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Oracle SysDev Hub

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I am back from my roadtrip from Oracle Code London, Berlin and Prague. Two weeks, three cities, six keynotes, six Hands-on-Labs, a lot of sessions, DevLive interviews and almost 1400 Developers. Not bad for a road/air trip.

A few key takeaways.

  • Amazing people from those who work behind the scenes, attendees and those who are on stage are everywhere.
  • Keynotes covered the changing role of the developer, API First, Mircroservices, the role of Chatbots in user interaction and more.
  • Each city has an amazing history, a river that runs through it, great food, a metro/subway/underground and beautiful people.
  • In the DevLive interviews we got to interview speakers and attendees providing both a behind the scenes and a more probing look at the topics they covered.
  • Folks loved the cloud demos, from the CNC Cutter, 3D Printer, Cloud Coffee Demo, PacMan demo and more.


Check out the video which is a Oracle Code Mashup London Berlin Prague

Coming soon to a city near you on the other side of the pond is Oracle Code. I am excited, London April 20th, Berlin April 24th, and Prague April 28th.

Photo  by Dun.can available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg



There will be technical sessions, hands-on labs, the IoT Workshop, and my favorite the Code Lounge where I will be hanging out with cool demos like Cloud Coffee Service, 3D Printer, as well as all day CodeCasts. What's a CodeCast? It's a stage where we as community managers we get to interview speakers and livecast the sessions so you can watch developers and community members share their experiences.


Photo  by Rodrigo Paredes available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg



Oracle Code is a free event for developers to learn about the latest developer technologies, practices, and trends. Learn from technical experts, industry leaders, and other developers in keynotes, sessions, and hands-on labs. Experience cloud development technology in the Code Lounge with workshops and other live, interactive experiences and demos. If you haven't registered it's not too late.


Photo  by Roman Boed available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

You all know about the trending news story about a Doctor who boarded a United Airlines flight and was forcibly removed when the flight was overbooked. A traumatic event for the Doctor, the passengers who witnessed it and obviously a PR disaster for United. I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the whole fiasco, not only because we discuss technology but also I am going to be flying United in a couple of days. Seriously though besides all the operational issues it got me thinking about overbooking, why it happens and how technology could potentially come to it's aid.

Photo  by Michael Rehfeldt available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

  Photo  by Michael Rehfeldt available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


Overbooking is a common practice among all the major airlines as some finite percentage of  passengers are going to miss their flight, due to delays and other reasons. Rather than letting the planes fly with unoccupied seats, airlines to be more profitable overbook, in the hope that some passengers are not going to show up. If they do show up, then they offer incentives starting at eg $400, and that can get bumped up to larger amounts, $800+ for a passenger to take a later flight (in the United incident they needed to get other crew on board and the incentive didn't work for this passenger).


Booking tickets for seats and the incentives are all handled by software, yes an algorithm. However it's not all about technology, the culture of an organization plays a role, which brings us to DevOps. How could DevOps help address the issue? A few semi-random thoughts and this is not meant to be comprehensive and bullet-proof.


  1. Active user/customer/stakeholder participation and a thorough understanding of customer use cases
  2. Continuous build, integration, test, deploy, pipelines
  3. Experiment and learn
  4. Proactive monitoring with short feedback loops to identify issues and inefficiencies


Cultural transformation is never easy or quick. It requires par-excellence communication and collaboration, the ability to resolve conflicts, and to be nimble and flexible when and where change is required. Those businesses that deliver value to customers and their organization in a consistent manner will be the successful ones.

It's not often we get to have an intimate conversation with a Keynote Speaker, but purely by chance that is what happened for me at DevoxxUS in San Jose. I met up with Janelle Klein, author of "Idea Flow: How to Measure the PAIN in Software Development, and founder of Open Mastery, an industry collaborative learning network focused on mastering the art of software development with a data-driven feedback loop.


Here is an edited Q&A with Janelle and the video interview is below.



Q. Share with us a little background, growing up and your love of Computer Science?

A. I grew up in Oregon, had a passion for music and went to college to become a professional songwriter.  Once I realized what a career in music would be like, I didn't know what I wanted to do.  My boyfriend wanted to take an x86 Assembly class together, so that was my first exposure to programming.  Once I realized I could create anything I could dream, I fell in love with software development.


