1. Women in Tech Starts in Infancy - Here's How my Daddy Helped

    A post from Helena Nelson-Smith, Atalanta CEO: I don't want to go all single-issue on your collective ass but it seems like everyone - well, everyone on my Twitter feed - is talking about either the underrepresentation of women in tech or the gender stereotyping of children via books and toys. I've decided to talk about both, with some heartwarming tales of a geek childhood with my Daddy thrown in - some pre-hashtag #dadops if you will.

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  2. Incrementing Macros in Emacs

    Emacs macros are amazing. Starting from the simplest use case of repeating a few frequently used commands, they can be used programmatically to accomplish surprisingly complicated tasks. Stephen Nelson-Smith shows how to use counters to create an automatically incremented list.

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    Published on in Emacs

  3. Command-line cookbook dependency solving with knife exec

    Machines built with Chef are configured by applying roles, which in turn define which cookbooks and recipes should be applied to meet a stated policy. Cookbooks and recipes have dependencies, which are solve by the Chef server, but which are tricky to extract after the fact. This short article shows you how to drive the Chef server API using knife exec to extract this information.

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  4. Acquiring a Modern Ruby (Part One)

    Working with Ruby is wonderful. It's expressive, fast to work in, and has a great community behind it. However, the community, and the language is very fast-moving. What are your best options for getting a current Ruby on your machines? In this series, Stephen Nelson-Smith discusses and evaluates the various approaches. Today's episode looks at the three leading tools to simplify the process of building Ruby from source - RVM, ruby-build and ruby-install.

    Find out how to get a recent Ruby.

  5. Girls at Devopsdays (see what I did there?)

    Last year, Atalanta Systems sponsored the London Devopsdays conference, held at Mary Ward House in November. Atalanta CEO Helena Nelson-Smith reflects on her thoughts and experiences regarding some of the contentious issues around the under-representation of women in tech.

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    Published on in Devops

  6. The Return of the Hipster PDA

    Digital productivity tools are great. Fast, fun, powerful - what more could you ask? In this post, Stephen Nelson-Smith discusses a return to lo-fi technology with the Hipster PDA, in the interests of maximising the effectiveness of his GTD practice.

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  7. Using Test Doubles in ChefSpec

    One of the improvements to ChefSpec in the 3.0 release is the ability to extend test coverage to execute blocks. Doing so requires the infrastructure developer to stub out shell commands run as part of the idempotence check. This is pretty simple as ChefSpec provides a macro to stub shell commands. However doing so where the idempotence check uses a Ruby block is slightly more involved. In this article, Stephen Nelson-Smith explains how to use Rspec's stubs and test doubles to handle both shell and ruby guards.

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    Published on in Chef