Edge + Fog + Cloud = Dark Matter

Herewith I want to announce the official launch of the open source project Dark Matter. In essence, it’s an effort to create a framework, which would allow to seamlessly distribute the apps, services and storage on nodes and devices on all three levels: on edge devices, on fog nodes and also in the cloud. It should be also possible to operate the system completely without the cloud (headless).

The following recording should give you an idea what the Dark Matter is all about.

LFD232 Cloud Foundry for Developers

It took me some time to complete the Linux Foundation’s course “LFD232 Cloud Foundry for Developers”. While the course was good, I still have a bad gut feeling about the Cloud Foundry technology in general. It feels kind of clumsy to me. The fact that it was there before the whole containers boom and that they have a hard time catching up with containers says a lot. Seems like the future of cloud-native apps belongs primarily to techs like Kubernetes + Docker etc.

Overview of the chapters:
1. Introduction
2. CF Motivators
3. Basic Definitions
4. Technical Overview
5. Core Themes
6. Logging & Metrics
7. Resiliency
8. Services
9. Twelve-Factor Applications
10. Log Drain Review
11. Manipulating Routes
12. App Execution & Security Groups
13. Staging & Running
14. Microservices
15. Route Services
16. Docker
17. TCP Routing
18. UAA and OAuth2
19. Cloud-Native
20. Cascading Failure
21. Distributed Tracing
22. Application Lifecycle
23. Non-Breaking Changes
24. CI/CD & Automation

Disrupt Yourself!

We are living in the age of re-thinking. The rapid technological development gives us the tools to rethink and redo the old stuff in a new, optimized and lean way. “Digitalization” is the word that is frequently used to designate this trend. Some of its extreme forms are called disruptive innovation.

The new ways to solve the old problems usually cause collateral damage. People will be laid off, shops will close and established companies and institutions will go bankrupt or become irrelevant. No surprise, it is the price of innovation. Those, who do not embrace the innovation and won’t dare to disrupt themselves will be disrupted from outside. This is only a matter of time.

Remember companies like Kodak, Nokia, RIM or Blockbuster, which were once leading their industries and are irrelevant or nonexistent today. Kodak is a great example because they were the ones who discovered the digital photography. They have hesitated to develop it further on a scale not to disrupt their analog photography business. Where are they now? Another example – Netflix. Started as a DVD rental by mail business, they have switched at the right time to the video streaming technology and by doing so cannibalized their main business. They were successful and led other fixed-mindset companies like Blockbuster into bankruptcy.

What if you are an old company with an established business, which you were milking for years and years? You know that it won’t stay forever this way, right? Once you got an idea how to improve your product or service to make it better or cheaper – go for it! Even if it will disrupt the sales of your legacy products. Because if you won’t do this, somebody else will. But then it might be too late…

Disclaimer: the article can also be found on LinkedIn and Medium.

Down With the Politicians

The world is changing dynamically and will be changing in the near future even more dramatically. Technology brings higher computational speed coupled with completely new ways to solve problems. Technology can reduce the physical work for people to the point that they don’t have to do it.

Politics is an artificial and unnatural construction. Every time people delegate their power or vote in favor of somebody, it is almost inevitable that the power would be abused and, in many cases, turned against the people. Then why to take risks, instead of avoiding them, to begin with? Never vote for anybody and never elect anybody! The whole system is designed for corruption. People who want to become politicians are mainly driven by egoism and pursuit of their profits rather than by altruism.

When people have access to objective and unbiased information, they don’t need someone to take decisions for them. Wiki is already there, other systems are emerging as well.

But who are the decision-makers making important resolutions on the economy and social life? We are. Nowadays it costs virtually nothing to cast a (digital) vote. Let people vote on EVERYTHING. Let people organize themselves.

Is the humanity going to immerse in chaos and wars then? No. Intelligent species like humans are self-organizing. There will never be another war again. No loving mother ever wishes to send her child to a war, unless brainwashed by propaganda or forced to do so.

The world is changing and there is absolutely no need to solve old problems by old means.

Disclaimer: the article was also published on LinkedIn and Medium.

