Yesterday I released the 10th video in the BOSH tutorial series. I know BOSH can have a steep learning curve but if you have been following along you should now at least know what BOSH is and how to use it to deploy software. You should also be aware of most of the features that make BOSH so cool and help make your life easier.
Just to be sure I’ll list some of the cool things about BOSH here:
Deploy software without knowledge about the software: BOSH releases are basically bundles of software and knowledge. Using a BOSH release means using the knowledge of the author of the release. Because of this you won’t have to learn all the details of the software you want to run. BOSH will do magic and the you can do yours.
BOSH takes care of the software after initial deployment: This means that when something goes haywire during the night you won’t be woken up. BOSH has got you covered.
OS updates are a breeze: Whenever a new stemcell is deployed all the old system disks will simply be removed and replaced with a new disk. This makes OS upgrades very easy for BOSH users.
It also makes your machines more secure because any malware that may have ended up on a system disk is now gone. Also, stemcells are released very regularly so there is no excuse not to have the latest patches on your machines.
Everything is code. All configuration is text based, deployment manifests are text, release sources are text, everything is text. More specifically: everything is yaml. This makes putting everything in source control very easy. Which in turn makes automating and pipelining everything very easy.
Two weeks or so ago I told you I was trying something new. I hesitantly dipped my toes in the YouTube pool and started out on a BOSH tutorial video series. By the time you read this I will have released my 5th video. In this post I will share some of my YouTubing experiences.
I am used to public speaking and I won’t hesitate to do a talk in front of hundreds of people. But my public speaking experience did not prepare me to talk to a camera. Recording my first video was awkward as… well…. very awkward. I just felt silly, like I was talking to a wall. Which I was in a way. But I decided this is something I really wanted to try and if I can explain something to a class of 4 or to a room of 300 I could certainly do it for one camera and a mic. So I kept trying until I was tired and reviewed the footage the next day. Then deleted all of it and started over until I was somewhat satisfied with the footage for my first video. After editing it I started recording my second video. With all the lessons learned from the first video this went a lot smoother. After I completed the second video I reviewed the first one and asked some other people to take a look at it. Then deleted it again and started over :).
By the time I recorded the footage for the first video that actually made it to youtube most of the awkwardness in front of a camera was gone. I have recorded 10 videos now (5 released by the time I publish this) and I am almost at a point where I can just sit down, clip on my mic and start talking without feeling awkward. If you’re following my videos you will probably notice a change throughout the videos.
Gear Gear Gear
I like gear. I need gear. Fancy gear. Shiny gear. Because I need expensive gear to make a quality product. Right?
Wrong! I do really like gear though. So starting out on this I felt an almost uncontrollable urge to buy gear. Lots of it. The best I can afford. But I also know that gear is the ultimate procrastination. So I promised myself I could not buy gear before I actually recorded at least a few videos and decided if I want to continue down this youtube path or not. So I use the mirrorless camera I coincidentally recently purchased. I didn’t even get a tripod, I just put the camera up on a monitor speaker that sits on my desk.
The only gear I did buy before recording my first video was a microphone. I am a bit of an audio geek and I just can’t stand bad audio. It doesn’t matter how good the video quality is if the audio sucks I won’t watch the video. And I know a lot of people feel the same. So I got myself a 28 Euro Lapel Mic (Boya BY-M1) which sounds good enough especially for that kind of money.
I originally planned on recording all my videos using daylight. I do have a west facing window in my office which has nice indirect light most of the day. For the first few videos this worked out ok. Video quality wasn’t great but not terrible either. But I quickly figured out using daylight wasn’t really practical nor was it giving the best results in my case. And the fact that I couldn’t record at night was really impractical. So I bit the bullet and invested in two led panels and a softbox. This satisfied my gear acquisition syndrome for a while. I am still learning how to use the new gear and hopefully you will see the quality of my videos go up over time (wait for tutorial part 7 and 8 to see the first results). Oh and being able to record after sundown will absolutely increase my video output.
I choose BOSH as the first subject for my videos. Mostly because it is a youtube niche. An internet niche even. There is just not a whole lost of information about BOSH out there. I think it deserves more love and attention because it can make your life so much easier. It is also a subject I am knowledgeable about so I won’t have to invest much time in preparing the videos. And last but not least: If I can convince people to use BOSH they might end up being my customers and I’ll get to work on more cool stuff for more cool customers :).
I am trying something new: I am starting a BOSH tutorial video series. So instead of writing about BOSH on this blog I’ll be talking about BOSH on youtube.
Today I am releasing the first video and I plan to get more videos out in the following weeks. I start out by explaining what BOSH is, why you need it and what the main concepts are. In the second video I will show you how to deploy your own BOSH Director and in the following videos I will use that director to show you how to deploy software, manage your deployments and troubleshoot problems.
So keep an eye on the BOSH Rocks youtube channel and I’ll tell you everything about BOSH!