Open Credo

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Lunch & Learn: Organisational Transformation – Why it often fails, and tools for success

April 28, 2022 | Software Consultancy

Lunch & Learn: Organisational Transformation – Why it often fails, and tools for success

Watch our latest Lunch & Learn video as Simon Copsey provides an in-depth look at what causes Organisational Transformation failures and what can be done to ensure its success.

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HashiConf EU 2016 (Video): Building secure clouds using HashiCorp tools
The Risk of DevOps Tools: Automated Failure

December 16, 2015 | Cloud, DevOps

The Risk of DevOps Tools: Automated Failure

The Promise of DevOps Tools

In the rush to embrace DevOps, many organisations seek out tools to help them achieve DevOps nirvana; the magical tools that will unify Development and Operations, stop the infighting, and ensure collaboration. This search for tools to solve problems exists in many domains, but seems particularly prevalent in IT (it may be real, or a reflection of my exposure to IT). The temptation to embrace new tools as a panacea is high, because the problems in IT seem so pervasive and persistent.

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Lunch & Learn: Learnings from Writing My Own Operating System from Scratch

June 30, 2022 | Blog, Culture

Lunch & Learn: Learnings from Writing My Own Operating System from Scratch

In this Lunch & Learn session, Peter Vegh advises on ‘Learnings from Writing my Own Operating System from Scratch’

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Agile Ex Meet Up – Coaching at the Organisational level

May 24, 2022 | Software Consultancy

Agile Ex Meet Up – Coaching at the Organisational level

Watch Simon Copsey’s talk from the Agile Ex Meetup on “Coaching at the Organisational Level” where he explores some of the common downward spirals in IT and the larger organisation, as well as the tools that coaches and individuals can use to surface and discuss them in a way that allows for systemic change, even without formal authority.

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Lunch & Learn: GraphQL on Springboot

March 10, 2022 | Data Engineering, Open Source

Lunch & Learn: GraphQL on Springboot

In this lunch & learn session, Ebru Cucen and Alberto Faedda explore the historical background of GraphQL with case examples and a demo of how it can be used.

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DZone Repost: Testing Serverless Functions

February 11, 2022 | AWS, Cloud, GCP, Kubernetes, Microservices, Open Source, Software Consultancy

DZone Repost: Testing Serverless Functions

Serverless functions are easy to install and upload, but we can’t ignore the basics. This article looks at different strategies related to testing serverless functions.

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What you might have missed in Kubernetes 1.22 release

December 5, 2021 | Cloud, Kubernetes

What you might have missed in Kubernetes 1.22 release

Kubernetes’ second release in 2021, version 1.22, has been out for a little while now and with 1.23 on its way, we thought we’d take a look back. Kubernetes 1.22 was a highly comprehensive release with 53 enhancements in all three graduation levels: 13 features have graduated to stable, 24 enhancements reached beta status, and 16 new features have been accepted into the alpha stage. 

The latest version has some noteworthy security features such as running Kubelet without root access, pod security policies, and seccomp. There are also a couple of deprecated and removed APIs. In this blog, we’ll discuss the significant changes in v1.22, as well as how to handle the removed APIs.

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Running the Cloud from your Kubernetes Cluster

September 2, 2021 | Blog, Cloud, Kubernetes

Running the Cloud from your Kubernetes Cluster

In this blog, Stuart compares the new approach of deploying cloud resources as Kubernetes custom resources rather than the (now) typical approach using Terraform – or cloud specific: CloudFormation (AWS), Deployment Manager (GCP). He also identifies what resources are suitable for this approach and which ones are not.

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Machine Learning at scale: first impressions of Kubeflow

April 20, 2021 | Data Engineering, Machine Learning, Software Consultancy

Machine Learning at scale: first impressions of Kubeflow

Our recent client was a Fintech who had ambitions to build a Machine Learning platform for real-time decision making. The client had significant Kubernetes proficiency, ran on the cloud, and had a strong preference for using free, open-source software over cloud-native offerings that come with lock-in. Several components were spiked with success (feature preparation with Apache Beam and Seldon for model serving performed particularly strongly). Kubeflow was one of the next technologies on our list of spikes, showing significant promise at the research stage and seemingly a good match for our client’s priorities and skills.

That platform slipped down the client’s priority list before completing the research for Kubeflow, so I wanted to see how that project might have turned out. Would Kubeflow have made the cut?

 

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WebAssembly – Where is it going?

December 11, 2020 | Cloud, Cloud Native, Kubernetes, Microservices

WebAssembly – Where is it going?

“WebAssembly is a safe, portable, low-level code format designed for efficient execution and compact representation.” – W3C

In this blog, I’ll cover the different applications of Wasm and WASI, some of the projects that are making headway, and the implications for modern architectures and distributed systems.

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Hacking Kubernetes on AWS (EKS) from a Mac

October 29, 2020 | Cloud, Kubernetes, Open Source

Hacking Kubernetes on AWS (EKS) from a Mac

While working with a client recently, we experienced some issues when attempting to make use of NLB external load balancer services when using AWS EKS. I wanted to investigate whether these issues had been fixed in the upstream GitHub Kubernetes repository, or if I could fix it myself, contributing back to the community in the process.

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What is Continuous Verification?

October 15, 2020

What is Continuous Verification?

Continuous Verification is a term that is starting to pop up from time-to-time… but what does it mean? Well… according to Nora Jones and Casey Rosenthal, authors of O’Reilly’s Chaos Engineering books,

 

“Continuous verification (CV) is a discipline of proactive experimentation, implemented as tooling that verifies system behaviors. This stands in contrast to prior common practices in software quality assurance, which favor reactive testing, implemented as methodologies that validate known properties of software. This isn’t to say that prior common practices are invalid or should be deprecated. Alerting, testing, code reviews, monitoring, SRE practices, and the like—these are all great practices and should be encouraged”

 

Over the course of this post, we will unpack this statement: to understand what is behind it and what it might mean for your development process.