Q. Can you talk a little bit about your early jobs and some of the inflection points in your career?

A. My first job out of college was working on a financial core processor, which got me really interested in data-heavy systems.  I spent several years working in the semiconductor industry on statistical process control and supply chain optimization systems, and became obsessed with Lean, continuous improvement and process methodology.   After a tragic project failure bringing production down three times in a row, then figuring out how to turn the project around with my team, I made a lot of discoveries that fundamentally changed my views on software development.  This led to my book, Idea Flow, on new data-driven learning techniques, and my new company, Open Mastery.


Q. In your keynote you spoke about Pain signals, as ways of identifying issues.   Dev and Ops prior to the DevOps movement usually work in silos and with it come problems. I wanted to get your thoughts about DevOps.

A.  The main thing I've learned when it comes to breaking down the walls between Dev and Ops is to make an effort to ask people about their pain, to listen, and to be patient in seeing the world from another person's perspective.   Measuring your pain and bringing data to the conversation also really helps to break down walls, and makes it easier for everyone to agree on the core problem that needs to be solved.


Q.  DevOps is in part about automation. How will automation impact people who work in IT and for that matter outside IT?

A. As we build automation on top of more automation, we end up with a massive amount of complexity in our IT infrastructure.  On one hand, we get to work at a higher level of abstraction and increase our capability.  On the other hand, when something breaks, we have to understand the automation which becomes near impossible because of all the complexity.  AI technologies will probably become a lot more critical in coming years in managing IT infrastructure.


Here is the actual video interview at Devoxx San Jose

"Pain is instructional." That is a quote from software developers/advocates turned philosophers Baruch Sadogursky and Lenoid Igolnik. I had a chance to meet and interview Baruch at DevNexus in Atlanta, Oracle Code San Francisco and now both of them at Oracle Code Austin. They tell an amazing modern day historical fiction story set in ancient times.


For those not familiar with Greek Tragedy (confession, I was one of them), it's a three act play "that ends badly and everyone dies." The full play is enacted and posted on Youtube, but for the CodeCast at Oracle Code Austin, I wanted to do what could be considered an extended trailer.


The three acts cover the life cycle of a startup. In Act one, we start with a three person (all developers) company in a garage, where they come up with a software application/service and a Kanban kind of process. There are no processes in place and life is good until the proverbial Friday afternoon 5pm call from a customer down situation, and all hell breaks loose.


As the company grows we get to Act two, and the company has grown to about 20 people, mainly developers, and at least one person with an Ops background and an Agile development methodology. All is well until you guessed it another Friday night outage and everyone scrambles.


Act three kind of ends with a mature company with more people, 100 folks, with 75 developers and an actual Ops team trying to move to a DevOps model. We will fast forward through the murder and mayhem, and end with an Epilogue.  It's more of a Hollywood/Bollywood happy ending where Dev and Ops lived happily ever after. Of course along the way there was a lot of growth and pain.


Watch the unedited video here DevOps Greek Tragedy at Oracle Code Austin If you don't make it through to the end of the blog and embedded video, the key takeaway  is "pain is instructional."

It's a trending news item that 150 miles NorthEast of San Francisco, Lake Oroville's water levels got so high so high that an emergency spillway on the dam had to be opened up. Almost 200,000 people are under evacuation orders as the water downstream may cause flooding. We hope and pray that the threat is mitigated.

Photo  by Alan Light available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

    Photo  by Alan Light available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


Which brings us to today's post about DevOps. If we replace water with code, you I am sure get the analogy. Rather than let the dam of code burst infrequently, DevOps provides an opportunity to do continuous builds/integration and continuous deployments but on a smaller more frequent interval.



What are the benefits? According to Puppet's  “State of DevOps Report,”  details that "high-performing DevOps organizations outperform their lower-performing peers. They deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, recover 24 times faster, and have three times lower change failure rates." Not bad.



Again the disclaimer with any of these metrics is that the gains are not universal and will depend on many variables. Besides the size of your organization, tools, and communication, the biggest factor is still cultural. Being humans we are creatures of habit and any time large systemic changes are brought in, we tend to resist.  So go ahead open up the code spillway slowly and frequently in partnership with the downstream operations teams.

Where possible I like to make my blog posts topical. Given that this was Super Bowl Sunday, it is hard to ignore. What a game and how impressive was the live video coverage.

