Introduction to AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)

This is a high level intro to LLMs that I’m writing for a few friends that are new to the concept. It is far from complete, definitely contains some errors and is a work in progress. This is a work in progress and a living document. Language models, or LLMs, are a type of artificial intelligence that can generate text based on a given prompt. They work by learning patterns in large amounts of text data and using those patterns to generate new text....

November 26, 2023 · 13 min · 2741 words · Sam McLeod

MBA Washing

“MBA Washing” refers to the phenomenon where individuals, often with a strong theoretical or academic background but limited recent practical experience, adopt and reinterpret industry-specific terminology and cultural movements. – This reinterpretation is typically influenced by their academic learning, recent literature, and biases towards larger enterprise perspectives. As a result, the original intent and practical effectiveness of these concepts, such as DevOps or Platform Engineering for example, may be diluted or misrepresented. ...

November 13, 2023 · 3 min · 560 words · Sam McLeod

Escaping the Time Trap: Why Estimating Effort, Not Time, Leads to Greater Success

Many organisations - while branding themselves as “Agile” - continue to make the mistake of estimating project velocity based on time than effort. ...

April 28, 2023 · 8 min · 1681 words · Sam McLeod

Energy, Sustainability and Deployment Frequency

Deployment / Delivery Frequency I often end up needing to advocate for more frequent delivery/deployments with clients. There’s the usual benefits commonly discussed such as improved feedback, reduced risk, well understood processes, maintainable dependencies etc… however what’s often missed entirely is how it relates to the health and sustainability of the team. ...

December 31, 2022 · 2 min · 373 words · Sam McLeod

It's 2022 and we're (still) not deploying enough

We’re (still) not deploying enough It’s 2022 and not deploying frequently enough is still one of the most common causes of software failure. ...

August 23, 2022 · 6 min · 1155 words · Sam McLeod

DevOps Team Charter

A template team charter for software and platform engineering teams. Research1 shows there is great value in people embracing a shared vision and ideas that are bigger than themselves. When it comes to a team charter, it’s important to remember that it’s not a static document. It’s a living document that should be updated as the team evolves and grows. Keep in mind that One size doesn’t fit all. Consider your (teams) mission, cultural background and values....

November 18, 2020 · 5 min · 1046 words · Sam McLeod

Camels Dressed As Unicorns

Stop trying to hire with titles like ‘DevOps Engineer’ or ‘Cloud Engineer’ “DevOps is … not a job title” “It’s more of a cultural practice, like innovation, and it makes just as little sense hiring “innovation engineers” and expecting your organisation to be innovative, without also creating the culture to foster innovation.” (Joel Shea when responding to this posted on LinkedIn) In most cases it’s clear the organisation doesn’t truly know what they want or need and likely don’t understand the nuances of the aspects of engineering....

August 8, 2019 · 2 min · 328 words · Sam McLeod

Looking For New Opportunities

As stated in my announcement post - after 7~ years, I resigned from Infoxchange several months ago. I planned on taking a holiday, relaxing, decompressing, dipping my toes in some off-the-shelf tech I haven’t spent a lot of time with and performing some personal growth through reading a number of books that have been sitting on my ’to read’ shelf. This is exactly what I’ve done. I’m now open to new opportunities I’d rather find a workplace that I can add great value too and be happy to work with than rush into a new role quickly, obviously if something great turns up right away - I’ll pursue it....

August 6, 2019 · 4 min · 763 words · Sam McLeod

Leaving Infoxchange

After 7~ years, I have resigned from Infoxchange. In 2012 I was hired to work with Infoxchange to “shake things up” (in the Systems Operations team) and stabilise the hosting environment. As Team Lead of Systems Operations I was tasked with melding the team and then for us to work to provide a stable, robust, modern and scalable platform for Infoxchange developed application hosting and product delivery and in a short time, with a small budget - we did just that....

June 29, 2019 · 3 min · 470 words · Sam McLeod

Theory of constraints

“A chain is no stronger than its weakest link” Any improvement made anywhere besides the bottleneck is an illusion. Any improvement made after the bottleneck is useless because it will always remain starved waiting for work from the bottleneck. Any improvement made before the bottleneck merely results in more ‘work’ piling up at the bottleneck. Identify the system’s constraint(s) (that which prevents the organisation from obtaining more of the goal in a unit of time) Decide how to exploit the system’s constraint(s) (how to get the most out of the constraint) Subordinate everything else to the above decision (align the whole system or organization to support the decision made above) Elevate the system’s constraint(s) (make other major changes needed to increase the constraint’s capacity) Warning!...

January 17, 2018 · 1 min · 159 words · Sam McLeod

Continuous integration for the Linux Kernel - Built within Docker

Linux Kernel CI for Debian Github: sammcj/kernel-ci Those of us using technologies such as Docker and BTRFS or simply trying to gain a performance edge on the competition have a lot to gain from the features and performance of recent Kernel updates (especially from 3.18 onwards). ‘Enterprise’ Linux distributions such as RHEL & variants are concerningly out of date when comes to the Kernel. Many people seem to have forgotten what Linux is… Linux IS the Kernel....

March 15, 2015 · 2 min · 310 words · Sam McLeod

Search - A Journey of Delivery on a Budget

“Search - A Journey of Delivery on a Budget” Presented a Melbourne Search - July 2014 - “Search - A Journey of Delivery on a Budget” (Click for slides)

February 15, 2015 · 1 min · 29 words · Sam McLeod

Talk - 24 Months

The way we work at Infoxchange has changed greatly. A retrospective journey into transforming Infoxchange’s technology and culture over the past 24 months - presented a Melbourne DevOps - December 2014

February 15, 2015 · 1 min · 31 words · Sam McLeod