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Decision time with AWS Keyspaces

September 22, 2020 | AWS, Blog, Cassandra, Cloud, DevOps, Open Source

Decision time with AWS Keyspaces

With the upcoming Cassandra 4.0 release, there is a lot to look forward to. Most excitingly, and following a refreshing realignment of the Open Source community around Cassandra, the next release promises to focus on fundamentals: stability, repair, observability, performance and scaling.

We must set this against the fact that Cassandra ranks pretty highly in the Stack Overflow most dreaded databases list and the reality that Cassandra is expensive to configure, operate and maintain. Finding people who have the prerequisite skills to do so is challenging.

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Automation of complex IT systems

May 14, 2020 | Blog, DevOps

Automation of complex IT systems

At the time of this post, the UK is making steps to exit from an unprecedented lockdown measures for the Coronavirus. Much of the UK workforce are still making efforts to work-from-home with mainly key workers operating – at risk – in public. Many industries have shut down completely. Consequently, many businesses are reflecting on what happens next and how do we better mitigate future pandemic events?

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It’s 2020, can I have my ML models now?

April 2, 2020 | Machine Learning

It’s 2020, can I have my ML models now?

Recent years have seen many companies consolidate all their data into a data lake/warehouse of some sort. Once it’s all consolidated, what next?

Many companies consolidate data with a field of dreams mindset – “build it and they will come”, however a comprehensive data strategy is needed if the ultimate goals of an organisation are to be realised: monetisation through Machine Learning and AI is an oft-cited goal. Unfortunately, before one rushes into the enticing world of machine learning, one should lay more mundane foundations. Indeed, in data science, estimates vary between 50% to 80% of the time taken is devoted to so-called data-wrangling. Further, Google estimates ML projects produce 5% ML code and 95% “glue code”. If this is the reality we face, what foundations are required before one can dive headlong into ML?

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Security, Usability & Cloud Data Services in Finance

March 20, 2020

Security, Usability & Cloud Data Services in Finance

Traditionally, Usability and Security have been set in opposition to each other: with tight security, we end up with painful user experience. In this blog, Guy focuses on financial services as an exemplar of how we can introduce usability into a vertical with challenging security and compliance requirements.

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Three Highlights from CloudNative London Conference Day 3

October 8, 2019 | Cloud, Cloud Native, Culture

Three Highlights from CloudNative London Conference Day 3

Following on from the last two blogs by Stuart (who shared highlights for day 1) and Trent (who shared highlights from day 2), I will conclude with mine on CloudNative London 2019 Day 3.

The Cloud Native landscape can be bewildering, and not only for newcomers. As a traveller on the Cloud-native journey, I have sometimes been overwhelmed by the number of products and projects. This is why I took hold of the opportunity to go to Day 3 of the Cloud Native London Conference last month hosted by Skills Matter.

Here are my top highlights from Day 3 of the CloudNative London 2019.

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Why Upgrading to Terraform 0.12+ Should be a Priority

October 3, 2019 | Cloud, DevOps, Hashicorp, Open Source

Why Upgrading to Terraform 0.12+ Should be a Priority

Terraform 0.12 in recent years has emerged as the de facto standard with regards to defining and managing cloud infrastructure. It is one of four primary tools offered by HashiCorp, (Terraform, Vault, Consul and Nomad) and underpins the workflows that make up their Cloud Operating Model.

Since its first release in 2014, the wider Terraform community has embraced frequent releases and this past year has been no exception. HashiCorp announced the release of Terraform 0.12 in May 2019 and as of writing this post the official release is 0.12.9.

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3 Highlights from CloudNative London 2019 (Day 1)

October 1, 2019 | Cloud, Cloud Native, Culture

3 Highlights from CloudNative London 2019 (Day 1)

One of the benefits we have working at OpenCredo (OC) is the opportunity to both attend and speak (although not on this occasion) at conferences. For some of you, this may be pretty common, but OC was actually the first to offer me this as part of a broader learning and development plan.

Cloud-native development and delivery is a core area of expertise for OC and we are always looking for what’s new and interesting in this space. So when I was offered the chance to go to CloudNative London it seemed like a good place to start. With its diversity in topics and technologies, the conference provided a perfect opportunity to collaborate and hear from others in the industry and what they are doing in this space.

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Technology, Kindness and Bananas

August 14, 2019 | Culture, News

Technology, Kindness and Bananas

Here, in our little nook of the internet, we usually write about our experiences of emerging technologies, the tricky coding problems we’ve solved and how we have enhanced our clients’ businesses. We do this because we are very proud of this work. It truly matters.

Today is a little different. Today I’d like to share something a little more personal. Something that brings loneliness, kindness and technology together in an oxytocin-generating, slightly awkward embrace. Because hugs matter too.

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Securing Kafka using Vault PKI

February 20, 2019 | DevOps, Hashicorp, Kafka, Open Source

Securing Kafka using Vault PKI

Creating and managing a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) could be a very straightforward task if you use appropriate tools. In this blog post, I’ll cover the steps to easily set up a PKI with Vault from HashiCorp, and use it to secure a Kafka Cluster.

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HA Prometheus – The Thanos Evolution

February 5, 2019 | Cloud Native, DevOps, Kubernetes, Microservices, Open Source

HA Prometheus – The Thanos Evolution

While Prometheus has fast become the standard for monitoring in the cloud, making Prometheus highly available can be tricky. This blog post will walk you through how to do this using the open source tool Thanos.

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[Past event] CloudNative London 2018

Join us at CloudNative London this year! CloudNative London will be held on the 26th – 28th of September 2018 at Code Node and we are excited to announce that Nicki Watt will also be speaking at the conference on CloudNative Architecture.

