Anna Shipman

Recent stuff

Build Quality In

03 September 2014

I am a published author! I have written a chapter on DevOps at GDS for the book Build Quality In. 70% of the royalties go to Code Club so do think about buying the book. There's a Q & A with me here.

Some thoughts on preparing an Ignite talk

07 July 2014

I did my first Ignite talk in November last year, based on roof bug-fixing, and these are some of the things I found useful while preparing.


Automating Government

06 June 2014

I gave a talk at the delightful Scotch on the Rocks in Edinburgh on my work on vCloud Tools ā€“ what we built, how we built it, some hard problems we faced and some tips on how to automate your own infrastructure. Slides are here and if you watch this space, there may be a video soon.

Using Git to refactor vCloud Tools into separate gems

04 June 2014

Another post on the GDS Technology blog ā€“ this one is about using Git to re-architect vCloud Tools.

Read it.


17 May 2014

At Scottish Ruby Conference earlier this week, among the many great talks I attended was Jess Eldredge's excellent introduction to sketchnoting. Here are my attempts.


Building tools to provision our machines

07 May 2014

I wrote a blog post on the GDS technology blog about the work I've been doing building vCloud Tools.

Read it.

Running OSS projects

03 April 2014

At ScaleSummit last week, I proposed a session on running Open Source projects. I am hoping to move the project Iā€™m working on, vCloud Tools, from being coded in the open to being Open Source and wanted to get the benefit of the accumulated wisdom. It was an excellent session and I really got a lot out of it. The executive summary is that if you are trying to build a community, you need to optimise for bringing people into the community, and a lot of the discussion focused around that. Here are some of the main things that I took away from it.


Are you thinking of speaking at a conference?

09 March 2014

As co-Programme Chair for SPA conference I often find myself trying to persuade inexperienced or completely new speakers that it is worth doing and that they have something great to say. Here are some of the resources that I send on to them.


Applying for a job at GDS

24 December 2013

I wrote a post on the GDS technology blog explaining the unusual process for applying for a developer/web operations job at GDS.

Read it.

Craftsman Softwareship

12 November 2013

I gave an Ignite talk based on my roof bug-fixing blog post.

Watch it.

How Anonymous Submissions Affected Gender Balance at our Conference

17 November 2013

Mainly inspired by this article, I proposed that we make submissions anonymous for SPA2013. The committee (four of us) discussed what we thought the outcome would be for some time, before deciding to just try it and see how it worked out. And here's the answer.


Creating a Puppet module

9 September 2013

I learnt three very interesting things recently, courtesy of the brilliant Dan Carley.

  1. git filter-branch
  2. how to create a puppet module using our puppet module skeleton
  3. shopt -s dotglob


Some Regex in the form of a Picture!

10 August 2013

Not much I can offer as a taster here - you'll have to read more...

Where Do I Start?

6 July 2013

The first day at a new job is always a bit nerve-wracking. In a recent session at SPA 2013, we came up with some things a developer joining a new team can do to get up to speed quickly.


Roof Bug-fixing

21 May 2013

I often find myself viewing life through the lens of software development, a bit like when you play too much Tetris and all your friends turn into shapes. But recent events have made me think: maybe other things actually would be better if they were more like software development?


Upgrading to 12.04...

6 May 2013

I needed to write some code. Thanks to George Brocklehurst, I was no longer content to do this on my personal laptop using gedit ā€“ I required Vim.

But I could not upgrade Vim!



24 April 2013

Today I learned from the awesome bob how to add storage to a box, including partitioning, mounting, and other things I'd heard of but had never done myself.


Roof Hacking

24 March 2013

Two weeks ago I was at the excellent /dev/fort. More on that another time; all I'll say now is that we were making a website in a fort.


How to Estimate

21 January 2013

I want to share this great idea about estimating that came from the excellent Mazz Mosley. Instead of worrying about estimating in hours or days, estimate in story points as follows: