New Platform Engineering Blog Post on Pluralsight

I am excited to announce my second ever blog on Pluralsight.com. This blog is about Platform Engineering. In this post I break down what platform engineering is, the business problems it solves, and how to know if your organization is ready to roll it out yet.

In the blog post, we explore why there is so much hype around platform engineering, if Platform Engineering is a replacement for DevOps, how Internal Developer Platforms help resolve the infrastructure gaps, and more. Be sure to check it out!

👉 Read the blog post here:

https://www.pluralsight.com/resources/blog/it-ops/what-is-platform-engineering

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Azure Friday: Exploring Automated Deployments for AKS with Steve Buchanan and Scott Hanselman

Hey everyone, today I’m super excited to tell you about a recent episode of Azure Friday that I was lucky enough to be a guest on.

Azure Friday is a weekly video series hosted by the legendary Scott Hanselman, where he interviews experts and developers on various Azure-related topics. In this episode, we talked about Automated Deployments for AKS, a new feature that makes it super easy to deploy your apps to Azure Kubernetes Service.

If you’re not familiar with AKS, it’s a managed Kubernetes service that lets you run containerized applications on Azure without having to worry about the complexity of managing the cluster. It’s a great way to scale your apps and take advantage of the benefits of Kubernetes, such as high availability, load balancing, and service discovery.

But what if you’re not familiar with containers or Kubernetes? What if you just have some code in a GitHub repo and you want to run it on AKS? That’s where Automated Deployments for AKS come in. It’s a feature that simplifies the Kubernetes development process by taking care of the tedious work of containerization for you. It uses a tool called Draft, which automatically detects the language and framework of your app, creates a Dockerfile and a Helm chart for you, builds and pushes the image to Azure Container Registry, and deploys the app to AKS. All with just a few clicks in the Azure Portal.

Sounds amazing, right? Well, that’s what I wanted to show Scott in this episode. I had an app hosted in a GitHub repo that I wanted to run on AKS. The app was a simple web app that displayed some data from a database. I had already created a few resources in Azure, such as a resource group, an Azure Container Registry, and an AKS cluster. All I needed to do was use Automated Deployments for AKS to get this app from code to running on a cluster.

So how did it go? Well, you’ll have to watch the episode to find out. But spoiler alert: it was super easy and fast. In just a few commands, I went from code to an app running on AKS. Scott was impressed and so was I. We had a great time chatting about how Automated Deployments for AKS works under the hood, some of the benefits and limitations of using it, and how it can help developers get started with containers and Kubernetes.

Check out the episode here:

https://aka.ms/azfr/749

With Automated Deployments, Microsoft is opening up new avenues for developers to embrace the power of containers and AKS, enabling them to effortlessly build scalable and robust applications.

If you’re interested in learning more about Automated Deployments for AKS, you can check out the documentation here: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/aks/automated-deployments. It’s available today in public preview, so you can try it out for yourself and see how easy it is to run your apps on AKS.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy this episode of Azure Friday as much as I did. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a guest on Scott’s show and talk about one of my favorite topics: Azure Kubernetes Service. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter at @Buchatech. Thanks for reading and happy coding!

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Guest on Kubernetes Unpacked Podcast EP014 – “Using GitOps and AKS to Build and Deploy Apps

I recently was a guest on Michael Levan‘s Kubernetes Unpacked Podcast on the Packet Pushers network.

This is Kubernetes Unpacked episode #014 it is titled: “Using GitOps And AKS To Build And Deploy Applications

Michael and I talked about using GitOps and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to automate the building and deployment of applications. We also chat about an entire architecture incorporating AKS, GitHub Actions, Azure Container Registry, GitHub, and ArgoCD along with how it all comes together to make a useful stack. Check out the podcast below.

Link to the podcast:

https://packetpushers.net/podcast/kubernetes-unpacked-014-using-gitops-and-aks-to-build-and-deploy-applications/

Listen here:

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Giving Keynote – Networking is more relevant than ever in a cloud-native world

I will be giving the Keynote at the next (MN)NUG (Minnesota Networking User Group) event on December 6th. (MN)NUG is a part of the (US)NUA (US Networking User Association) organization that hosts a vendor-neutral environment to talk networks. With beer.

