tag:pb.co.za,2013:/posts Things. 2018-10-10T22:23:48Z Pieter Breed tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1329037 2018-10-04T20:26:31Z 2018-10-04T20:26:31Z riddle me this, riddle me that

I have three siblings. All of my brothers are siblings. 2 of my siblings have two brothers each. One of my brothers only has me as a sibling.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1323184 2018-09-19T11:56:22Z 2018-10-10T21:29:48Z devopsdays 2018 speaking engagement (now with more prosperity)

I've been invited to speak at devopsdays 2018 Cape Town on the 20th of September 2018.

My talk will be about Hashicorp's nomad, a job schedule. 

Here are my conference slides for future posterity.


I'm adding a link to the source code of the slides on here too.

Seriously. Please give the slides a look so what I'm about to say makes sense, it'll take you 2 seconds. The link takes you to a single-page html/javascript app that I use whenever I have to present ideas to groups of people. I run that code on my laptop and connect an HDMI for the overhead projector...

I was in a serious technical conversation today and I took an argumentative position that clojure/script is a pragmatic implementation language for real software projects by real developers, engineers and devopses, facing real project deadlines. My basic argument is that if you use clojure/script, you need fewer lines of code to achieve a specific result than you'd need if you used some other language. That fewer lines of code means there are fewer things to comprehend or mentalise while you are busy doing maintenance work on that code. Also, fewer lines of code, means fewer logical places where things can go wrong.

The counter argument is that syntax sometimes aids in readability. I don't know about that, to be honest. If you can get by without syntax, then you're left with the meaning behind the code. And if you express the meaning meaningfully, then you get a piece of code that's a delight to work with.

(PS/rant - I hate traditional slide-deck software. I'd rather edit a piece of code to build my slide content than dick around with a mouse and icons I can barely see.)

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1322908 2018-09-18T13:42:52Z 2018-09-18T13:42:52Z I did a thing. F2004 F1 Ferrari around Nurburgring Nordschleife in < 5 minutes ]]> Pieter Breed tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1163654 2017-06-13T20:20:38Z 2017-06-13T20:21:20Z Desmodronic Valve System from Ducati motorbikes. It's a beautiful thing.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1147376 2017-04-18T17:43:56Z 2018-10-10T22:23:48Z House of Cards, SA edition

After reading this article.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1146995 2017-04-17T08:45:22Z 2017-04-17T08:45:22Z Happiness is in Being OK with the world without deciding how it must be

You got the kind of control you wanted. That’s to say where you had a loving relationship with the world, but you didn’t have to make up your mind as to what is should do. You let it decide.

Alan Watts – Master of Control on the youtubes.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1146229 2017-04-13T17:41:04Z 2017-04-13T17:41:04Z Sometimes you are being Frodo and Sam


Yesterday my friend and colleague Husayn had to write Yoda on the whiteboard in the office and he spelled it with a J, like in Joda. He is from Cameroon. As a group of engineers, we realized Husayn has never seen any of the Star Wars movies.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 19.15.52Screen Shot 2017–04–13 at 19.15.52

Later this led to a conversation about the book and the story of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien, the other nerd classic and I asked whether he’s read any of those books. He hasn’t, despite being a voracious consumer of books.

I tried to relate how The Hero’s Journey relates to Frodo (and to us) by pointing out how our current situation on the path to The Release of Software into PROD looks exactly like the scene in The Lord of the Rings where Frodo and Sam are getting into the whole Spider thing in the middle section of the story.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the book. I’m pasting/editing it here, because I believe it to be material.

The Lord of the Rings

From Wikipedia., the free encyclopedia

This article is about the novel.

The title of the novel refers to the story’s main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, not only the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took, but also the hobbits’ chief allies and travelling companions: the Men Aragorn son of Arathorn, a Ranger of the North, and Boromir, a Captain of Gondor; Gimli son of Glóin, a Dwarf warrior; Legolas Greenleaf, an Elven prince; and Gandalf, a Wizard.

The Lord of the Rings has [since] been reprinted numerous times and translated into 38 languages.