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[Past event] Hashicorp User Group #24

Thanks to our hosts Mintel, the HashiCorp User Group is back on the 14th of August with speakers from applyingAgile and Grafana labs.

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The Power of the Architecture-driven Organisation

July 13, 2018 | Software Consultancy

The Power of the Architecture-driven Organisation

As a consultant I often find myself in situations that require tricky problem solving, typically of a technical nature. Yet although it is common to approach a consultancy engagement in terms of its technical context, not all problems have a purely technical solution.

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[Past event] Hashicorp User Group #23

Join us this month the Hashicorp User Group! Thanks to the lovely people at Elsevier who are hosting and providing the food and drink, the Hashicorp meetup will be back on the 17th of July.

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[Past event] …Think Software 2018, London

Join us at …think software 2018! Take one afternoon to learn about some of the most important topics of the day, hear from outstanding speakers all with hard-won experience delivering projects.

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Self-testing infrastructure-as-code

May 31, 2018 | DevOps

Self-testing infrastructure-as-code

As traditional operations has embraced the concept of code, it has benefited from ideas already prevalent in developer circles such as version control. Version control brings the benefit that not only can you see what the infrastructure was, but you can also get reviews of changes by your peers before the change is made live; known to most developers as Pull Request (PR) reviews.

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Heuristics for Identifying Service Boundaries

May 16, 2018 | Microservices

Heuristics for Identifying Service Boundaries

To identify service boundaries, it is not enough to consider (business) domains only. Other forces like organisational communication structures, and – very important – time, strongly suggest that we should include several other criteria in our considerations.

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Microservices Anti-patterns: It’s All About the People

April 18, 2018 | Microservices

Microservices Anti-patterns: It’s All About the People

Quite a few of the anti-patterns we observe today on microservices projects are strongly related to how people approach the problem. Given their nature, these anti-patterns tend to be deeply ingrained and self-sustaining. Addressing them starts with increased awareness and by changing ways of approaching the problem, rather than by the introduction of yet another technical tool or framework.

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[Past event] Goto Nights London Meet Up

We are excited to announce that our Senior DevOps consultant, Maartens Lourens will be speaking at Goto Nights London monthly meet up in April! To join us or find out more information, click here.

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Fargate As An Enabler For Serverless Continuous Delivery

February 14, 2018 | Cloud

Fargate As An Enabler For Serverless Continuous Delivery

AWS Announced a few new products for use with containers at RE:Invent 2017 and of particular interest to me was a new Elastic Container Service(ECS) Launch type, called Fargate

Prior to Fargate, when it came to creating a continuous delivery pipeline in AWS, the use of containers through ECS in its standard form, was the closest you could get to an always up, hands off, managed style of setup. Traditionally ECS has allowed you to create a configured pool of “worker” instances, with it then acting as a scheduler, provisioning containers on those instances.

 

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Get your -aas in gear: Privatelink and PaaS democratisation on AWS

February 6, 2018 | Cloud

Get your -aas in gear: Privatelink and PaaS democratisation on AWS

Among the many announcements made at Re:Invent 2017 was the release of AWS Privatelink for Customer and Partner services. We believe that the opportunity signalled by this modest announcement may have an impact far broader than first impressions suggest.

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A Pragmatic Introduction to Machine Learning for DevOps Engineers

January 23, 2018 | Data Engineering, DevOps

A Pragmatic Introduction to Machine Learning for DevOps Engineers

Machine Learning is a hot topic these days, as can be seen from search trends. It was the success of Deepmind and AlphaGo in 2016 that really brought machine learning to the attention of the wider community and the world at large.

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Writing a custom JupyterHub Spawner

January 11, 2018 | Data Engineering

Writing a custom JupyterHub Spawner

The last few years have seen Python emerge as a lingua franca for data scientists. Alongside Python we have also witnessed the rise of Jupyter Notebooks, which are now considered a de facto data science productivity tool, especially in the Python community. Jupyter Notebooks started as a university side-project known as iPython in circa 2001 at UC Berkeley.

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[Past event] Agile Cambridge 2017

Agile Cambridge is a three day practical agile development conference that allows participants to connect and learn from their peers and leaders in the industry. Join Matt Long, our senior QA consultant on the 29th of September for the third day of Agile Cambridge for a case study on a ‘from the trenches’ experience.

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Terraform Provider Development

August 9, 2017 | Cloud, DevOps, Terraform Provider

Terraform Provider Development

The recent 0.10.0 release of HashiCorp Terraform, saw a significant change to the way Providers are managed. Specifically, the single open source code repository for Terraform has been divided into core and multiple provider repositories.

 

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[Past event] Hashicorp Meetup #13

Join us on the 25th of July at the London HashiCorp Meetup and hear from our CTO, Nicki Watt discuss evolving your infrastructure with Terraform!

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[Past event] Applied Data Engineering Meetup #1

Applied Data Engineering is a meetup for all things Data! Join us for our first meetup on the 19th of July

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OpenCredo Cloud Report: July 2017

July 11, 2017 | Cloud, Cloud Native

OpenCredo Cloud Report: July 2017

Over the years, OpenCredo’s projects have become increasingly tied to the public cloud. Our skills in delivering cloud infrastructure and cloud native applications have deepened and the range of cloud projects we are able to take on has grown. From enterprise cloud brokers to cloud platform migration in restricted compliance environments, our ability to deliver on the cloud is now a core component of our value proposition.

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CockroachDB: First Impressions

June 15, 2017 | Data Engineering

CockroachDB: First Impressions

CockroachDB is a distributed SQL (“NewSQL”) database developed by Cockroach Labs and has recently reached a major milestone: the first production-ready, 1.0 release. We at OpenCredo have been following the progress of CockroachDB for a while, and we think it’s a technology of great potential to become the go-to solution for a having a general-purpose database in the cloud.