After my talk, there will be a panel of networking experts from Target, Cologix, Cisco, and Arista Networks.

Here is my talk info:

Title:

Networking is more relevant than ever in a cloud-native world (cloud & Kubernetes)

Abstract:

Folks are often so focused on the new and shiny stuff in modern technology such as cloud, Kubernetes, and DevOps, however, core skills such as networking are as relevant as ever and one of the top skills one should have when working with these modern technologies. In this session, Steve is going to explore why you should start with networking when embarking on a journey into the cloud or Kubernetes.

Here is the full schedule:

4:30pm – 5:00pm Check-In / Open Mingle

5:00pm – 5:50pm Keynote Presentation Networking more relevant than ever in a cloud-native world (cloud & Kubernetes)

5:50pm – 6:15pm Break

6:15pm – 7:15pm Panel Discussion Emerging Networking Ideas & Trends

7:15pm – 7:30pm Open Mingle

If you have an unwrapped donation for “Toys for Tots” you may bring it to this event for drop off.

Full event info and registration here:

https://events.bizzabo.com/441464

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BIT Talk: Destination Cloud – Pivoting Your Career in Tech

This month I will be a guest speaker at the free Blacks In Technology Twin Cities chapter happy hour event. We will be having a tech career discussion. The topic is: “Destination Cloud – Pivoting Your Career in Tech with Steve Buchanan“.

When: The happy hour event will be on Wed, May 25, 2022, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Location: Modern Well, 2909 S Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55405.

Join us for an evening with me and moderator Brian Waters as we explore career pathways in the Digital Space. Here are topics we will explore:

  • Choosing an area of interest
  • Being Strategic & Intentional in Career Search & Growth
  • Transitioning into Different Tech Disciplines & Industries, and
  • Identifying tech trends on the horizon!

This event is both in-person and virtual. The in-person location is Modern Well, 2909 S Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55405 and the zoom link is below. I hope you can make it out to this event!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85049210370?pwd=M0ZQR0twNTlQbTJGOUtDZjloVFA2dz09 or here: https://www.linkedin.com/events/destinationcloud-pivotingyourca6927748171498475520

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Watch Learn Live Episode 7 – Introduction to Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

Today Pierre Roman (@wiredcanuck) Senior Cloud Advocate of Microsoft & myself (@buchatech) streamed “Introduction to Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes” on Learn Live. Here is what we covered in this session:

In this session, showed you how Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes clusters can help customers like Contoso to optimize and simplify their operations. Here are the Learning objectives we covered:

  • Describe Kubernetes, Azure Arc, and Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes.
  • Connect Kubernetes clusters to Azure Arc.
  • Manage Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes clusters by using GitOps.
  • Integrate Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes cluster with Azure services like Azure Monitor and Azure Policy.

If you missed it don’t worry. 🙂 You can watch the playback on the Microsoft Developer YouTube channel here:

You can check out more Learn Live episodes on the:

Or

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Speaking on the Metaverse at GatherVerse Summit 2022

GatherVerse is a new conference about the MetaVerse. GatherVerse is the creation of entrepreneur & tech leader Christopher Lafayette. The GatherVerse is a global gathering discussing humanity first standards of education, safety, privacy, wellness, equality, community development and accessibility in the next steps of the metaverse. Here is the GatherVerse website: www.gatherversesummit.com

I will be a part of a panel discussing EdTech’s role in the Metaverse. This panel will be on day 2 – February 23rd, 2022 @ 2:00pm pst – 2:48pm pst

I will join a great panel of esteemed tech professionals. On the panel, I will give my personal point of view of how companies and technologies such as Accenture (who recently bought of 60k Oculus headsets), Microsoft, FlipGrid, TakeLessons, LinkedIn Learning, Roblox, Pluralsight, and more fit into the Metaverse.

This event is free. Here are links to learn more and sign up:

Free Tickets
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gatherverse-summit-tickets-217609685427

Website
www.gatherversesummit.com

LinkedIn Event Link
https://www.linkedin.com/events/gatherversesummit20226871478586432454656/about/

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End of Year (2021) Review

This year was another abnormal year with ups and downs for many. Salute to everyone that kept pushing through any and all hardships you experienced. For me, my focus continued to be family and seizing all presented opportunities while blocking out as much unnecessary noise as possible.

