Learnings Week 24 2011

One easy way to learn a lot during a week is to attend a conference or workshop of some form or fashion. Surrounding yourself with people eager to share their knowledge means that even if you are plugging your ears and humming classic Spice Girls tunes, you still might just learn something.

The past couple days I found myself in the wasteland just east of Highway 101 in Mountain View at Devopsdays 2011 Mountain View. The event aimed to bring a lot of developers, operations engineers, the half-and-halfs and anybody else that was interested into one room to talk about synergy, and stuff.

  • A “carrier shelf” at least in Lookout company terms, is a custom category in the Android market operated by carriers. The fact that carrier specific sections to the Android Market exists was news to me!
  • If you have to pause a beat after any given Vim mapping (e.g. <Leader>f) you probably have another mapping conflicting (i.e. <Leader>ft) which causes Vim to anticipate another key-stroke before invoking the first mapping. Simplifying the mappings, or removing close duplicates, allows for Vim to invoke much faster. Use the :map command to hunt down the offending mappings.
  • Vagrant is just about the coolest developer/testing virtualization tool I’ve ever seen. If you’ve ever used Python’s virtualenv tool, Ruby’s isolate or RVM tools, then imagine Vagrant being something like that for the entire OS. The notion of the “base box” for development is pretty slick and something I look forward to experimenting with more at Lookout for testing and development. Many thanks to Patrick Debois for sharing it with us.
  • I learned wtf “Kanban” is.
  • That there are developers and operations teams in various parts of the world using the Kanban methods to keep their organizations efficient. While I’m unsure how it would work in a startup environment, I’m certainly interested in learning more about it.