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[Past event] Devoxx

Join OpenCredo at Devoxx UK 2017 We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring and attending Devoxx UK this year The Devoxx Family welcomes annually over 11,000 developers to events in Belgium, France, UK, Poland, Morocco & USA. Devoxx UK returns to London 11th – 12th May, 2017. They will again welcome amazing speakers and attendees for the very best developer content and […]

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Testing a Spark Application

May 9, 2017 | Cassandra

Testing a Spark Application

Data analytics isn’t a field commonly associated with testing, but there’s no reason we can’t treat it like any other application. Data analytics services are often deployed in production, and production services should be properly tested. This post covers some basic approaches for the testing of Cassandra/Spark code. There will be some code examples, but the focus is on how to structure your code to ensure it is testable!

 

This blog is written exclusively by the OpenCredo team. We do not accept external contributions.

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Data Analytics using Cassandra and Spark

March 23, 2017 | Cassandra, Data Analysis, Data Engineering

Data Analytics using Cassandra and Spark

In recent years, Cassandra has become one of the most widely used NoSQL databases: many of our clients use Cassandra for a variety of different purposes. This is no accident as it is a great datastore with nice scalability and performance characteristics.

However, adopting Cassandra as a single, one size fits all database has several downsides. The partitioned/distributed data storage model makes it difficult (and often very inefficient) to do certain types of queries or data analytics that are much more straightforward in a relational database.

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Automating Your Security Acceptance Tests

March 23, 2017 | Data Engineering, Machine Learning

Automating Your Security Acceptance Tests

On previous blog posts we have provided examples of different types of acceptance tests coverage, UI, API and Performance. One area where automation is often lacking is around validating the security of the application under test. This has been discussed in the post on non functional testing You Are Ignoring Non-functional Testing. With this post we will enhance the automation framework to quickly check for some common security flaws.

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Programmable Infrastructure Needs Testing Too

March 20, 2017 | DevOps

Programmable Infrastructure Needs Testing Too

DevOps has swept the tech landscape. Now, many are discovering the benefits of programmable infrastructure. I have been lucky to work on many projects where we’ve taken advantage of tools such as Terraform, Ansible, or Chef.

 

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[Past event] QCon 2017

We are pleased to announce that we are sponsors of QCon 2017, where our Lead Consultant, Rafal Gancarz and Consultant Matt Long will be speaking. Our Chief Scientist, Daniel Bryant will also be hosting the track: Observability Done Right – Automating Insight & Software Telemetry.

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[Past event] London HashiCorp Meetup #8

Join us at the February Hashicorp Meetup in London and hear some great talks from our consultant, Matt Long and HashiCorp Software Engineer, Paul Stack!

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[Past event] OOP Konferenz 2017

Join Andrew Morgan  and Daniel  Bryant at OOP Conference 2017! By combining software and business, OOP Conference 2017 is the meeting point for people who work primarily in the enterprise environment. Technical experts (architects, developers, business analysts, and testers), technical (project) managers and leaders gain an excellent view on the state-of-the-art in modern software engineering. […]

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[Past event] Microservices Meetup Munich – Deadly Sins and Effective Testing

Our Chief Scientist, Daniel Bryant and Consultant Andrew Morgan will be heading to Munich for the Microservices Meetup on the 1st of Feb. The night will kick off at 6:30pm at Einstein Kultur with drinks and pizza, talks from Daniel and Andrew on microservices and effective testing will then follow from 7pm.

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Let’s Encrypt and Terraform – Getting free certificates for your infrastructure

January 24, 2017 | Cloud

Let’s Encrypt and Terraform – Getting free certificates for your infrastructure

This blog aims to provide an end to end example of how you can automatically request, generate and install a free HTTPS/TLS/SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt using Terraform. Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA) aiming to make it super easy (and free – did I say free!) for people to obtain HTTPS (SSL/TLS) certificates for their websites and infrastructure. Under the hood, Let’s Encrypt implements and leverages an emerging protocol called ACME to make all this magic happen, and it is this ACME protocol that powers the Terraform provider we will be using. For more information on how Let’s Encrypt and the ACME protocol actually work, please see how Let’s Encrypt works.

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What I Don’t Like About Error Handling in Go, and How to Work Around It

January 23, 2017 | Data Analysis

What I Don’t Like About Error Handling in Go, and How to Work Around It

More often than not, people who write Go have some sort of opinion on its error handling model. Depending on your experience with other languages, you may be used to different approaches. That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, as despite being relatively opinionated, I think drawing on my experiences can be useful in the debate. The main issues I wanted to cover are that it is difficult to force good error handling practice, that errors don’t have stack traces, and that error handling itself is too verbose.

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[Past event] London HashiCorp Meetup #7

The London HashiCorp meetup is back on this month! Join us for drinks and pizza, and some great talks by Andrew Brown, Senior Software Engineers at Just Eat and James Nugent from Hashicorp.

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[Past event] µCon 2016: The Microservices Conference

Join Daniel Bryant and David Borsos at µCon 2016 on Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th of November at CodeNode in London. µCon 2016 is an opportunity to learn about emerging technologies and approaches, share challenges and evolve practices and ideas. Share the challenges you are facing, the technologies you are exploring and the skills […]

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[Past event] O’REILLY: OSCON 2016

Join Daniel Bryant at O’REILLY’S everything open source conference, OSCON 2016 for his talk “The Seven (More) Deadly Sins of Microservices.”

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Common Problems with Cassandra Tombstones

September 27, 2016 | Cassandra, Data Engineering

Common Problems with Cassandra Tombstones

If there is one thing to understand about Cassandra, it is the fact that it is optimised for writes. In Cassandra everything is a write including logical deletion of data which results in tombstones – special deletion records. We have noticed that lack of understanding of tombstones is often the root cause of production issues our clients experience with Cassandra. We have decided to share a compilation of the most common problems with Cassandra tombstones and some practical advice on solving them.

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Simulating GitHub OAuth2 Login for Tests with JUnit, Webdriver & Hoverfly: Record, Sanitise, Playback and Assert

September 21, 2016 | DevOps

Simulating GitHub OAuth2 Login for Tests with JUnit, Webdriver & Hoverfly: Record, Sanitise, Playback and Assert

Sometimes, it can be difficult to write automated tests for parts of your application due to complexities introduced by an external dependency. It may be flaky or have some sort of rate limiting, or require sensitive information which we don’t want to expose outside of our production environment. To get around this, teams might take the approach of manually stubbing the service or using mocks – but the former is tedious and error prone, whereas the latter doesn’t test collaboration at all.

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[Past event] Operability.IO 2016

Join us for Two Days on all things (Dev)Ops at Operability.IO 2016! We are excited to announce that we are sponsors of the Operability.IO 2016 conference. Join us on what we expect to be two fun filled days of learning from some great speakers, on new processes, tools and techniques that are changing the way of […]

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Patterns of Successful Cassandra Data Modelling

September 6, 2016 | Cassandra

Patterns of Successful Cassandra Data Modelling

A growing number of clients are asking OpenCredo for help with using Apache Cassandra and solving specific problems they encounter. Clients have different use cases, requirements, implementation and teams but experience similar issues. We have noticed that Cassandra data modelling problems are the most consistent cause of Cassandra failing to meet their expectations. Data modelling is one of the most complex areas of using Cassandra and has many considerations.

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Kubernetes from scratch to AWS with Terraform and Ansible (part 1)

August 26, 2016 | Kubernetes

Kubernetes from scratch to AWS with Terraform and Ansible (part 1)

This post is the first of a series of three tutorial articles introducing a sample, tutorial project, demonstrating how to provision Kubernetes on AWS from scratch, using Terraform and Ansible.

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OpenCredo joins the HashiCorp Channel Partner program

[Past event] London Hashicorp User Group Meetup #4

We are back with the 4th installment of the London Hashicorp Meetup with Hotels.com providing the venue, beers, and pizza! Kicking off at the usual time of 6.30pm, this time round, we have talks from Senior Applications Engineer, Sammy Conway-Rahman from hotels.com and Steve Wade, Technical Consultant at Steven Wade Consulting.

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Microservices Manchester (#micromanchester) Conference Recap

July 8, 2016 | Microservices

Microservices Manchester (#micromanchester) Conference Recap

OpenCredo recently co-organised the first Microservices Manchester event with OliverBernard recruitment, and it was a resounding success. Over 100 people showed up at the Victoria Warehouse near Manchester’s trendy Salford Quays for a day discussing the realities of implementing microservice systems.

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[Past event] Microservices Manchester

OpenCredo is going North with Microservices Manchester! We are super excited to announce ourselves as Event Partners and organisers of Microservices Manchester. It will be held on the 5th of July 2016 and is a free single day two-track conference. Microservices Manchester is specifically designed for technical implementers and decision makers who wish to better understand […]

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[Past event] Devops Enterprise Summit – DOES16

OpenCredo is going to Devops Enterprise Summit! We’re proud to announce that we will be sponsoring Devops Enterprise Summit

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[Past event] London Continuous Delivery Meetup

Nick’s talk “Continuous delivery of secure cloud environments” looks at how taking advantage of cloud computing for development purposes, and even the running of production systems has become a de facto approach for many organisations nowadays.

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[Past event] Infracoders London

Join us for Infracoders London on the 21st of June to hear talks from our Lead Consultant, Bart Spaans and Thoughtwork’s Cloud Specialist, Kief Morris!

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Introducing KubeFuse: A File System for Kubernetes

May 31, 2016 | Kubernetes

Introducing KubeFuse: A File System for Kubernetes

Do you ever wake up and think to yourself: oh geez, Kubernetes is awesome, but I wish I could browse and edit my services and replication controllers using the file system? No? Well, in any case, this is now possible.

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React/Redux boilerplate

March 3, 2016 | Software Consultancy

React/Redux boilerplate

In this post, I’ll be sharing some React/Redux boilerplate code that Vince Martinez and I have been developing recently. It’s primarily aimed at developers who are familiar with the React ecosystem, so if you are new to React and/or Redux, you might like to have a look at Getting Started with React and Getting Started with Redux.

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Kotlin: a new JVM language you should try

March 3, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Kotlin: a new JVM language you should try

JetBrains (the people behind IntelliJ IDEA) have recently announced  the first RC for version 1.0 of Kotlin, a new programming language for the JVM. I say ‘new’, but Kotlin has been in the making for a few years now, and has been used by JetBrains to develop several of their products, including Intellij IDEA. The company open-sourced Kotlin in 2011, and have worked with the community since then to make the language what it is today.

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Versioning a Microservice System with git

March 2, 2016 | Microservices

Versioning a Microservice System with git

Microservice-style software architectures have many benefits: loose coupling, independent scalability, localised failures, facilitating the usage of polyglot data persistence tools or multiple programming languages.

However, they also introduce other challenges. A major one is the fact that the end-user functionality of the system will ultimately emerge as a composition of multiple services. This significantly increases the complexity of deploying the system. In addition, because we lose the concept of “versions” of the system, it becomes harder to answer questions like “what capabilities are in production?” and “when is a new feature considered ‘done’?”.

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First London HashiCorp User Group Event
DevOps and IT Operations

January 29, 2016 | DevOps

DevOps and IT Operations

DevOps is 2016’s tech holy grail – unified development and operations, both working to deliver what the business needs, quickly, reliably, and adaptably. Done well, DevOps transforms the way organisations work; it helps break down barriers between tech teams, and between technology and the rest of the business. Good DevOps is the antidote to increasing segmentation and specialisation within companies. With the promised benefits, is it any wonder that senior managers are pushing for it in organisations spanning all sizes and industries?

