Dev-Ops is a methodology aimed to speed-up application development and release aimed at promoting

  • fast development methodologies – Development teams
  • fast quality assurance methodologies – QA teams
  • fast deployment methodologies – System Operators teams
  • iteration and continuous feedback – Project Management teams

The aim is to achieve a faster time to market.

DevOps inherits Agile methods such as SCRUM Project Management, but it is more focused on the tools necessary to achieve the goal. It is also possible to involve the Security delegating some rights to the other teams: this approach is called DevSecOps.

These tools Devops brings with it were previously confined into the development field only, such as Source Code Management tools like GIT, branching models such as GitFlow, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery tools such as Jenkins or Drone, schedulers such ad dKron, scanners for code quality and compliance such as SonarQube.

This means that professional of every fields, even system engineers and administrators, should have an understanding of these tools and models.

XML is a must-have skill for every professional: it is still broadly used by application protocols such as SOAP or SAML, or by description languages such as WSDL. By the way it is not something that is bound only to the application integration field: several applications relies on XML based configuration files and Blueprints, think for example to Apache Tomcat configuration files ("server.xml", "context.xml", ...), OSGI Blueprints such as a JAAS configuration, or again to Maven POM files or SCAP files (OVAL, XCCDF, ...).
The aim of this post is to provide a good overview of XML, explaining its goals, how to enforce it using schemas and generate a human-readable view of an XML file using XSLT.

The post also provides an overview of the XPath query language with some examples using the xpath command line tool. It shows you how to modify XML nodes and attributes using the xmlstarlet command line tool.

By the way, this post is part of a trilogy of posts dedicated to markup and serialization formats, so be sure not to miss

Of course these things would deserve a whole book, ... but as usual I try to be synthetic, showing you only the things that are really likely you'll sooner or later come across when working with XML, and giving tips on where to find more information on each topic.

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Skilled professionals nowadays, besides being skilled on technical matters, are supposed to know how to operate according to the principles of modern product management methodologies such as Agile and Lean. The traditional waterfall approach of gathering all the requirements, design everything as a whole, develop everything and test everything before deploying has been superseded since it cannot bear the demand of a quick time to the market of modern times: it is very likely that the delivery comes too late, when the service is no-more needed. The aim of this post is to explain what you should know about  Agile and Lean methodologies so as to operate into teams that use them.

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Vagrant is a personal tool to automatically provision virtual machine environments. It comes for free along with VirtualBox plugin, although there are commercial plugins for other virtualization engines such as VMWare. It is a very handy tool, especially for developers: it enables them to quickly mock-up or destroy even complex virtual machine environments by executing just one command. Within this post we'll see how easily it can be installed, and how easy it is operating with it.

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When dealing with environments that should meet security regulations it is very unlikely that systems have direct access to the Internet: they connect to the Internet by the means of a content proxy.

When dealing with the need of access the online Ansible Galaxy, you may think that creating the access rule on the corporate proxy is enough to sort things out, but it isn't: besides the poor performances due to the latency for downloading contents from the Internet, there's also the security concern that it is possible to upload contents to Ansible Galaxy using that proxy.

If you are working in an environment with sensitive data, this is a huge security risk that you can mitigate by using an on premise repository manager that mirrors the contents you need from the online Ansible Galaxy.

This post shows you how easily you can mirror a subset of the collections hosted onto the online Ansible Galaxy by using Pulp3 with the Ansible plugin.

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Pulp is the repository manager used by Katello (the upstream project of Red Hat Network Satellite server 6.x). This Pulp version is really exciting, since it comes with several plugins that let you host several kind of repositories:

  • generic files
  • software packages: RPM packages, Deb Packages and even Container Images
  • software modules: Python modules, Maven contents, Ruby Gem
  • contents configuration management software: Ansible roles and collections and Chef cookbooks

In this post I'll show you how easy it is to install Pulp3 as container using the official container image.

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