Saturday, November 12, 2016

AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification

I have been messing around with AWS on little side projects and experiments for about the last year. I did find it quite a daunting experience as there is just so much to learn, do, try, break, struggle, deploy, re-learn and then eventually cheer when everything works.
So I decided to focus a little more and spend the time actually learning how to hopefully do all this properly. I have always found a good way to force myself into the theory and step back from diving directly into implementing solutions is certifications.

I booked the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam for 4 weeks into the future and set a couple hours a day aside to study.

Main 2 resources I used:

  • A Cloud Guru
    • I did watched and worked through both the Associate Developer and Associate Architect courses. There is quite a bit of overlap, but still that just meant that I had covered some of the really important bits more than once.
    • I really enjoyed Ryan's courses, I did mostly watch on 1.3x speed as it does sometimes feel a little slow and I had set myself a 4 week dead line.
    • I would recommend them to anyone starting who's looking to learn about AWS, for practical real life use or certification.
    • The discussion section / forum is a great source of tips for the exams as well.
  • Cloud Academy
    • I only signed up for their 7 day free trial, so did not work through all of their labs. However they have a ton of quiz questions and explanations which is a great way to study / practice specifically for the certification.
    • Their summary video was also good and covered some content not covered in depth on a cloud guru.
    • They also had some quick easy reading blog posts highlighting important practical information when starting with AWS... listed in Other resources below.
Other Resources:

The main aws faqs to look at:

In the end I felt I had personally learnt a lot, not only on the exam topics but in general practical application as well. Main areas were especially with regards to VPCs, Networking and Security. It was well worth the intense 4 week study session.

End Result:

Overall Score: 90%
Topic Level Scoring:
1.0 Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems : 90%
2.0 Implementation/Deployment: 83%
3.0 Security: 90%
4.0 Troubleshooting: 100%











Next up.. AWS Solutions Architect - Professional

Saturday, October 8, 2016

TOGAF 9.1 Notes

I was considering doing the TOGAF 9.1 certification. I have gone over all the content, to at least have a decent idea, what TOGAF is and what it is trying to achieve.
However based on my current position, interests and trends I decided to rather focus my attention elsewhere for the moment.

So just to note down all the resources I found, used and other relevant resources links incase I do have the time or the need to come back to it.

Training course UDEMY (Scott Duffy):
https://www.udemy.com/togaf-enterprise-architect/
https://www.udemy.com/togaf-part2/
I would avoid the Exam Strategy one (https://www.udemy.com/study-togaf) as I found it a little bit of a waste, and he covers a lot of the content in the other 2 courses anyways.

Books / PDFs:
The Actual TOGAF specification (PDF)
TOGAF 9 Foundation Exam Study Guide
TOGAF 9.1 Quick Start Guide for Enterprise Architects (Not sure where I got a PDF from)
TOGAF Cheat Sheet from Scott Duffy's Udemy course.

Other Useful Resources:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Oracle Workspace Manager - Basic POC with Spring Boot and Flyleaf

Working with a process to update configuration and master data within an enterprise is always a challenging task. While investigating possible solutions on how to have someone change data via a UI, then have those changes tested, signed off and approved before taking it to production. I stumbled on to Oracle Workspace Manager.
According to their developer docs, it seemed fit this use case exactly:

Manage a collection of updates and insertions as a unit before incorporating them into production data
Workspace Manager lets you review changes and roll back undesirable ones before making the changes public. Until you make the changes public, they are invisible to other users of the database, who will access only the regular production data. You can organize the changes in a simple set of workspaces or in a complex workspace hierarchy. A typical example might be a life sciences application in which Workspace Manager supports the discovery and quality assurance (QA) processes by managing a collection of updates before they are merged with the production data.


You could think of Oracle Workspace Manager as light "git"-like db versioning. 
Simply put:

  1. You create a workspace (branch)... 
  2. You make your changes there.. other people can connect to your workspace .. also make changes... or alternatively create their own branch from yours.
  3. You can refresh (fetch / merge) your workspace and resolve any conflicts that arise.
  4. Once everything is sorted and all is well with your changes you merge it back into the "LIVE" (origin: develop / master) workspace.

I used an existing Docker image of a oracle standard edition version. Oracle Workspace manager is not available on XE unfortunately. This is a rather large image, and it does take a couple minutes to initialise. The image is available on here on Docker Hub.


Connect database with following setting:
hostname: localhost
port: 1521
sid: xe
service name: xe.oracle.docker
username: system
password: oracle

To connect using sqlplus:
sqlplus system/oracle@//localhost:1521/xe.oracle.docker
To connect on mac os - install instantclient and run from there:

./instantclient_12_1/sqlplus system/oracle@local


To setup the initial DB I tried out Flyway. All quite simple and easy to implement. 
Under resources/db/migration there are a number of sql files that do the initial database setup.

  1. create the tables: CODE and CODE_TYPE, 
  2. insert initial data 
  3. enable versioning on those tables.

When you enable versioning the following happens, the table is renamed and a view is created allowing the "recording" of changes that occur.

Reference: (oracle presentation available here)



So after the initial setup you will seen a number of tables and views:



To try this out...

  1. Get the Oracle Docker image
  2. Once the DB is started... run the boot DataApplication.
  3. Use Postman on the REST resources below

To check the current workspace:
GET: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace
To select all the information from the code table for the current workspace:
GET: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/data/code
Create code in the current workspace:
POST: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/data/code
BODY: 
{
"id":2,
"descr": "some code",
"type": 1
}
To change workspace (LIVE is default and available):
PUT: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/{workspaceName}
To create a workspace:
POST: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/{workspaceName}
To remove a workspace:
DELETE: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/{workspaceName}
To merge a workspace:
PUT: http://localhost:9119/poc/workspace/merge/{workspaceName}


These REST resources just wrap some of the functions from the DBMS_WM Package
This is maybe just the tip of a iceberg, as there is a ton of functionality available from this package.

All the code is available here.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Re-Inspired

It has been a very long time since I last posted.
 Due to some crazy work pressures and a couple months of working 2 jobs, I just could not find the time nor inspiration to contribute to this blog.

However today a work colleague sent me the following: 52 Technologies in 2016

It's awesome.
It reminded me how much fun I had driving myself to learn, try, demo and blog about new tech all the time. Lets hope life does not get in the way.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Amazon AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Python, Flask and Sci-Stack Docker

This actually took me longer than I'd like to admit to get working, but in the end the solution is quite neat and simple, so it was probably worth it, and hopefully this could save other people some time.

The Amazon Docker file looks like this: 
AWS Elastic Beanstalk Dockerfile - Github

This installs the contents of the root folder requirements.txt before running your Docker file. So for my application the basic "non-sci" packages could be installed simply enough.

Root Folder: requirements.txt:
Then to install the sci related packages... numpy, scipy, pandas, scikit-learn and nltk. I created another requirements.txt in an aws-post-install folder. This is to be run once the Amazon linux OS has been updated and all the required OS dependencies have been installed.

Post Docker requirements.txt:
My custom docker file, that builds ontop of the Amazon image looked as follows:

Docker File:

Next step is to get my docker image to be used directly so that the Elastic Beanstalk app doesn't have to do all the downloads and installs every time should be simple enough according the AWS you tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLw6MLqwmew

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