Highlights:

I consider 2021 a spectacular year with several milestones and firsts for me. This year kicked off with me being featured in the Star Tribune (the 5th largest newspaper in the United States) in Superbowl Sunday’s paper! Other major highlights included being renewed as a Microsoft MVP for the 10th year, being promoted to an Azure Platform Offering Lead at work, developing 6 new courses for Pluralsight, publishing my 7th and 8th book one of them being my 1st book with O’Reilly, appearing on 5 podcasts/webinars, & speaking at 7 conferences/user groups of them being DevOpsDays MPLS! I also continued my virtual world tour speaking at events in Africa and even Jamaica!

Here is the full list of activities from 2021:

February 2021: Featured as a technology leader in Minnesota’s largest newspaper Star Tribune. Was a full page story. Bonus this was the super bowl Sunday newspaper.  https://m.startribune.com/twin-cities-technologist-steve-buchanan-sees-a-more-inclusive-expanding-future-for-young-minorities/600019839

February 2021: Published GitOps course on Pluralsight showcasing knowledge in AKS, Azure Arc, Kubernetes and GitOps.

February 2021: Presented at Omaha Azure User group on Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes & GitOps. 

February 2021: Presented on Containers in Azure for Lago’s (Nigeria) LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY (LASU) TECHX CONFERENCE. 

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Article on Star Tribune

2021 is off to a great start & it’s only the 2nd month. 😎

I am excited and honored to announce I am featured in an article in Minnesota’s largest newspaper the Star Tribune on SuperBowl Sunday!

Here is a picture of the article in the paper:

You can read the full article here:

https://m.startribune.com/twin-cities-technologist-steve-buchanan-sees-a-more-inclusive-expanding-future-for-young-minorities/600019839

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2020 Year Review – Podcasts, Speaking, New Courses, & Certifications

2020 was an extraordinarily tough year with many downs for so many people all over the world. For me losing 3 people in a week and a half (not to COVID) along with all the funerals to follow was rough. Also, the injustice in my home city with the murder of George Floyd and unrest was unbelievable but not a surprise with injustice going un-noticed for so long. It was amazing to see the world wake up and acknowledge what has been happening for so long.

In spite of all of the bad stuff from 2020, there was a tremendous amount of good stuff happening and progress. I believe there is always an opportunity in the middle of chaos. To see the opportunity it is needed to take a step back, slow down, and analyze the board. In this post, I am going to recap the positives from this year as I have done in the past few years.

Let me start off with the fact that I was renewed for my 9th year as a Microsoft MVP! I was re-awarded in the Azure category for the 3rd year. I never take the Microsoft MVP award for granted as it is never guaranteed. I am honored to once again be among such a talented group of people across the globe!

The next thing I want to call out is a message I received from someone from my home city after listening to one of the podcasts I was featured on. In this message this upcoming tech star talked about how he was inspired by the episode and how he can relate to me. This message was inspiring to me as this is a huge part of what I want to do through sharing my story. I hope to see more of it in the future. Here is the message:

Ok, now lets get into the list of activity from 2020!

-Podcasts-

In 2020 I was honored to be featured on 7 podcasts! Some of the podcasts in the US, Europe, and Africa! Here are the podcasts:

Guest on “Lisa at the Edge” Podcast EP13: In the podcast episode Lisa and I talked about: Evolving your career as technology evolves, Transformation of IT dept to Strategic Business Partner, DevOps, Containers 101, Azure Kubernetes Service, Diversity in tech. Episode link here

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/06/guest-on-lisa-at-the-edge-podcast-ep13/

Guest on Packet Pushers podcast Cloud Governance, Bringing Order To Your Cloud Chaos. Podcast episode here:

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/01/cloud-governance-bringing-order-to-your-cloud-chaos-podcast

Guest on a #podcast by @blacktechtalent. The founder & I discuss topics such as: breaking into tech, finding black tech talent, black employee retention, racism, colorism & more. You can listen here: https://www.blacktechtalent.org/btt-discussions-ep-3-ft-steve-buchanan/

Was a guest on Tech Talk Wednesday podcast and radio show with Kazeem Adegboyega Topic: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) in 30 minutes. Streamed online via Microsoft Teams and aired in Lagos, Nigeria on Lagos State University (LASU) radio (95.7).

