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Building a Kubernetes Cluster in my basement

Rack with two servers
2 servers of my kubernetes cluster in 19″ rack

I know Kubernetes. Often repeated in interviews or talks. But do I? Does anyone really? Kubernetes knowledge is such a complex topic, and encompasses a multitude of surrounding tools, deployment strategies and general networking and security skills. I have worked with Amazon EKS, Google GKE and minikube in the past. To really deepen my knowledge, it is high time to build my own baremetal cluster (including hardware) from scratch in my basement! Here’s how it went.

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Honest Courses

IT Course

When I first started developing software, I was often lured in by flashy marketing claims of tools or programming languages. “You can display ‚Hello World!‘ in 5 minutes!” claims on the front pages of tools or programming languages. While the claim is often true, it isn’t honest. Yes, it took only a couple of minutes, but I just copied example commands without understanding what I am doing. I had to trust the default settings. I had to accept the shortcomings of the tool I picked. What about security? And of course, I could not sell ‚Hello World!’ to a client. I would have wished for honest courses teaching me what I really need.

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Leading a team … during a pandemic

When I started leading a team, I defined what I expect from each software developer and how I see the role of a team lead. At that point, I did not know about Engineering Ladders yet, otherwise I would have build upon that framework. Instead I created this diagram.

Venn Diagram: System Integrity, Team Velocity, Domain Expertise; Overlap: Lead Developer.
Venn Diagram of areas relevant to each Software Developer

The diagram shows the three areas I expect every software developer on the team to put work in. Of course the bar is set a bit lower for trainees. As a bare minimum, I expect a trainee (after the onboarding phase) to deploy working code to production.

I’ll explain every area and the effects remote work can have on them.

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