Tolkien’s work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its themes and origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia. Influences on this earlier work, and on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology, religion and the author’s distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien’s experiences in World War I. These inspirations and themes have often been denied by Tolkien himself. The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy; the impact of Tolkien’s works is such that the use of the words “Tolkienian” and “Tolkienesque” have been recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien’s works, and the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works. The Lord of the Rings has inspired, and continues to inspire, artwork, music, films and television, video games, and subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio, theatre, and film. In 2003, it was named Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in the BBC’s The Big Read.

The Difficult Middle Section

8. THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.

(Read the rest here.)

Sometimes where you are is in the middle. Where things are difficult, the challenges are many and you’re suffering through the process of discovering new strength in yourself.

Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, who had been following them from Moria. They force him to guide them to Mordor. They find that the Black Gate of Mordor is too well guarded, so instead they travel to a secret way Gollum knows. On the way, they encounter Faramir, who, unlike his brother Boromir, resists the temptation to seize the Ring. He provides Frodo and Sam with food. Gollum — who is torn between his loyalty to Frodo and his desire for the Ring — betrays Frodo by leading him to the great spider Shelob in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol. Frodo falls when pierced by Shelob’s sting. But with the help of Galadriel’s gifts, Sam fights off the spider. Believing Frodo to be dead, Sam takes the Ring in the hope of finishing the quest alone. Orcs find Frodo, and from their words Sam becomes aware that Frodo is yet alive. The Orcs take Frodo’s body, and Sam chases after them, entering Mordor alone.

Sometimes you are being Frodo and Sam.

The Lord Of The Rings Book CoverThe Lord Of The Rings Book Cover


We’re hiring for a Core Platform Engineer. We’re going to touch a Billion people with financial services (FinTech) and we need help. 🙂

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1143542 2017-04-03T09:18:50Z 2017-04-03T09:18:51Z Education of a programmer

I’m putting this link up so I’ll read it again in the future. Wisdom hides in these words.


  • distributed systems
  • complexity
  • organization building
  • systems thinking


Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1142419 2017-03-29T20:26:09Z 2017-03-29T20:26:09Z poem by tagor
I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost
and life will take its leave in silence
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night
and morning rise as before
and hours heave like sea waves
casting off pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments
the barriers of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
your world with its careless treasures.

Rare is its lowliest treasures
rare is its meanest of lives.
Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got, let them pass.

Let me but truly posses the things that I spurned and overlooked.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1128286 2017-02-02T20:04:36Z 2017-02-02T20:04:36Z Because we are all linked.

I got this from a whatsapp group I belong to. OMG. A child drew this. I can believe. 🙏🏼

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1121367 2017-01-08T08:30:30Z 2017-01-08T08:35:26Z In which I realize I'm getting older - 2017.

My calendar has an entry in it. One that I’d forgotten about because I entered it almost 10 months ago. Day of Enlightenment. Ugh. What hubris!

Let’s take stock. Let’s me navel-gaze.

Enough. There’s work to do.

For the benefit of all beings.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1120404 2017-01-04T11:50:38Z 2017-01-04T11:50:38Z Civ VI - evil religious strategy

Here’s the main thrust of the idea:

  • In the game I’m playing, the civs that have high religion don’t have great armies or good science. They are very high on religion though so there’s lots of missionaries and apostles running around. Lightning and thunder, that sort of thing.
  • I have a relatively minor religion arranged around a strategy of collecting money and production from the faithful.
  • I activated the inquisition, which allows you to eliminate all religions except one from a city. (Protip - don’t let your inquisitors get confused about which religion they’re supposed to be members of…)
  • Go to the enemy civ’s Holy sites, conquer those cities using the regular army.
  • Send in the inquisitors to eradicate all faiths that are not mine. Inquisitors are cheap, but you only need one. Have an apostle ready to convert the lost sheep back to the one true faith.
  • Then make peace and return the conquered cities.

The opposition faiths are now inoculated.

In this game, I’m aiming for a science victory, but the religions are being irksome so I’m just trying to delay the faith game enough to actually reach the science victory condition.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1116887 2016-12-20T08:01:54Z 2016-12-20T08:01:55Z The value of values

(Not the Rich Hickey talk, which is excellent, and can be found here.)

I saw this next bit on Seneca Systems’ recruitment site:

Why Have Values?

Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made, nothing entirely straight can be built. — Immanuel Kant

We recognize that it is more difficult to adhere to values than to simply not have them at all. We also understand that values are aspirational and, as Kant speaks to above, we are inherently flawed creatures [emphasis mine].