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/08/tech-talk-wednesday-guest-topic-azure-kubernetes-service-aks/

10/31/2020 FEATURED ON BITTECHTALK EPISODE #127 – BITTechTalk ep. #127 Steve Buchanan – PC Tech to Microsoft MVP

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/10/featured-on-bittechtalk-episode-127-pc-tech-to-microsoft-mvp/

Guest on Black Tech Talent podcast.

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/10/featured-on-black-tech-talent-podcast/

11/5/2020 Guest on the RunAs Radio Podcast

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/11/featured-on-runasradio-podcast-terraform-vs-bicep-arm/

Guest on  Headinthecloud Heartinthecommunity a community show by Isidora Katanic and Holly Lehman.

-Pluralsight Courses-

In 2020 I developed 5 new courses for Pluralsight bringing the total to 6! This is an opportunity to continue sharing my knowledge with the world through Pluralsight’s global platform. You can find my Pluralsight Author page here:

https://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

Here are my blogs about the courses throughout 2020:

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/12/sap-on-azure-course-on-pluralsight/
https://www.buchatech.com/2020/10/2-new-pluralsight-courses-heroku-cloud-computing-fundamentals/
https://www.buchatech.com/2020/07/third-pluralsight-course-published-microsoft-azure-pricing-and-support-options/
https://www.buchatech.com/2020/06/second-pluralsight-course-published-monitor-and-maintain-a-software-defined-datacenter-with-scom/

One more highlight from my journey with Pluralsight in 2020 is that my AZ-900 course broke into the top 100 courses on Pluralsight! This actually stayed here for multiple months!

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/11/my-az900-course-broke-into-the-top-100-on-pluralsight/

I am excited about the potential with Pluralsight for 2021!

-Speaking-

In 2020 I presented at some conferences and user groups. Here is where I presented in 2020:

Inside Azure Management event conference

I was a speaker during the “Inside Azure Management Summit” on 7/23/2020. This was a free community event. It featured Microsoft cloud experts from the authoring team of “Inside Azure Management” book, Microsoft MVP’s, and community experts from around the world. I presented on Azure Policy! My session can be watched here:

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/07/inside-azure-management-sessions-now-on-youtube/

I was one of the experts in several Ask the Expert sessions during Microsoft Ignite 2020! Sessions included PowerShell on Azure, Kubernetes on Azure, and Azure Migrations.

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/09/speaking-at-microsoft-ignite-2020/

Presented at an Azure User Group based in Ghana, in Africa on Terraform for Azure!

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/11/speaking-at-a-ghana-based-azure-user-group-on-terraform-and-azure/

-Interviews-

I was featured on AzureCrazy.com in an article! In the Interview we discuss being a #Microsoft MVP, getting certified in #Azure, the positive impact #PowerShell can have on your #ITCareer, getting started with #AKS#AzureStackHub & more. Check it out here:

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/10/featured-on-azurecrazy-com/

-Certifications-

Since 2020 was full of time spent inside at home I took some time to knock out a few certifications.

I took and passed the Docker certification! CKA will be in my future.

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/02/passed-docker-certified-associate-study-guide/

I decided to study for and passed an AWS certification!

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/07/passed-aws-cloud-practitioner-exam/

I also gained a Terraform certification by contributing to the Terraform associate exam and helped out with a Terraform certification study guide!

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/04/hashicorp-terraform-certified-associate-exam-study-guide/

-More-

I also spent time writing blogs, volunteering with some youth tech programs, as well as shared a couple of scripts on GitHub! Here are some posts about some of these:

https://www.buchatech.com/2020/03/build-release-a-container-image-from-azure-devops-to-azure-web-app-for-containers/
https://www.buchatech.com/2020/04/application-gateway-ingress-controller-deployment-script-for-azure-kubernetes-service/

2020 was a full year. I already have plans and stuff in the works to make 2021 an exciting year continuing with a focus on Azure, Containers, Kubernetes, IaC, Terraform, GitOps, and more! Please check back here often for new blogs, scripts, and more.

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