Technology plays a huge role both for the fans in the stadium as well as those watching at home on Television, tablets or smartphones.

In terms of technology, Intel showcased their 3D technology which takes 38 HD Cameras around the stadium that then feed into a data center with over 100 TeraBytes of data.The servers then combine all the video to do a volumetric capture and showcase it through the Intel 360 Replay. It's pretty impressive and gives a players POV as they would see it.


For the fans in the Dallas stadium there is the world's largest HD Video screen 160 ft by 72 feet. Don't try to get this into your home, it weighs 600 tons and costs a mere $40 Million.

So how does this tie into the world of Football and DevOps?


All professional sportsmen and women make their sport look so easy. Tom Brady seems to work in slow motion and throw the ball  to his hand picked receiver with all the time in the world, except when he got Sacked. The reality is that great quarterbacks have a playbook from which they select the best move at the time. So it is with the world of IT and the hand off that takes place between Development, Test/QA, and Operations. They also have or need a playbook. With the right automation the passes will be complete leading to many touchdowns. In the not so well scripted scenarios there will be incomplete passes, fumbles, and interceptions.


Win or lose, there is so much that will be learnt through technology and the constant monitoring through wearable devices in future games and Super Bowls. So it is with DevOPs; Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, and Continuous Monitoring allows a feedback loop that leads to a virtuous cycle.

Whether you are a sports fan or not Big Data and Machine Learning is a trend that is not only impacting sports but our lives in general. From Google Search and Translate, to the  Amazon referral engine, and Pinterest suggestions, Machine Learning is behind much of the intelligence and workings of these services. What does all of this have to with the Australian Open?

Photo  by brett marlow available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

   Photo  by brett marlow available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


Serena Williams and Roger Federer won the 2017 Australian Open. When you watch the matches, there is some fascinating commentary which shares how one player is doing versus the opponent. In the men's final it was Nadal versus Federer. In the coverage they share a lot of interesting stats. from how many first and second serves in, how many aces, to how many winners, and unforced errors.   Machine learning can make better predictions, of a players performance based on metadata, eg how long a player was off due to injury, or how tired they may be, based on the number of games and time they spent on-court before coming to a match. The stats. vary from tennis to football , basketball and baseball, but the key thing is they provide a metric by which you can measure how a player or team is doing.


Shifting the conversation to DevOps some folks think it is not measurable. After all it is a methodology and a culture with so many variables that are not easily quantified.

However, if we break it down, it is possible to put some metrics behind the "movement." In the world of IT, depending on your focus there are many things that are measured, MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), MTTR (Mean Time To Repair), MTTF (Mean Time To Failure), FIT (Failure In Time) and many others. DevOps is a methodology that in many cases can bring about more efficiencies. More efficiencies means faster, cheaper, smaller. Here are some things that can be measured.


  1. Developer code release frequency
  2. Developer code release accuracy
  3. QA/Test Bug frequency
  4. Operations staging speed of deployment
  5. Operations production speed of deployment
  6. Operations uptime MTBF (prevention of downtime)
  7. Operations recovery MTTR (once down how quickly you recover)
  8. Operations SLAs for Cloud Services
  9. User and Customer Ticket volume (both sign-up and well as complaints)
  10. Culture progress (this is a tricky one, more qualitative than just quantitative)



This is NOT meant to be an all-inclusive list for DevOps, but just to start a conversation. What are your thoughts, DevOps ROI doable or who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

There are many parallels between technology and art even though outwardly they appear diametrically opposed. The Australian Tennis Open is now taking place and into its second week with the quarter finals. Even if you are not a tennis fan you have probably heard of the Swiss Maestro Roger Federer. At the ripe and mature age of 35 years, he is having an awesome tournament. When you see Federer play, he is at times playing what appears to be effortless tennis.

Photo  by Richard Fisher available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

   Photo  by Richard Fisher available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


He is in "the flow." Which brings me back to the world of technology and DevOps. In the coming first half of 2017, my Oracle colleagues and I will be making several appearances at Oracle Code and other developer events starting with Developer Week in San Francisco in February and other events like DevNexus in Atlanta. Regardless of the venue, we hope to share with you the Cloud platforms that can allow you as a Developer, System Administrator (Release Engineer, DBA,  Network/Security Engineer, or any other job title) better ways to manage your infrastructure.


