Monday, May 1, 2017

Announcing Devops Katas

The best way to learn a new tool is to use it. In the development world, there are hundreds of short exercises called katas specifically for this. They're designed to take anywhere from 1-4 hours and help you learn a new language, a new technique, a new library, etc. You go through the process of writing tests, writing code, and seeing something at the end.

One thing that distinguishes good katas is the framework. There's a place you go to with all the files necessary to write tests and write code already in place. The only things missing are the tests and the code. You can focus on the problem at hand instead of the formalities necessary to do a good job. For example:
For devops, even though we have more tools, we haven't had anything resembling a kata. Instead, we have things like:
These aren't bad. It's very helpful to have a focused exercise to work with. Except, I can't share my work with you. You can't ask me questions. We can't build on this exercise together. The bowling kata, FizzBuzz, roman numerals - these are all well-known and understood exercises from the development world, regardless of the language you work in.

In that vein, I'm releasing "proper" devops katas at These katas have a Vagrant and Serverspec framework to work within, giving the user the ability to do proper TDD in devops. I'll be releasing at least one/month and would love to get feedback on the next one to do.

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