One of my favorite quotes drawn as a comic

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.”

Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian office on board of ISS

Mesos in Action book review

I can recommend this book only to those who’s looking for a very shallow knowledge of Mesos. It covers only the basics, no details, no iternal APIs, a lot of references to the Mesos documentation.

It’s worth reading if you need to quickly refresh your knowledge, besides that it’s worthless. It recommends to do Service discovery within the Mesos cluster by means of HAProxy & Mesos-DNS!!!

My score 3/5, RTFM

SRE book review

I don’t normally buy paper books, which means that in the course of the last few years I’ve bought only one paper book even though I’ve read hundreds of books during that period of time. This book is the second one I’ve bought so far, which means a lot to me. Not mentioning that Google is providing it on the Internet free of charge.

For me, personally, this book is a basis on which a lot of my past assumptions could be argued as viable solutions with the scale of Google. This book is not revealing any Google’s secrets (do they really have any secrets?) But it’s a great start even if you don’t need the scale of Google but want to write robust and failure-resilient apps.

Technical solutions, dealing with the user facing issues, finding peers, on-call support, post-mortems, incident-tracking systems – this book has it all though, as chapters have been written by different people some aspects are more emphasized than the others. I wish some of the chapters had more gory production-based details than they do now.

My score is 5/5

How Linux Works book review

This book doesn’t claim to cover all Linux features, but definitely it covers some of the most important ones.

It’s easy to read, though it encompasses lots of useful information. I wish my first Linux book was like that.

The only complaint I had with it was that though its second edition has been recently issued and it wasn’t strictly specified on which Linux distribution should I run some of the commands from the book  I wasn’t able to try some of them due to that there were no such packages in the APT repository for reference Ubuntu Docker image I’ve been using.

This is definitely not a book I would recommend to a SysOps, unless he needs to quickly brush-up his skills. But if you’re a “superuser”, that’s the book you should definitely read to know what’s “inode” any why top&vmstat&iotop might be much more powerful than you’ve thought.

My score 4/5

Plans for 2017

Personal

  • Brush up (most probably by starting from the basics) my German language skills
  • Start tracking expenses, again
  • Pass a Polish language exam
  • Teach Kira how to ride a bicycle, finally
  • Run a marathon
  • Play 2 etudes with Kira
  • Draw a vector banner
  • Read 20 books

Technical

  • Learn Python
  • Learn either Rust or Go, presumably both
  • Improve my data skills, implement at least 2 data-concerned apps as side projects
  • Migrate this website to Jekyll
  • Teach my wife a programming language that has a lean learning curve to the level at which she could write her own scripts
  • Improve my TopCoder/HackerRank profile, finish reading at least 2 algorithms-related books throughout the year

2016 Year Resolution

GENERAL

  • Read 12 books
  • Gave a talk regarding Akka Persistence
  • Went from a role in management to a technical developer/DevOps role

TECHNICAL

Languages I’ve used and abused throughout the year:

  • Scala – 6/10 Nice language, though it needs too much attention in comparison with other languages I know and the code is less beautiful than in Clojure/Lisp, some parts are clunky
  • Javascript – 7/10 Easy to use, refreshed my knowledge of ES6 in a couple of hours, enormous ecosystem, ugly
  • Bash – 4/10 – After I’ve started to use bash more it has become a huge disappointment for me as its capabilities are very limited
  • Python – can’t really put a score for it since I haven’t really learned it. However, that didn’t stop me from using it. Nice language, but some parts are really lame and disputable.

Technologies:

  • React/Redux – 7/10 Nice framework, its ubiquitous usage of FP paradigms helps are lot to educate the newcomers. Though I find it less productive than Angular. Nevertheless, it was just this year’s JS framework that got most of the hype
  • Docker – 10/10 Initially, I was diminishing its importance due to its apparent simplicity and my shallow knowledge of it. But after I wrap by head around it and saw some of its features in integration with other products my mind was blown. It’s the technology of the year for me. I’m not going ever to install anything on a Vagrant machine myself since there’s Docker for Mac since this year.
  • AWS – 7/10 Worked with RDS, Dynamo, CloudFormation, S3 (Scala driver written by enthusiasts sucks), Route53, EC2, ECS, Elastic BeansTalk. I have no idea why would anyone build their own private cloud whatsoever since Amazon has most of the features you need, though at a price.
  • Couchbase – 6/10 Mongo-like in-memory database, works fast, search/aggregation/API is ugly.
  • PostgreSQL – 8/10 Solid as a rock, has rightfully claimed a space in my heart as a default relational DB I’d use for my projects. JSON integration works there. Makes MySql irrelevant.
  • Spark/AKKA – 8/10 Cool tech, though sometimes have unpredictable behavior due to inherited complexity from other technologies they’re built upon
  • SBT/AKKA.NET – 5/10 Both are having a steep learning curve, though after you’ve spent your time on learning them are nice. Unfortunately, there’re other tools/technologies much friendlier/productive for their users.
  • Mesos/Marathon – 8/10 Hard to understand, though unbelievably powerful. Gives you autoscaling/loadbalancing out of the box

Personal

  • Went to a swimming pool once per week
  • Taught my daughter swimming
  • Went to see 8 countries
  • Started to play piano
  • Learned a new foreign language – Polish
  • Bought an apartment
  • Went to see how my son was born
  • Rode a bicycle throughout the year
  • Swam in Adriatic Sea