“But they weren’t doing true microservices” he droned on, while my train of thought came grinding a halt on the assertion. In my experience, many software developers apply all sorts of purity tests to the world around them, especially when it comes to “legacy” code. In most of my experiences, it has been delivered more subtly than this textbook example of the No true Scotsman fallacy. “Microservice” is already a silly term, one which many people defend by evoking the mythic status of “the unix philosophy.” Composition of components is definitely a valuable trait in a system, especially as an organization scales with new people and projects, but the microservice purity test fails in many cases.
The ability to shamelessly ask stupid questions has led me to numerous interesting projects and in some cases truly novel solutions. The subject of this blog post fits into the first part of that equation at least. I find the single static binaries produced by Rust and Golang to be quite compelling for system utilities, at the same time however I am fond of writing TypeScript. Why can’t I mix chocolate with my peanut butter?
Turn back now, this blog post is so niche that it’s statistically impossible for you to find this useful. Last night I was thinking about building a little app which needed to deal with an event stream, and started poking around the Azure Event Hubs documentation. I noticed that they apparently can now speak Kafka which means I can use my existing Kafka library tooling, nice! Since I was already working with Kafka and Rust for another little project, I took a quick detour and tried to see if I could publish to an Event Hub over Kafka, from Rust. As luck would have it, I can!
Building daemons and system-level utilities has always been something I have enjoyed. While I have professionally written C code, I have always found it a bit antiquated and unpleasant, like using a screwdriver while everybody around you is using power tools and machines. It certainly still has its place in the world, but there are more powerful options out there. I have experimented with Ada as a system level toolchain, while an all around compelling language it suffers from a severe lack of libraries and doesn’t have a strong community of tooling. Recently I started experimenting with Rust and despite it’s promise, it has been one of the most challenging languages to date for me to learn.
In the research Kohsuke, Tracy, and I did in the development of the Continuous Delivery Foundation, we learned a lot about how other free and open source foundations operate. I know more now than I had ever before about how the Eclipse Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, and numerous other LF-based foundations operate. One recurring theme which has come up has been the aversion to paying people to contribute code directly to the open source project. While not a universal pattern, looking to the FreeBSD Foundation which regularly issues grants for FreeBSD development, I am perplexed by this mindset in various foundations.
A number of people have asked me recently what I actually do for a living these days at Scribd. Due to the very public nature of my involvement with the Jenkins project and the Continuous Delivery Foundation, a few of my friends have seemingly forgotten that CI/CD is not actually my full time job! My career has largely been focused on two axis: building high-functioning engineering teams, and building backend API/service infrastructure.
Whether I’m sharing a locally developed service with a member of our globally distributed team, or I need to integrate some cloud-based service with local development, I frequently find the need to expose a local TCP service to the public internet. In the past I have tried to use tools such as localtunnel or smee.io, and in both cases I found them lacking; I simply want this TCP port open to the world! Yesterday afternoon I spent some time hacking on the first version of my own little solution: aci-tunnel.
Last week we announced the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) at the 2019 Open Source Leadership Summit. Through a strange series of events I was fortunate to attend and participate in the “Continuous Delivery” keynote on the first day. Joining me on stage was Kohsuke (Jenkins), Kim and Christie (Tekton), Tracy (Jenkins X), and Andy (Spinnaker) to share a bit about the four initial projects joining the CDF.
The aviation community has been buzzing with speculation and commentary around the recently Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crash in Ethiopia and the model’s subsequent grounding around the world. Watching this news report I was struck by the following quote from the “Deputy Assistant Secretary of State” regarding a similar crash in Indonesia:
Considering the percentage of my day which is spent typing on a keyboard, it should come as no surprise that I might have thoughts on what makes a “good” versus a “bad” keyboard. In fact, I think everybody who uses a tool with this level of frequency should have thoughts on what qualities make variations of the tool good or bad.