Working Like an Artist 🎨

Ever wondered how to create state of the art products and services? The key is to be obsessed with your creations. Most of the products that are surrounding us are those, which were created using the 80:20 principle. It means that creators used 20% of their effort to create 80% of the product, which normally includes basic shape, functionality and branding (name, color etc.) What if you want to win customer’s heart by crafting great products and services and by doing this to go down in history as a great creator? Then you have to treat your product as a piece of art. A great piece of art.

Do you know how much it took Leonardo da Vinci to paint Mona Lisa? Whopping 4 years! And he eventually left it unfinished. Even was quoted as “never having completed a single work”. An “80:20 painter” would need just several days to paint a similarly looking picture. But then probably the world would have never heard about that artwork or that painter.

Creating a great product requires some time and passion. Attention to the details and inspiration. The creator goes back iteratively to his/her creation to adjust it, again and again. In the retrospective, if confronted with the question “are you satisfied with your creation?” he or she would often say that it still can be slightly improved.

Can you create art within the wage slavery wage labor framework? Sure, you can. But to be honest, the majority of the work out there is quantity oriented, not quality oriented. Still, it’s up to every one of us, which pill to take, red or blue.

Which next product or service will you create? Will it be a piece of art or will it be yet another soulless creation?

Everyone can be an artist. Work like an artist!

Disclaimer: also published on LinkedIn and Medium.

That’s Why a Corporate Job Might Be Not for You

All people are different. Majority of the people would be more than happy to have a well-paid job, lick their manager’s (and manager’s manager, and manager’s manager’s manager…) butt and fake their skills and knowledge to pretend to be something more… But among humans, there are sometimes these kinds of species, who cannot conform to the current status quo. After some time they begin to ask themselves questions like “What the heck am I doing here? Why am I spending my lifetime on that crap? Was I born into this world to do that?”

Here is a test. If you answer positively to most of the questions, then you are in a wrong job.

  1. Your company’s computer is full of pre-installed crapware and spyware, which, according to the company policies, you are not allowed to get rid of. You are not allowed to choose which computer and operating system to use — it is carefully decided for you.
  2. You find yourself to work in a secretive environment, where a lot of stuff happens behind the scenes. It is an exclusive environment, not inclusive. Collaboration and brainstormings are very seldom.
  3. The top management declares very high and right values, but behind the facade, quite the opposite is happening.
  4. Individual initiative and improvement suggestions are often met with irritation and anger and will be ignored in most of the cases.
  5. There are at least 3 individuals in your team or very close to the team, which you don’t like personally and whom you would prefer not to see in your life ever again. They are often liars and upstarts with a very egoistic mindset and no sense of fair play.
  6. Managers have no idea about the domain they are working in.
  7. People with passion are a minority and also struggling like you. You understand each other very well.
  8. Employees are often referenced with the word “resources” rather than “talents”.
  9. You should fight to be allowed to attend a new training or certification.
  10. That what they ask you to do — you don’t like. That what you like and enjoy to do — you are not supposed to do.
  11. You are enforced to spend a lot of time doing useless and stupid things, like writing useless reports, taking part in pointless meetings, frequently tracking hours in a manual and painful way.
  12. Hierarchy is more important than bright ideas.
  13. You feel that you miss on life and your family by working your butt off for a paycheck.

In the end, ask yourself one simple question: “If it were not for money, would I be doing it?” If the answer is “no”, then you know that you are in a wrong place and doing the wrong thing.

Somewhere out there your dream job is waiting for you. Go and chase your dream!

AWSome Day Roadshow 2018 in Munich

Today I’m participating in Amazon’s AWSome Day in Munich. The training starts at 09:00 a.m. and includes AWS Basics like Amazon EC2, Amazon S3 and Amazon RDS, before the day ends with a session about Serverless and Software development on AWS at 05:00 p.m.

Here is the agenda:

[09:00 – 10:00] REGISTRATION & COFFEE

[10:00 – 10:15] KEYNOTE

Learn about AWS history, why and how AWS Customers adapt the cloud.

