Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Level up your Automation Game

Here's a strategic plan I've been following to help improve my automation programming skills, primarily focusing on Python but also [trying] incorporating some Go.

The efficiency of this plan, similar to many others, hinges on two primary pilars: Deliberate Practice and Consistency

  1. Python Basics and Advanced Concepts: Start by revisiting the Python basics (variables, data types, functions, loops, conditional statements). * Gradually move to more advanced topics (OOP concepts, file handling, exception handling, generators, decorators).

  2. Dive Deeper into Python: Understand Python's standard library. It's broad and powerful, and a lot of what you might want to do for automation might already be covered. * Learn about working with databases, APIs, and web scraping as they are common in automation tasks.

  3. Automation Specific Python Libraries: Learn libraries that are frequently used in automation tasks, like Selenium for web automation, or Pyautogui for GUI automation.

  4. Practice, Practice, Practice: Regular practice is key to mastering any programming language. Try to automate simple tasks that you do daily. It could be anything from organizing your files to web scraping news articles. * Websites like Codewars, LeetCode, and HackerRank provide Python problems that you can practice on.

  5. Go Programming: Once you're confident with Python, start exploring Go. Go is known for its simplicity and efficiency, which can be particularly useful for certain automation tasks. * Begin with the basics (variables, data types, control structures, functions) and move on to more complex topics (pointers, structures, interfaces, concurrency). * Start writing small scripts, then slowly move onto more complex tasks.

  6. Projects: The most effective way to learn is by doing. Apply your skills to real-world projects. These could be work-related or personal projects. * GitHub is a great place to find open-source projects where you could contribute, or get inspiration for your own projects.

  7. Continuous Learning: The tech world is always evolving, so it's crucial to stay up-to-date. Follow relevant blogs, forums, or influencers who can provide insights into the latest trends and best practices.

Remember, it's perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed when learning something new. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress, no matter how small it might seem. The key to becoming proficient in any programming language is consistency and practice. Happy coding!

SRE Best Practices: Boosting Reliability, Performance, and Efficiency in the Cloud

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline that combines software engineering principles and practices to create ultra-scalable and highly reliable software systems. Initially developed at Google, SRE has become an industry standard, especially important for cloud-based environments. In this blog post, we'll delve into some SRE best practices to enhance the reliability, performance, and efficiency of services running on hosted cloud environments.

Embrace SLOs, SLIs, and SLAs 

Service Level Objectives (SLOs), Service Level Indicators (SLIs), and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are vital components of SRE. SLIs are the metrics or indicators used to measure the performance and health of a service. SLOs are the target values or range of values for these metrics. SLAs, on the other hand, are the contracts with customers that specify what happens if an SLO is not met.

These elements play an essential role in balancing reliability and the pace of development. They help quantify reliability, make informed decisions about risk, and prevent reliability from becoming an afterthought.

Automate as Much as Possible

Automation is a core tenet of SRE. From deployments and scaling to incident management and remediation, automation drives consistency, reduces human error, and allows your team to focus on more complex tasks. For example, automating the deployment process through CI/CD pipelines helps ensure reliable releases and faster recovery times when issues arise.

Error Budgets and Risk Management

An error budget is the acceptable level of risk or failure defined by the SLO. If a service's reliability exceeds its SLO, the error budget is "positive," and you can take more risks like accelerating feature deployment. However, if the error budget is "negative," it means you're not meeting your SLO and should focus on improving reliability.

Prioritize Incident Management

Despite your best efforts, incidents will occur. Effective incident management includes defining an incident response process, having an on-call rotation, and following up with a blameless postmortem. This approach not only resolves incidents effectively but also turns them into learning opportunities to prevent recurrence.

Embrace a Culture of Learning and Blamelessness

SRE encourages learning from failures instead of blaming. It's important to create a culture where people feel safe to report and learn from mistakes. Blameless postmortems are a key tool in this respect, focusing on identifying the contributing causes of incidents without pointing fingers.

Monitoring and Observability

You can't improve what you can't measure. Comprehensive monitoring and observability are key to understanding your system's behavior and identifying areas for improvement. Utilize logging, metrics, and tracing to gain a full view of your system's performance and health.

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning helps ensure your services can handle the load and meet performance expectations. It includes forecasting demand, managing resource usage, and planning for scalability. It's crucial to use tools for auto-scaling and load balancing in cloud environments to handle sudden traffic spikes or grow over time.


SRE is a powerful approach for managing and improving services running in the cloud. By embracing SRE best practices, you can boost the reliability, performance, and efficiency of your services, ensuring that they not only meet customer expectations but also contribute to the overall success of your business.

Remember that SRE is not just about tools and practices; it's also about culture. By fostering a culture of blamelessness, continuous learning, and a focus on reliability, you can create a robust and resilient cloud ecosystem.