2016 has been another crazy year for me, and 2017 is just as crazy. I've been
putting off updating my site for a while (a whole year). So here is a summary
update of just some of the things I've been working on for 2016 and the first
few months of 2017.
Certifications: I am now a Puppet Certified Professional 2016, I guess if its
not obvious, I've been working even more heavily with Puppet, going to training,
writing modules, etc. This was my first certification and I will say the test
is very difficult testing you on every obscure area of Puppet, and it changes
a lot between versions. If you're studying for this exam, you need to
practically read all their documentation on top of training and having real life
experience. Their are study guides, I also just recently obtained certification as an IBM
Certified System Administrator for WebSphere Application Server Network
Deployment V8.5.5 and Liberty Profile. Mostly because I've been working with it
heavily for a while so the certification was just a formality, I barely studied
for that one.
System Administration and DevOps: I learned the hardway that running 'reboot' on
AIX does not run the shutdown scripts in System V init the same way it does on
Linux, if you want a graceful shutdown, run the full 'shutdown -r now' instead.
Another, painful lesson, related to Puppet, if you use hiera as a key value
store for site configuration, bad things happen when it stops working for some
reason and Puppet starts breaking things, in production. The mess it creates is
so bad, I think Puppet should put in some sort of safe guard that if hiera is
failing, it does not generate or update catalogs for nodes. I'm also doing a lot
of AWS and cloud work, not so much Eucalyptus anymore, and there may be more for
me in that area in the future.
Security: YubiKey's are super useful once you get them setup, and get a RFID
shield for your work badge. I updated my WebSphere xor password decoding tool
with instructions to make it easy to find the passwords in question. A friend
needed it, and the tool lets you crack the passwords offline even though wsadmin
can decode them for you using one of it's MBean's or whatever. Also, I've always
wanted to put SSL in front of this site. I plan on using CloudFront to fix this
soon. Maybe by the time I actually getting around to posting this.
Conferences: I attended BSides Charlotte somewhat, did BSides LV and DefConf in
Vegas again, and BSides Charleston. This year I hope to do a few local
conferences including attending DerbyCon