My First Legitimate Vagrantfile

I feel like I’ve created this sort of new kind of being. Previously, I had rarely used Vagrant or Docker or anything of the sort, so the idea of being able to craft an on-demand virtual machine with whatever the hell I want inside of it was both exciting and terrifying.

Linux isn’t foreign to me, and neither is the idea of automation, but after being so accustomed to working in a Windows environment against my better judgement for several years, there was a lot of cobweb removal.

Needless to say I could have prevented the aging of my knowledge by staying up to date on every development and deployment technology I could get my hands on. There are, however, only so many hours in the day. Something had to give.

Now I’m paying for that decision as I work on slowing transitioning myself into a more software-development oriented career path. I enjoy ops-y stuff, but I like building things. I like tinkering (hacking?). My boss made a joke today about how involved I get whenever there’s a discussion about minor HTML tweaks to one of our sites.

Hey… I like that shit.

One thing that made it easier for me to get into this new and soon-to-be-awe-inspiring technology is that I had a purpose. There was a clear goal I wanted to meet and beat.

One of our software offerings runs on JIRA. If you’re unfamiliar with the product, it’s a Java-based project management/issue tracking/development/agile tool for organize and keep track of just about anything. Software companies and app development teams are likely the largest consumers of this product. On a regular basis, my team is spinning up and burning down JIRA instances in the never-ending hunt for bug reproduction, walkthroughs, and everyday troubleshooting.

Unfortunately, installing JIRA by hand isn’t fun if you’re running a Linux box. The Windows installer is pretty hands-off but Windows is Windows.

My end goal was to be able to fire up the almighty Vagrant, have it build out a Linux image with a database, JIRA, and be ready to accept input in the browser. I piggy-backed off a couple other like-minded setups I found on GitHub so it only took a couple hours to get it doing what I wanted.

So without further ado, here’s the link. It’s a work in progress as I’d like to someday have data pre-filled and JIRA pre-installed. I’m not sure how feasible that is given JIRA’s licensing structure. For the uninitiated, the license key is unique and time-based. The key starts to wither away the moment its generated instead of the system stopping working after 30 days from install.

Next week I might try the same with Docker. I’d love to be able to manage a cluster of these types of setups that can be built up and torn down as needed with little overhead. Instead of making the pre-game ritual longer, I want to make it shorter but more enjoyable.

Point of No Return

The point at which I can’t turn back as I pivot my career is approaching. I see it coming, though, which allows me to prepare. Although I’ll never be fully ready, I know I have time to at least pack my suitcase.

Sunday Fun Day

It’s Sunday, and the one thing I enjoy doing on Sunday is watching (American) football. Since it’s still 19 days away from the Seahawk’s first pre-season game–that I might end up missing because I live in California, now, and DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket is both over-priced and only available on DirecTV–I might have to find my way to a Seahawks bar… if they even exist in the Bay Area.

If that doesn’t end up working out, my guess is it’ll be chores and projects… and games. I try to fit in some game time whenever I can because it’s relaxing for me. being able to shut off for a bit and kill some monsters is almost as good as coffee.

Weekend Thoughts

This weekend, while my wife is out of town, I’m spending time reflecting on my routine to determine what I can do to make the most of my abilities.

I’m a huge fan of routines, in general, so I know that by establishing one that coincides with a planned week, will help, a lot.

Leaf Turning

Ever heard the saying:

I’m turning over a new leaf?

I’d say that, but in this case, the leaf is the same one. This morning I took the time to get back into a morning routine that makes me feel the best.

I’m also working on better planning of my week, as per this video:

If you’re not doing this, do it with me. I’d love to hear how it goes.