications .

But I’m also very, very tired after such a treasure trove of information is being fed to me for three days. I’m tired in a good way, though. 🙂

LNAV – The Log File Navigator

Like any other developer out there, it seems I have to read logs. A lot. And not all of them are aggregated into something like ELK. Many are sitting on disk somewhere, and often they are large and they span rolling versions, are compressed, and so on.


This tool – lnav ( – seems to do quite a nice job of making that task much, much easier. I hope to get more proficient with its use, but it sure offers a lot of very nice features. I especially like the idea of being able to navigate chronologically with shortcuts.



I need to sometimes use an X11 application that runs on certain VMs for work, making use of port forwarding. Sometimes, I’m doing that work over a rather slow VPN. Doing this can be a painfully slow experience, due to the inefficiencies of the X11 protocol. To address this in the past, I’d use VNC, but I don’t like VNC as much.

Recently, I’ve tried out Xpra, and I can see a noticeable difference in the UI experience over a slow connection. All that was required was installation of xpra on the server, and installation on the client – in this case, MacOS, which was easy as doing:

brew cask install xpra

After that, starting up my application was as easy as:

xpra start ssh:user@host --start=myapp

Xpra home page:

Kubernetes observation – bare metal

One thing I’ve noticed when moving on up this Kubernetes learning curve I’ve been on recently is that there is a tendency to use the label “bare metal” in reference to Kubernetes that is self-hosted and not using one of the cloud offerings. At first that is confusing, and I still don’t agree with overloading a term that has decades of prior use, but now that I understand that some use it this way, it sure makes understanding what people are saying a lot clearer.