Add a Must-Have Tool to Your DevOps Toolbelt

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Isaque Pereira from Pexels

I will come clean: I began using GitHub Actions only recently and I want to make amends. I missed out, possibly because CI/CD Actions became generally available only in late 2019 and by then I was already well-acquainted and satisfied with other tools I used for ~5 years. Not trying something new just because the good ol’ stuff works is, indeed, against my own principles and overall a very bad idea. So eventually I tried the GitHub Actions and found them to be amazing!

GitHub Actions offer a complete and powerful set of functionalities, a lot of extensions are available…


Because sometimes simple tasks require advanced techniques

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

I love Terraform for many reasons. One of them is the documentation. Oftentimes I only need to copy & paste snippets from the docs and change a few settings to deploy a resource.

So deploying a Lambda function on AWS should be as easy as using this snippet from the official documentation:

resource "aws_iam_role" "iam_for_lambda" {
name = "iam_for_lambda"

assume_role_policy = <<EOF
{
...
EOF
}

resource "aws_lambda_function" "test_lambda" {
filename = "lambda_function_payload.zip"
function_name = "lambda_function_name"
role = aws_iam_role.iam_for_lambda.arn
handler = "exports.test"

source_code_hash = filebase64sha256("lambda_function_payload.zip")

runtime = "nodejs12.x"

environment {
variables = {
foo = "bar"
}
}
}

…not…


Add Docker Hub Credentials and Prosper. AWS CodeBuild Instructions Included.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Matthew Cooksey on Unsplash

In an effort to leave its troubled recent past behind, Docker has significantly revamped its business model over the course of this (very troubled indeed) year. As a part of this renovation, back in August the company announced big changes to the Docker Hub service too. Effective November 1, 2020:

  • Stale (inactive for ≥6 months) images on the Docker Hub will be purged
  • Pulls will be rate limited for anonymous users and free accounts

We should all know by now that there are no such things as unlimited services, capacity or vacations in the real world. Even huge companies faltered…


A comprehensive guide to embedding and customizing YouTube, Vimeo and self-hosted videos in web pages

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Video content is taking over the Internet. The trend began long ago and the most recent stats confirmed the predictions were correct. TikTok, a social network entirely based on video content, grew so much and so rapidly that it quickly became a “threat” to long-stading giants such as Instagram and even rasied concerns in the US government. …


The stakes are higher than you think!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

I recently came across a tweet sharing a very strong opinion about the separation of “cloud” accounts to isolate environments. The subject has been highly debated over the years and while there is no “one size fits all” solution, there is a widespread consensus on the advantages of separated accounts. It often makes security and cost control easier to deal with and these are sound reasons to opt for the multiple accounts solution. The worst of them all, instead, is: “so I can hand the dev account over to the development team”.

I am a developer myself and worked several…


A quick guide to the Terraform “lifecycle” and how to prevent embarrassing deployment incidents with it

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

When I attended to AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas I had a clear feeling that everything in there was about serverless. Sessions regarding serverless computing and managed services were scheduled in the biggest and fanciest conference rooms available and were literally packed with people. Seats for sessions were reserved with severals months notice and people queued outside to wait for unclaimed spots.
Meanwhile, the adoption of containers had already been soaring for 3 years back then and it scored an impressive +75% in 2018.

The whole shift to serverless, containerization and DevOps practices made it so that we deal…


How to deal with ErrImagePull(s), ImagePullBackOff(s), Great Firewalls, mirrors, lack of information and live happily ever after

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Hosea Georgeson on Unsplash

Helm is a widely used package manager for Kubernetes. It simplifies the deployment of many common applications and it also helps to create deployment packages for complex custom applications with dependencies. So installing Helm is one of the first steps many admins and DevOps engineers take during the deployment of a new Kubernetes cluster.

I have deployed several Kubernetes clusters now and Helm used to work out of the box, until I deployed one in China Mainland. The Helm installation failed consistently, but I eventually worked out a solution. …


Plus a tip for testing Smart Home Actions

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ciprian Boiciuc on Unsplash

Taking things for granted

This week I started a new Google Actions project. As soon as I had some working code I wanted to engage some friends to test it on real devices. I knew the procedure to enable for inviting other people to the testing because I had done that before, but I noticed that something had changed in the Actions Console.

In the past, after adding other Google accounts to the Project as Viewers, you could use the “Share” button in the Simulator console to invite the owners of such account to test the Action. …


Creating a multi-language chatbot MVP is an easy hit with AWS Lex, Translate, Lambda and API Gateway. Find out how!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Deanna Ritchie on Unsplash

Virtual Assistants are here to stay. Regardless of the limitations and complaints they faced in the early years of adoption, many large businesses and banks invested on them. Business Insider forecasted that up to 80% of big firms will implement a Virtual Assistant by next year. Major consulting firms like Deloitte, EY and Accenture are betting on it. Samsung recently joined the smart speaker race with its upcoming Galaxy Home.

I have implemented several chatbots, Skills and Actions and learned that said limitations are most often due to the lack of proper conversation flow design, live testing and iterations. Virtual…


Quick tips to use the AWS CLI, scripts and automation tools proficiently and avoid incidents on the AWS platform

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

If you are running multiple workloads on the AWS cloud you are probably familiar with automation tools such as Terraform and the AWS CLI. Scripting and automating your infrastructure makes your work easier, faster and less error-prone. The AWS CLI is also very convenient to run quick tasks or to be wrapped in shell scripts.

Dealing with multiple projects, environments and accounts can still be challenging regardless of all the automation. So here’s a few tips to make your life easier, keep your system in good working condition and reduce the chances of incidents due to human error.

1. Create a dedicated virtual Python environment for the AWS CLI

The AWS…

Edoardo Nosotti

Senior Cloud Solutions Architect and DevOps engineer, passionate about AI, conversational interfaces and IoT.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store