If you are a DevOps sceptic or not totally convinced about its value, not to worry. We're not asking you to "throw out the baby with the bath water." Let's work on identifying your pain points, and based on those trying to understand where DevOps can help. Automation can help you with Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Monitoring. When these tools work together with people and processes, you too can be "in the flow."


It is is hard to visually show how the flow looks like in DevOps, but if you want to see something inspiring, check out this shot from Roger at the Australian Open.


DevOps builds on Waterfall and Agile cultures and with the right tools and cultural mind shift you too can become a maestro.

You all know the basic premise behind DevOps. In simple, get rid of silos between organizations specifically Development and Operations. In reality depending on the size of the organization there is Test, QA, Staging and others in between.

Photo  by Nancy Xu available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg


Considering this, week we will have a change in administration, I find it surprising that with several departments like "State" there hasn't been much conversation between the old and the new. Even though the analogy isn't perfect hopefully you get the picture of Silos whatever shape of form.


In the IT world, not only is DevOps an opportunity to deploy tools that allow  Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery it requires a cultural shift. Roles will change. Developers have to get a better understanding of how Ops works and SysAdmins will need to understand more about code. No matter what business,  you are in or what political affiliation you have, “Software Defined Everything” means Software is going to playa critical role in your organization.


DevOps provides a methodology to make things faster, cheaper, smaller. Oracle has some great offerings in this space starting with the Developer Cloud Service. In the coming weeks and months we hope to share with you how you take services like this, and knock down those Silos for a better world.

The title and quote “This is a new day, a new beginning,”  is from Star Wars, by Ahsoka Tano. As we start the new year, there is so much change going on, and like you I am still taking it in From the election to Rogue One, there is no shortage of change.


Photo  by Gordon Tarpley available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

Photo  by Gordon Tarpley available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


We're going to skip the politics here. With security and hacking being a big news item, I have a great post by ACE Director Johan Lowers, which discusses Oracle Cloud - Governance Risk and Compliance Framework based deployments. In it Johan covers the Oracle Compliance Cloud Service. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to comment.

Happy New Year to our OTN Systems Hub subscribers.

Photo by Wilson Hui available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.jpg

    Photo by Wilson Hui available under a Creative Commons Attribution License



With automation tools that allow increasingly more IT datacenters and shops to run 24 by 7 by 365, it’s going to be an exciting 2017. In the DevOps world there is going to be increased efficiencies to shrink development cycles and ensure that the friction in moving from development to test and production is minimized.

Check out the following blog post by Johan Louwers for a more in depth look Oracle Cloud – Changing the tool chain for DevOps


Other continuing trends will be moving away from monolithic applications to micro services architecture and Containers like Docker and Kubernetes. Without the overhead of virtual machines, containers allow applications to contain all the runtime code including databases, libraries and tools to run seamlessly on any cloud infrastructure.


With continuous integration and continuous deployment models in the Cloud, DevOps along with Containers and Microservices allow for easy deployment and minimal support resources for your IT needs.


Stay tuned for more details of how Oracle, can help in each of these areas  in upcoming posts and articles.

In the world of fashion and technology old is not only new but sometimes "old is gold." This is not a sentimental look at the past, but a perspective on where are at in the present.

Photo  by University of Salford Press Office available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license.jpg

   Photo  by University of Salford Press Office available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license


It is true that fashion does recycle. Not being a fashion guy, I am not sure if mini skirts and bell bottom pants have truly made a resurgence. However, from the age of mainframe computers concepts like Virtualization of compute, networking and storage have become the mainstay. First with Hypervisors like VMWare, and then now with the big push to the cloud with virtual infrastructure that can be instantaneously brought online, at the flick of a switch, dial or key.



Besides focusing on Systems my conversations in the coming year will focus on DevOps, Containers, and MicroServices. The claim here is not that componentization of software or encapsulating code in light-weight containers or getting two departments talking to each other  is something radically new. What is new, is that with a recognition of the value in doing these things, there are new tools and technologies that allow these concepts to become ubiquitous. With Open Source tools like Chef, Puppet, Jenkins in the DevOps world, Docker in containers, it makes the life of developers and operations folks hopefully a better one.



Stay tuned for more updates in early 2017.

Tanya S. is a Linux System Administrator more popularly known as SysAdmGirl on her YouTube channel. She has been a SysAdmin for over 19 years and is both hands on a Systems Administrator and a part time faculty with the California State University system. Below is an interview I Javed M (new codename SysAdmGuy), conducted with her.





  • Q1  In brief can you share your SysAdmin background. What is the IT setup you have, and what Systems are you responsible for (OS, Hardware, Apps?)


I started off as a UNIX Administrator in 1997 working with Solaris, HPUX and IRIX. When Linux started to become more popular we migrated all UNIX systems to Linux Systems. I currently support mainly Redhat Linux Server and Workstation for Computer Science Labs as well as Research Labs. There are about 60-70 IT folks who support a campus of 40K students. I am part of a seven-person IT team that supports Engineering and Computer Science students.


  • Q2. Given technology is always getting faster, cheaper, smaller, what has not changed in your role


What has changed is the whole concept of virtualization, cloud computing, containers and the power of processing. In the early days servers were large mainframes. Now you have these two meter high racks that have a much smaller footprint. In some cases, we don't even have a physical data center because it is all can run in a Cloud environment. What has stayed the same are the fundamentals of low level operating systems, programming and scripting.


  • Q3. Tell me a little bit more about SysAdmGirl. How long have you been doing it, how often do you publish a video and what does it take to get it out?

I started this about five years ago, and took a yearlong break in between. I now try to put out about three video tutorial a month. For a basic setup it can take 5-8 hours of preparation as I like to give demos. For a more complicated setup it can be even more time. I set things up virtually and am a big user of Oracle Virtual Box. I usually recording around 2am when my children are asleep.



  • Q4. Who is the audience of the SysAdmGirl channel and what motivates you to do all this?


There are over 50K views per month. What motivates me is that I like to inspire young students, especially young girls who currently only make up about 13% of Computer Science students. I try to be a role model and show these young girls that they can be successful in a STEM field as well. It's also rewarding to see that my YouTube videos are helping young students entering the IT field plus the YouTube feedback is always really positive.



  • Q5. Do you have any goto sites you go for answers or to hang out for things relating to issues or challenges you face as a SysAdmin?


I like to stay current and keep abreast of technology changes. I will look at IT Forums and read developer documentation on the vendors support site. If I get any error messages, I usually Google!



  • Q6. Are there any rules you live by as a SysAdmin?


Always always always have a tape backup and for mission critical services always have the highest possible fault tolerance by setting up High Availability clusters.



  • Q7. What do you like about being a Linux SysAdmin


Not to knock Windows, but in the Unix/Linux world I love the control of the OS that I have. It is totally customizable to the lowest OS level.

I got to attend Øredev 2016 Developers Conference in Malmo, Sweden the week before last (Nov 7-11).



For those of you not familiar with Sweden, you get to Malmo from the outside world by flying to Copenhagen and then taking the train across the bridge to Malmo. It's a very cosmopolitan city. The Mayor of Malmo hosted the speakers, organizers and yours truly on a dinner the night before the conference at the historic townhall. I came back learning not only a lot of history, but also through the keynotes and themes of many of the speakers learning about IT and technology from the lens of social justice, peace and other themes of the conference. A first for me and unique especially coming from State-side.


In this multi-media blog post you will find a little background on the conference, some photos and a link to some of the video interviews that I shot. Apologies upfront for my croaky voice due to the Swedish Cough and Cold I caught.


Special thanks to Emily Holweck for hosting me, Amelia Barklid for picking me up from the train station, Andreas Hammar as the Øredev team for welcoming me and giving us the VIP treatment.



The Mayor of Malmo


Conference Background

  • Malmo, Sweden
  • 12th year
  • 3 days conference
  • Over 180 track sessions
  • About a 1,000 attendees
  • Developer Conference but with social themes including Social Justice, Peace etc (which is very unique)

Community Cast

The setup was amazing. I was expecting us to have an off stage presence, but didn't realize we had the whole stage.

Between Heather Van Cura (who did the Java interview) and I we recorded about 25 Community Casts with developer/speakers and keynoters.

We had a big screen presence behind us.


The Community Cast Stage


I alternated interview sessions with Heather VanCura (above) who leads the Java Community Process (JCP) Program.

The videos need a bunch of editing so will share later ( I caught a Swedish cough/cold so it was challenging interviews).


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