[10:15 – 12:30] AWS Basics

This session includes:

AWS Global Infrastructure
AWS Management Console (Online-Demo)
AWS Infrastructure- Part 1

This session includes:

Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) Concepts, Instance Familiies and Types, AMI´s, utilization of metadata und userdata
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Basics, Sub nets, Security, VPN
Online Demo: Set up of a VPC and Launch of a web server
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Concepts, Buckets, objects and S3 Simple Lifecycle Management
Amazon S3 Online – Demo

[12:30 – 13:30] LUNCH BREAK

[13:30 – 15:15] AWS Infrastructure – Part 2

This session includes:
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Concepts, Volumes, Snapshots, Performance
Amazon EC2 Instance Store Concepts und differentiation to EBS
Security, Identity und Access Management

AWS Shared Responsibility Model
Security Measures by AWS
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Concepts, Users, Groups,
Amazon Dynamo DB Concepts
Online Demo: Set up of a RDS Servers and connection to a web application

[15:15 – 15:45] COFFEE BREAK

[15:45 – 16:45] AWS Elasticity & Management Tools

The session includes:

Auto Scaling Concepts, Launch Configurations, Auto Scaling Groups and Scaling Lifecycle
Elastic Load Balancing Concepts, Request Routing and Load Balancer Types
AWS Management Tools, Amazon CloudWatch and AWS Trusted Advisor
Online-Demo: Scaling and Load Balancing of a Web-Application
AWS Serverless Architectures

Amazon API-Gateway and Amazon Lambda programming
Amazon Cloud9 – Development Environment


Docker for Beginners Workshop

This Tuesday was a great rainy day to spend 4 hours at the University of Bayreuth attending the Docker for Beginners workshop organized by Govinda Fichtner of Paessler AG and Bastian Roth of indibit GmbH. The workshop consisted of theoretical (slides) and practical (hands-on CLI orgy) parts. The process was accompanied by tasty family-size pizzas and drinks.

The DevOps Academy certificate:

The content of the workshop:
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“Automation meets Edge” Challenge

Siemens Digital Factory and Siemens Factory Automation business units, together with university and Edge experts of Siemens Corporate Technology are launching a Global University Challenge on the topic „Automation meets Edge”.

It is an online open innovation competition where students from 32 partner universities worldwide are invited to share ideas on industrial app use cases with Edge Computing.

The ideas will be evaluated by Siemens experts online during a timeframe of 5 weeks – from May 2nd until June 5th 2018.

10 winning student teams will receive prize money as well as an invitation to a Hackathon in Nuremberg in October (Siemens takes over all travel & accommodation costs) where the students can prototype their idea on the brand new Edge platform.

Students of the following universities are eligible to participate in the challenge (including Siemens working students and PhD students):

  1. Newcastle University (UK)
  2. University of Manchester (UK)
  3. University of Oxford (UK)
  4. University of Cambridge (UK)
  5. University of Southampton (UK)
  6. TU of Denmark (Denmark)
  7. Tsinghua Beijing (China)
  8. Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
  9. Tongji University (China)
  10. Soochow University (China)
  11. HUST University (China)
  12. TU Munich (Germany)
  13. Ludwig Maximilian University (Germany)
  14. RWTH Aachen (Germany)
  15. TU Berlin (Germany)
  16. FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany)
  17. KIT (Germany)
  18. TU Darmstadt (Germany)
  19. TU Dresden (Germany)
  20. University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
  21. University of Passau (Germany)
  22. University of Stuttgart (Germany)
  23. TU Budapest (Hungary)
  24. TU Vienna (Austria)
  25. TU Graz (Austria)
  26. JKU Linz (Austria)
  27. ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
  28. Vanderbilt University (USA)
  29. Virginia Tech (USA)
  30. Purdue (USA)
  31. Clemson University (USA)
  32. UCLA (USA)

Siemens is looking forward to great ideas from students on use cases with Edge computing in a production environment!

More information and registration form is available at https://siemensinnovation.spigit.com/automationmeetsedge

Three Bitcoin and Blockchain Courses

Blockchain is a groundbreaking technology. It’s already disrupting the banking and insurance industries and has the potential to revolutionize current political and social systems. It has many implementations and applications, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Smart Contracts, Smart Laws, Distributed Apps (DApps) etc. In essence, it’s about removing the trusted authorities and giving power to the peers or people.

I can highly recommend the following three courses, which give a very well structured overview of this technology:

Learning Bitcoin by Tom Geller
Blockchain Basics by Jonathan Reichental
Blockchain Beyond the Basics by Jonathan Reichental