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[Past event] Kubernetes London 2015

Join us at the second Kubernetes London meetup! There will be refreshments on arrival, amazing speakers, and breakout and network sessions.

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[Past event] Code Mesh 2015

Code Mesh 2015 brings together a wide range of alternative technologies and programming languages and the wonderful crazy people who use them to solve real-world problems.

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Facebook’s React, and the Signal:Noise Ratio

January 15, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Facebook’s React, and the Signal:Noise Ratio

So, you’ve started to hear a lot about React, the Javascript library developed by Facebook, but is it something you need to investigate? It’s time to distil the signal from the noise, position React amongst its rivals, and provide an indication of where it currently would – and would not – be a suitable fit.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Microservices (Redux)

January 8, 2016 | Microservices

The Seven Deadly Sins of Microservices (Redux)

Many of our clients are in the process of investigating or implementing ‘microservices’, and a popular question we often get asked is “what’s the most common mistake you see when moving towards a microservice architecture?”. We’ve seen plenty of good things with this architectural pattern, but we have also seen a few recurring issues and anti-patterns, which I’m keen to share here.

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[Past event] GOTO Nights London

GOTO Nights London is a free evening community event driven by involvement from both speakers and participants, designed for people who want to stay up to date with the latest tools, technologies, processes and practices in the software industry.

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RAML 1.0 promotes reusability and standardisation

November 25, 2015 | Microservices

RAML 1.0 promotes reusability and standardisation

In May a 1.0 release of RAML (RESTful API Markup Language) has been announced delivering a few much welcome additions in the RAML 1.0 specification. This major release marks an important milestone in the evolution of RAML and indicates the team behind the specification is confident this release delivers the comprehensive set of tools for developing RESTful APIs. I’ve been using RAML 0.8 for several months now and have enjoyed the simplicity and productivity it offers for designing and documenting APIs. I must say I’m quite pleased with the changes introduced in the new release and would like to review those I consider particularly useful.

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Ruby Web Acceptance Testing Framework

November 23, 2015 | Software Consultancy

Ruby Web Acceptance Testing Framework

Over a year ago, my colleague Tristan posted on the OpenCredo blog about a test automation quick start framework. It’s a prepackaged framework you can clone and get going with testing instantly, rather than wasting your time rebuilding your framework every single project. We have used this framework successfully used on many of our internal projects, and it relies upon a Java, Cucumber-JVM and Selenium stack.

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JavaOne: Debugging Java Applications Running in Docker

November 3, 2015 | Software Consultancy

JavaOne: Debugging Java Applications Running in Docker

My JavaOne experience was rather busy this year, what with three talks presented in a single day! The first of these talks “Debugging Java Apps in Containers: No Heavy Welding Gear Required” was delivered with my regular co-presenter Steve Poole, from IBM, and we shared our combined experiences of working with Java and Docker over the past year.

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Implementing HAL hypermedia REST API using Spring HATEOAS

November 1, 2015 | Microservices

Implementing HAL hypermedia REST API using Spring HATEOAS

To use or not to use hypermedia (HATEOAS) in a REST API, to attain the Level 3 of the famous Richardson Maturity Model. This is one of the most discussed subjects about API design.
The many objections make sense (“Why I hate HATEOAS“, “More objections to HATEOAS“…)
. The goal of having fully dynamic, auto-discovering clients is still unrealistic (…waiting for AI client libraries).

However, there are good examples of successful HATEOAS API. Among them, PayPal.

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JavaOne: Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem (Video)

October 31, 2015 | Microservices

JavaOne: Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem (Video)

Microservices: Some Assembly Required

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing an OpenCredo blog series on the topic of “Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem”, but my JavaOne talk of the same title crept up on me before I managed to finish the remaining posts. I’m still planning to finish the full blog series, but in the meantime I thought it would be beneficial to share the video and slides associated with the talk, alongside some of my related thinking. I’ve been fortunate to work on several interesting microservice projects at OpenCredo, and we’re always keen to share our knowledge or offer advice, and so please do get in touch if we can help you or your organisation.

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Join OpenCredo at JavaOne in San Francisco

October 18, 2015 | DevOps, Microservices

Join OpenCredo at JavaOne in San Francisco

Microservices, Debugging Containers and Software Development Methodologies

Once again I’m privileged to be speaking at the premier Java conference, JavaOne in San Francisco. This year I will be presenting (at least) three conferences sessions: “Building a Microservice Ecosystem”, “Debugging Java Apps in Containers” and “Thinking, Fast and Slow, with Software Development”. I say ‘at least’ three talks as I usually get press-ganged volunteered into helping out at other talks and BoF sessions, but this is simply a sign of the great community spirit and a large group of friends involved with this conference!

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Join us at the Inaugural ContainerSched Conference

October 16, 2015 | Software Consultancy

Join us at the Inaugural ContainerSched Conference

Interested in Containers and Schedulers?

OpenCredo is helping Skillsmatter with the organisation of the inaugural ContainerSched conference, and we were last night in attendance at CodeNode, working our way to finalising the program alongside the Skillsmatter team. I’m pleased to say that the provisional lineup looks great (speaker acceptance emails are being sent out over the next few days), and so I wanted to share the details of some of the great content we have confirmed already.

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DevOps is Transformative

October 12, 2015 | DevOps

DevOps is Transformative

The Pre-DevOps Environment

DevOps is transformative. This (hopefully) won’t be true forever, but it is for now. While the modern management practices of separating development and operations (and to a lesser extent, everyone else) prevail, the tearing down of the walls that separate them will remain transformative. In company after company, management and front-line staff are coming to realise that keeping functions separate, which are inherently interdependent, is a model for blame, shifted responsibility, and acrimony. It’s easy to divvy-up a company up based on function. To many people, it seems the most logical way to do it. Ops does operations, Dev does development, Marketing markets, etc. It seems much harder to do it any other way. So why do it?

