JAX DevOps London 2018

This week we attended the JAX DevOps conference in London: “The Conference for Continuous Delivery, Microservices, Docker & Clouds”. It was more about Continuous Delivery and Microservices than Docker and Clouds, more Dev than Ops, but still relevant to us.

Continuous Delivery

We attended several talks about continuous delivery. There were many subjects that all speakers agreed on like the necessity for different types of automated tests. It also appears that Jenkins is still the preferred CI/CD tool; its community, flexibility and plugins are difficult to beat. With Jenkins, the Pipeline with the Blue Ocean plugin are used by several speakers.

The automation of code styling review as well as the detection of security vulnerabilities in code were advised since they are easy to implement. We also got some extra tips like the communication between developers through pair programming or even team programming for more complex problems, combining the conversation to actual coding in order to quickly rule out possible solutions. Since fast feedback is a requirement, developers code in front of a dashboard to know straight away if their code passes tests or causes issues:

Team programming. From “The Road to Continuous Delivery” by diabol.se https://www.slideshare.net/tommysdk/the-road-to-continuous-delivery-93446499

Monitoring and logging

Visualisation is important in continuous delivery and in microservice environments so several talks were dedicated to monitoring and logging.

We attended a great talk by Steve Poole (IBM) who hates when someone tells him that his system is down before he knows it. It gave us great ideas on how to design a good dashboard with only what we need.

S. Poole demonstrated the use of Dashing to quickly build a dashboard, but other speakers were also using Grafana, aggregating all metrics in a single place. We also learned that we shouldn’t over alert or over monitor but metrics were still useful to keep for debugging purposes.
Speaking of debugging, the speakers gave good advice on how to improve our logs by adding context and tracing (Zipkin was used by several speakers).

As a final note, we would like to say the organisation and the venue were both amazing. Thanks to the organisers!

If you are interested in joining the next JAX conference this Fall in London, you can solve their puzzle to get a 50% discount:

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