Meeting Daniel Schier Open Source Engineer at Ansible Community Day Berlin 2023
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In the vibrant Ansible Community Day Berlin 2023 setting, I had the pleasure of conversing with Daniel Schier, a seasoned IT craftsman and dedicated Ansible enthusiast. As an early adopter of Ansible, Daniel’s journey through the Ansible ecosystem provides valuable insights into the growth and evolution of this powerful automation tool.
Daniel Schier, also known as an IT craftsman and DevOps Engineer, is a multifaceted professional with a deep passion for open-source technologies. His involvement with Ansible spans over a decade, making him a valuable contributor to the Ansible community. Beyond his contributions, Daniel is a content creator, sharing his knowledge and experiences through his blog, which covers a wide spectrum of topics, including Ansible, Podman, Kubernetes, and more.
The Beginnings of an Ansible Journey
Daniel’s journey with Ansible began when he found himself thrust into the role of sole administrator for a substantial e-commerce platform worth hundreds of millions of euros. In the face of this immense challenge, he needed a reliable automation tool to maintain the [00:01:00] service effectively. While considering options like Puppet, Chef, and Salt, Ansible emerged as the most convenient and user-friendly choice.
His Ansible journey started approximately 11 to 12 years ago with Ansible version 1.3, and his initial foray involved automating web servers, a challenging but rewarding task. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of Daniel’s deep dive into the world of Ansible automation.
Ansible Community Day: A Gathering of Minds
At Ansible Community Day Berlin 2023, Daniel expressed his enthusiasm for the event, praising the exceptional talks and the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. The vibrant atmosphere and the chance to meet fellow Ansible enthusiasts left a lasting impression, and it’s evident that events like these play a crucial role in fostering the Ansible community’s growth.
The Future of Ansible: Declarative and Beyond
When discussing the future of Ansible, Daniel emphasized the importance of a more declarative approach. He envisions Ansible becoming even more focused on declarative automation, streamlining the process for users. Additionally, he hopes for advancements in testing capabilities, particularly in areas like kernel parameter testing and cloud environments.
One of Daniel’s intriguing ideas for the future of Ansible is the development of a pull agent, especially relevant in the context of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud environments. While ansible-pull exists, Daniel envisions an enhanced, more versatile solution that can cater to evolving needs.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
As our conversation concluded, Daniel shared exciting events on the horizon for Ansible enthusiasts. In October and November, there are several noteworthy events, including the TUX Tage in Germany, where Daniel will be a featured participant. Additionally, December promises a thrilling Capture the Flag event with Ansible content, offering an engaging challenge for automation enthusiasts.
Luca Berton: Hi, friends. This is Luca, your Ansible pilot, and I’m here with one guest from the Ansible Community Day. Welcome, Daniel. Hi. Can you introduce yourself to our friends?
Daniel Schier: So, for today, I’m more in my community role. So, normally, most people know me as a DevOps engineer, but I myself see myself as an IT craftsman.
And… Therefore, I’m also a content creator, so I also have a blog. Ooh, I’m excited. It’s similar content to yours but more focused not only on Ansible but also on Podman, Kubernetes, and whatnot. So, all the ecosystem. Oh,
Luca Berton: we like open source. I will put the link in the description
Daniel Schier: below. Yeah. And when it comes to Ansible, I’m now around about a decade, involved in Ansible also as an upstream contributor.
My first contribution was for the HAProxy module, and now I’m here with you. So happy to meet you.
Luca Berton: Wow, I was so excited to meet you because you were sharing with me that you are one of the early adopters of Ansible. When, what was the first version you used?
Daniel Schier: So the interesting part was why I used Ansible in the first place because when I joined an e-commerce company, One month later,, my supervisors told me that he would leave the company, and basically, I became the only administrator for a 500 million euro webshop.
And I needed to maintain the service in some way. So there was Puppet and Chef. So Puppet was vast, Chef was very complicated and very bad to Google. So, have you ever tried to Google recipes? So you will get all kinds of stuff, but not code. I see. And finally, I came to Salt and Ansible. And Ansible was just super convenient to use.
And then I started, yeah, around about 11, 12 years ago. I don’t know. Um, it was with Ansible 1. 3. So, the first thing I did was automate web [00:02:00] servers.
Luca Berton: Wow, sounds like a lot of challenge. Sounds very fun. Are you
Daniel Schier: enjoying today? Yes, absolutely. So the talks were amazing. Um, there are a lot of nice people like you, for example, that I met.
Uh, actually we are currently missing one talk.
Luca Berton: Yes, this is why we are going down. First of all, share what you see in Ansible
Daniel Schier: for the future. What I see Ansible in the future is that it’s becoming even more declarative. Um, hopefully, the whole testing ground will be improved. So, for example, testing kernel parameters like this calls or this C D L or stuff like this is currently basically impossible.
Suppose you want to do the real thing. And I hope that there will be a solution in the future. And what I’m also very, very much hoping for, especially for the IIoT and cloud environment, is some kind of pull agent. So, ansible-pull is there, but let’s be honest, it’s not very well maintained.
Luca Berton: Well, I see this as a very interesting challenge, and I think we are in the right forum to share this type of idea.
So let’s see. The future looks bright, and let’s automate more. Is there something else you want to share with other friends?
Daniel Schier: Uh, for sure. So there are a lot of events in the future. So, for example, in October and November, there will be a lot of stuff happening. And in November, for example, there is in Germany the TUX Tage, where you can also see me.
It’s also a YouTube event. Maybe we can talk about the same again. And in December, there will be a huge Capture the Flag event. And I hope that you can participate with us. There will be Ansible content, for sure. This
Luca Berton: sounds very, very exciting. Happy to have you here, and let’s keep in touch. Thank you. Let’s automate more!
In conclusion, our discussion with Daniel Schier highlighted the enduring journey of Ansible and the boundless opportunities for growth and improvement. As Ansible continues to evolve, enthusiasts like Daniel Schier play a pivotal role in shaping its future. With a focus on declarative automation, enhanced testing capabilities, and innovative solutions like pull agents, Ansible’s future remains bright and full of promise. Let’s continue to automate more and embark on this journey together.Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, Website, Twitter, and Substack to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.
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