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OpenCredo joins the HashiCorp Channel Partner program
Microservice Platforms: Some Assembly [Still] Required. Part Two

September 20, 2015 | Microservices

Microservice Platforms: Some Assembly [Still] Required. Part Two

Working Locally with Microservices

Over the past five years I have worked within several projects that used a ‘microservice’-based architecture, and one constant issue I have encountered is the absence of standardised patterns for local development and ‘off the shelf’ development tooling that support this. When working with monoliths we have become quite adept at streamlining the development, build, test and deploy cycles. Development tooling to help with these processes is also readily available (and often integrated with our IDEs). For example, many platforms provide ‘hot reloading’ for viewing the effects of code changes in near-real time, automated execution of tests, regular local feedback from continuous integration servers, and tooling to enable the creation of a local environment that mimics the production stack.

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SaltStack – Using Consul as an External Pillar Source

September 14, 2015 | DevOps, Hashicorp, Open Source

SaltStack – Using Consul as an External Pillar Source

Recently I was working on a project that was using SaltStack for configuration management and Consul for service discovery. It occurred to me that using Consul’s key/value store would be great place to store data needed for my Salt runs, but unfortunately Consul was not supported in SaltStack as an official data store at that point in time. Being an open source project however, this provided an excellent opportunity to contribute back and this blog post looks to provide some details on how this works, as well as a practical demo on how you can take advantage of Consul as an external data store.

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Terraform Infrastructure Design Patterns

September 14, 2015 | Cloud, DevOps

Terraform Infrastructure Design Patterns

If you are operating in the programmable infrastructure space, you will hopefully have come across Terraform, a tool from HashiCorp which is primarily used to manage infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, DNS names and firewall settings across a number of public and private providers (AWS, GCP, Azure, …).

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Designing a REST API with fine-grained resources, HATEOAS and HAL

August 12, 2015 | Microservices

Designing a REST API with fine-grained resources, HATEOAS and HAL

Over the last few months one of my main projects at OpenCredo has involved creating various microservices which are interacted with via REST. We’ve been working with a relatively rich domain model, which in turn has presented a lot of challenges in how to design our various resources. This blog post aims to summarise various techniques and practices which I’ve found helpful in overcoming these challenges.

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Boot my (secure)->(gov) cloud

August 10, 2015 | Cloud, Software Consultancy

Boot my (secure)->(gov) cloud

As a company, we at OpenCredo are heavily involved in automation and devOps based work, with a keen focus on making this a seamless experience, especially in cloud based environments. We are currently working within HMRC, a UK government department to help make this a reality as part of a broader cloud broker ecosystem project. In this blog post, I look to provide some initial insight into some of the tools and techniques employed to achieve this for one particular use case namely:
With pretty much zero human intervention, bar initiating a process and providing some inputs, a development team from any location, should be able to run “something”, which, in the end, results in an isolated, secure set of fully configured VM’s being provisioned within a cloud provider (or providers) of choice.

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Embracing Disruptive Innovation: OpenCredo Partners with Google

August 5, 2015 | Cloud, GCP, Kubernetes

Embracing Disruptive Innovation: OpenCredo Partners with Google

Why OpenCredo partnered with Google

Recently OpenCredo chose to partner with Google in order to share knowledge and resources around the Google Cloud Platform offerings. Our clients come in many shapes and sizes, but typically all of them realise three disruptive truths of the modern IT industry: the (economic) value of cloud; the competitive advantage of continuous delivery; and the potential of hypothesis and data-driven product development to increase innovation (as popularised by the Lean Startup / Lean Enterprise motto of ‘build, measure, learn’).

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July 28, 2015 | Microservices

Documenting REST APIs – a tooling review

Recently I co-presented a talk at Goto Amsterdam on lessons learnt whilst developing with a Microservices architecture; one being the importance of defining and documenting your API contracts as early as possible in the development cycle. During the talk I mentioned a few API documentation tools that I’d used and, based on feedback and questions from attendees, I realised that this topic merited a blog post. So, the purpose of this is to introduce 5 tools which help with designing, testing and documenting APIs.

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A deep dive into Angular 2.0

July 8, 2015 | Software Consultancy

A deep dive into Angular 2.0

I was quite excited around autumn last year when Google started to work on a new version of Angular (Angular 2.0) which promised to revolutionise web development. There were rumours that Angular 2.0 wouldn’t be backward compatible with its predecessor, and would be written in Google’s AtScript which is a JavaScript based language on top of Microsoft’s TypeScript. The lack of backwards compatibility raised some concerns, especially for the clients that we had used Angular at. But, lets not get ahead of ourselves here….

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Asynchronous Cloud bootstrapping with Terraform, Cloud-Init & Puppet

June 23, 2015 | Cloud, DevOps, Terraform Provider

Asynchronous Cloud bootstrapping with Terraform, Cloud-Init & Puppet

Working with OpenCredo clients, I’ve noticed that even if you are one of the few organisations that can boast ‘Infrastructure as Code’, perhaps it’s only true of your VMs, and likely you have ‘bootstrap problems’. What I mean by this, is that you require some cloud-infrastructure to already be in place before your VM automation can go to work.

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Round up from the Kubernetes London meetup / Vol.2
What’s the point of Test Automation?

November 21, 2014 | White Paper

What’s the point of Test Automation?

In our latest white paper we cover the high level fundamentals of test automation, discuss the primary problems test automation solves and take a look at the steps required to implement this within your development process – all aimed at improving software delivery.

