The Attendee

I’ve gone to my fair share of conferences as an attendee, and nothing is more exciting than spending time with people who share your passion for technology. These are our tribes, and when we’re brought together, it’s amazing.

But for me it did not start out that way. I can remember going to conferences alone, hoping to join the party, only to find that conferences can be a bit cliquish, composed of subgroups that roll in tight circles. …

Over the years I’ve witnessed more and more people discover the 12 Fact0r App manifesto and start implementing many of the suggestions outlined there. This has led to applications that are far easier to deploy and manage. However practical examples of 12 Factor were a rare sight to see in the wild.

Once Docker hit the scene the benefits of the 12 Factor App (12FA) really started to shine. For example, 12FA recommends that logging should be done to stdout and be treated as an event stream. Ever run the docker logs command? That’s 12FA in action!

12FA also suggests applications should use environment variables for configuration. Again Docker makes this trivial by providing the ability to set env vars programmatically when creating containers. …

Building applications in Go enables the ability to easily produce statically linked binaries free of external dependencies. Statically linked binaries are much larger than their dynamic counterparts, but often weigh in at less than 10 MB for most real-world applications. The reason for such large binary sizes are because everything, including the Go runtime, is included in the binary. The large binary size is a tradeoff I’m willing to make since I gain the ability to deploy applications by copying a single binary into place and executing it.

So I can’t help but ask, If the process of building and deploying static binaries is so easy, why would I want to bring Docker into the mix? Well, Docker does offer the convenience of a standardized packaging format that makes it easy to share, discover, and install applications. I see Docker images being similar to rpms in concept, with Docker images having the advantage of packaging up my entire application in a single artifact. …


Kelsey Hightower

Sysadmin who can code.

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