Slides from talk on Rancher + GoCD at Amsterdam CD meetup

I gave a talk at Continuous Delivery Amsterdam meetup group on 08 Feb 2017:

Using Rancher for highly available deployment services with GoCD and TeamCity

Tools like GoCD and TeamCity are excellent components of advanced Continuous Delivery deployment systems. They help us focus on deployment pipelines and the flow of changes, rather than “builds” or “environments”. We can further enhance these tools by using frameworks like Rancher to manage GoCD and TeamCity as highly available, always-on deployment services. In this talk, we’ll see how to use Rancher to run deployment pipeline tooling like GoCD and TeamCity, and how this lets us focus on the important parts of Continuous Delivery: getting changes to Production safely and rapidly.

The slides are here:

(Thanks to my colleague Rich B for his sterling work on Rancher+AWS)

The other talk (from Wouter Lagerweij) on testing in a CD world was really excellent – the slides are here:

Using Chef for infrastructure automation – reading list

I have recently read (and re-read) several books on Chef in order that I can recommend books to clients who are starting with infrastructure automation (and to remind myself of the more obscure uses of knife, encrypted databags, and so on). In this post I comment on these books:

  • Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook by Matthias Marschall
  • Managing Windows Servers with Chef by John Ewart
  • Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef (2nd Edition) by Stephen Nelson-Smith
  • Automation Through Chef Opscode by Navin Sabharwal and Manak Wadhwa

Summary: read Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook for a good introduction to Chef on both Linux and Windows; read Managing Windows Servers with Chef if you manage many Windows machines; but most of all read Test-Driven Infrastructure with Chef because without a test-driven approach your infrastructure code will rapidly become tangled, unsupported, and obsolete.

Continue reading Using Chef for infrastructure automation – reading list

Leaving the Platform – Branching and Releasing for Independent Subsystems

For several years, much of the code for the systems at has been versioned and deployed together as a single ‘platform’. Recently, we have begun to divide up the platform into smaller chunks, to enable us to deliver some parts more frequently and rapidly, leaving other parts to evolve more slowly (as needed). Moving from a single version number for all subsystems to multiple version numbers for independent subsystems has implications for how code is built and released; this blog post outlines some of the work we have done so far in this area.

My colleague Owain Perry and I recently presented on this topic at the London Continuous Delivery meetup group ( and the slides we showed relate to the details in this post:

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Continuous Delivery Workshop with Neal Ford (@neal4d) – a Retrospective

I attended a workshop at DevWeek 2012 led by Neal Ford (@neal4d) on Continuous Delivery (CD). The day was excellent – Neal is a really engaging presenter – and I took copious notes, even though I’d already read most of the CD book. Fifteen months later, I thought it would be interesting to see how my notes from Neal’s workshop compared with my experience of Continuous Delivery, both within my job at, and also in conversations with other people, particularly the good folks in the London Continuous Delivery meetup group.

The tl;dr version: go attend one of Neal’s excellent CD workshops, but be prepared for the challenges with Continuous Delivery to be much more social/organisational than technical.

Continue reading Continuous Delivery Workshop with Neal Ford (@neal4d) – a Retrospective

London Continuous Delivery meetup with Opscode Chef

The London Continuous Delivery meetup group had its first session of 2013 on 17 Jan. We were fortunate to be able to use the offices of [my employer] in central London, and doubly fortunate to be joined by Andy Hawkins from Opscode, who ran what turned out to be a brave demo showing how Chef can work with CI tools to provision EC2 instances.

Continue reading London Continuous Delivery meetup with Opscode Chef