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November 19, 2014 | Microservices

The 7 Deadly Sins of Microservices

Undeniably, there is a growing interest in microservices as we see more organisations, big and small, evaluating and implementing this emerging approach. Despite its apparent novelty, most concepts and principles underpinning microservices are not exactly new – they are simply proven and commonsense software development practices that now need to be applied holistically and at a wider scale, rather than at the scale of a single program or machine. These principles include separation of concerns, loose coupling, scalability and fault-tolerance.

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Test Automation Framework – Quick start

November 4, 2014 | Software Consultancy

Test Automation Framework – Quick start

When starting a project, teams often spend their time re-inventing the ‘automated testing wheel’.  While every project has it’s own challenges and every team it’s own needs, many things exist as common requirements of a flexible test automation framework.

This post introduces an effective Java test framework that can be used to quickly get started with test automation on a Java project.

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Cucumber Android vs Appium with cucumber jvm

January 28, 2014 | Software Consultancy

Cucumber Android vs Appium with cucumber jvm

A while ago I published this blog post about writing tests for mobile applications using Appium and cucumber-jvm.

In this post, I will look at an alternative approach to testing an Android native application using Cucumber-Android.

Throughout the post I will draw comparisons between Appium and Cucumber-Android, the goal being to determine the best approach for testing an android application using Cucumber. I will focus on the ease of configuration and use, speed of test runs and quality of reporting.

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Validating your test strategy

November 6, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Validating your test strategy

In many organisations, development and test teams have a ready answer for this, and that answer is usually wrong. Commonly, teams use test counts and code coverage statistics, which alone are not enough to validate a test approach and run the risk of giving a false sense of security to stakeholders. In practice, we are not able to fully prove the efficacy of our test strategy until after a release. Once software is in use, new defects highlight where our tests are failing to validate the software and where we need to invest effort to improve coverage. This is where many teams fail to learn and improve.

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Cross platform test automation with Appium, WebDriver and Cucumber-JVM

September 19, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Cross platform test automation with Appium, WebDriver and Cucumber-JVM

This post will give an overview of mobile testing using Appium. We will integrate tests for a native Android application into an existing Cucumber-JVM based set of acceptance tests and demonstrate multi platform testing from a single set of BDD scenarios. The sample code for this can be found here.

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Configuration Management with Flexible Contexts

August 2, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Configuration Management with Flexible Contexts

Configuration management was born in the pre-cloud era. Remember the days when acquiring a super powerful multi core server felt like winning the jackpot? Infrastructure was a slightly different place back then. Yet for all the recent developments in DevOps, its legacy is still with us.

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Spring Data Hadoop – Contextual Analysis

July 4, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Spring Data Hadoop – Contextual Analysis

In which situations Spring Data Hadoop (SDH) can add value, and in which situations would it be a poor choice? This article follows on from an objective summary of the features of SDH.

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Running Cucumber JVM tests in parallel

July 2, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Running Cucumber JVM tests in parallel

This blog post will address the issue of slow test runs when using Cucumber JVM with web automation tools such as WebDriver to perform acceptance testing on a web application.

If your team is using continuous integration this becomes especially noticeable, forcing teams to either wait for acceptance tests to complete before deploying or having to ignore the bulk of the tests.

The sample code and description in this post will show you how to convert your suite to running tests in parallel, something which has historically been problematic with unanswered questions and outstanding Cucumber-JVM bugs on the subject. Tying the described approach in with Selenium Grid2 will allow you distribute your testing across several machines if your suite is especially large or slow.

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Spring Data Hadoop – Objective Overview

June 30, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Spring Data Hadoop – Objective Overview

Spring Data Hadoop (SDH) is a Spring offshoot project that allows the invocation and configuration of Hadoop tasks within a Spring application context. It offers support for Hadoop jobs, HBase, Pig, Hive, Cascading and additionally JSR-223 scripting for job preparation and tidy-up.

It is most suited for use in organisations with existing Spring applications or investment in Spring expertise. Some SDH features replicate functionality of tools in the Hadoop ecosystem that DevOps engineers who maintain a Hadoop cluster will be more familiar with.

 

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A dive into saltstack

January 10, 2013 | DevOps

A dive into saltstack

Recently I have started looking into SaltStack as a solution that does both config management and orchestration. It is a relatively new project started in 2011, but it has a growing fanbase among Sys Admins and DevOps Engineers. In this blog post I will look into Salt as a promising alternative, and comparing it to Puppet as a way of exploring its basic set of features.

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The factors pushing many organisations towards Continuous Delivery with Infrastructure as Code and what’s next…

January 7, 2013 | Software Consultancy

The factors pushing many organisations towards Continuous Delivery with Infrastructure as Code and what’s next…

The practice of continuous integration in which build servers are used to build and perform testing of code is now widespread and mainstream.

While not all teams have adopted continuous integration effectively, its increasing adoption has led many to start to look for additional opportunities to improve the cost, quality and speed of delivery with which software targeted to meet business needs can be released into production environments.

Traditionally Continuous Integration addresses the question of “does the software build and pass our unit and integration test suites?”. This is often insufficient.

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48 hours – The Pursuit of Proper Performance

February 13, 2012 | Software Consultancy

48 hours – The Pursuit of Proper Performance

Recently we were approached by a client to do some performance testing of the web application they had written. The budget allowed two days for this task. Ok. No problem. Yes, we can. Naturally I had one or another question though…

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Practical behaviour driven development – Maintainable Acceptance Tests

February 3, 2012 | Software Consultancy

Practical behaviour driven development – Maintainable Acceptance Tests

Behaviour driven development (BBD)

Creating maintainable acceptance test

In this post we will look at the creation of a suite of maintainable acceptance tests, identifying some key issues as encountered on real projects and suggesting solutions.This post assumes some knowledge of behaviour driven development (BDD). If you are new to this concept, I’d recommend Dan North’s blog as a starting point, particularly his post introducing the concept of BDD.The idea of human readable acceptance testing championed by BDD enthusiasts is one that continues to grow in popularity, and it’s easy to see why.

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