Saturday, January 06, 2018

Azure exam 70-532

OK, it was an interesting roller-coaster. It was a while since I took any Microsoft exams but I felt that I do not have enough exposure to the Azure architecture on a daily basis, so I decided that taking an exam might be the second best thing to the real field experience: the learning forced on you by the circumstances.
This was quite a brutal exam, probably the worst I ever had with the Microsoft, and here are the feelings:
The very good:
- It feels that while studying I did try every single button on the Azure Portal and tried to build, run, scale, monitor and program against almost all component, except selected third-party marketplace offerings (I have no immediate plans for them), AD sync (I did not have local AD to play with) and some preview features, like Cognitive Services or AI (I have special plans for those :) ;
The Good:
- The exam has touched all aspects of the current Azure platform;
- With the history of the  latest updates (March, October and December) it kind of shows the Microsoft's feelings towards one or another technology;
The Ugly:
- It was overly detailed, reminding (unpleasantly) the late 90-s VB exams, which tested memorizing of exact sequence of method parameters (kind of excusable for pre-Intellisense and pre-Google era);
The Bad:
- Some exam techniques seem questionable, like asking to memorize whole six screens of the test case before answering some questions from which you cannot return back and consult the requirements. What do you test? The memory?
- It contained bugs and glitches, which can't be new, because the affected questions test some old Azure offering. Does it mean that nobody really tests the testing question thoroughly?

But nevertheless...

Monday, January 01, 2018

Re: Organized

Meet the Lazy-and-Tedious.
I hope that I am just a relatively light case of OCD. I am far from having my socks neatly sorted in 14 categories by style, season and color (but I still did consider a possible number of the categories). I do not have a daily planner but I envy people who are hopeless enough to keep one updated and followed.
7-30-08-organizing[1]I enjoy things organized, predicted and anticipated - in all aspects of my life and work. My family is working hard to prove that life always smashes plans in every turn but from time to time I manage to have my humble moments of glory when things catch up with the schedule.
Since I was a kid, I dreamed of traveling a lot, and "seeing things" and a bit of "meeting people" seemed to be the reasons. But being grown up I realized that there is more to that - man, wouldn’t it be the best field for giving up to planning and scheduling at scale?! Being thoroughly lazy I bet that 3 hours of a commuter research done in a comfortable chair are worth to be spent if it saves an hour of running back and forth searching for a track from which the train to Florence departs. I can easily spend another 3 hours on web surfing to optimize number of steps I should take from Rafael Gallery to the Sistine Chapel. I will do my homework to minimize phone conversations with hoteliers or travel agents to arrange comfortable yet savvy stay in Hakone.
So in traveling, my passion to align things in the neat spreadsheets is actually justifiable.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Managing secrets for containerized Windows apps

I am just starting on the containers journey - with all the nice hurdles which could be added by PCI and data privacy, aggravated by a general immaturity of the Windows containers at the moment.
One of the important components of properly containerized application - the Continuous Delivery pipeline, - must comply with regulations as well, hence protecting the secrets, - encryption keys, connections, credentials, signatures, - as the code is being pushed along from development to production.

With this, some insights are offered by a nice "Managing Secrets in .NET CORE 2.0 Apps" article. It is a nice touch that .NET Core comes with out-of-the-box secret management features. And the tips from the article had at least some risky options removed from consideration. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, as the code arrives to the final destination on the Windows container, the secrets are not kept in the memory, unlike for the Linux-based containers. Azure does provide a lot of ways to relief some of this pain, but what should one with the containers-on-the-premise do? That's the next puzzle to resolve...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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