I call bullshit! We are not “inherently flawed creatures”. We are beautiful beyond measure. Since we’re dueling with quotes, let me riposté with this one:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson Author, Lecturer

So why have values then?

I actually rather like the values that Seneca Systems chose:

  • Empathy
  • Transparency
  • Right over Easy
  • Don’t always be Right
  • Optimize for People

Values provide shared higher aspirations. We say what we believe in so we can all acknowledge that in each other. Even obvious things have to be communicated clearly.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1115072 2016-12-13T12:34:21Z 2016-12-13T12:34:22Z Step one

 - What am I trying to do?
 - Has it been done before?
 - Does it have a name?

-- Programming Buddha
Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1111192 2016-11-27T18:17:57Z 2016-11-27T18:17:57Z Russel Brand being awkwardly reflective about Black Friday

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1109105 2016-11-18T16:59:57Z 2016-11-18T17:14:18Z Homage and Statement of (my) Humanity

Ok, hi!, I’m Pieter, I’m a human. I haven’t been posting in a while, because bloooooog. ugh.

Firstly. Shout-out to the guys on #devops on zatech’s slack channel. Cobus is an awesome dude and one day my beard will be as long as his is. Dude, please let me buy you that beer :)

Also DevOpsDays in Cape Town was nice! @devopsdayscpt 

I have a Linked-In now. There are some fancy Business People on there. It’s nice

Digitally, I’m still with keybase.io. They’re awesome! I have invites, ask me about them.

I work at Zoona now!. I’m helping them make it real!

The theme of the moment is Ask me how to make tech useful for you at Zoona.

Ok, that's it.


Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1107730 2016-11-13T11:44:52Z 2016-11-13T11:44:52Z The Template Introduction

When the student is ready the master appears

I am finding myself drawn, more and more, into my latent spirituality.  Everything is connected. There is no beginning and there is no end. However, one has to start somewhere. This introductory video is as good as any other starting point. Enjoy!

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1106978 2016-11-10T07:29:44Z 2016-11-10T07:29:44Z The Diamond Sutra (Online)

Come, Blessed One, we pray Thee, roll the wheel of the dew-sweet Law – which is excellent in the beginning, excellent in the middle, and excellent in the end! – Lotus Sutra

It is a great privilege to be able to share a few days worth of work.

Online copy of the Diamond Sutra.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1091449 2016-09-19T09:59:35Z 2016-09-19T09:59:35Z The nature of mind

The Nature of Mind

No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category.

~ Dudjom Rinpoche

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1087397 2016-09-07T05:57:44Z 2016-09-07T05:57:44Z The kindness of undergoing hardships

At first we did not come here clothed, finely adorned, with money in our pocket and with provision to travel. When we came into this unknown place, where we knew no one at all, we had nothing whatsoever - our only wealth was our howling mouth and empty stomach. Our mother gave us food so that we would not go hungry, drink to keep us from thirst, clothes to fend off the cold and wealth to keep us from poverty. It was not as though she just gave us things no longer of use to herself: she herself went without food, without drink and without new clothes.

Furthermore, not only did she sacrifice her happiness as far as this existence is concerned, she also deprived herself of using her assets (as offerings) to provide for her own prosperity in future lives. In brief, without regard to her own happiness, in both this life and the next, she devoted herself to rearing and caring for her child.

Nor was it the case that she obtained what was needed easily and pleasurably; to provide for her child she was obliged to sin, to suffer and to toil. She sinned by having to resort to fishing, killing animals and so on in order to care for us. She suffered because what she gave her child was the fruit of trading, labouring in the fields and so forth, wearing the late evening or early morning frost for her boots, the stars as a hat, riding the horse of her calves, beaten by the whip of the long grass, her legs exposed to the bites of dogs and her face exposed to the looks of men.

She also treated this stranger who has become her child with more love than her own father, mother or lama, even though she knew not who this being was or what it would become. She looked at her child with loving eyes, gave her gentle warmth, cradled him in her arms and talked with sweet words saying, “My joy, ah my sunshine, my treasure, coochi coochi, aren’t you mummy’s joy” and so forth.

Jé Gampopa – Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1077133 2016-07-29T08:45:30Z 2016-07-29T08:45:30Z I dub this the Sutra of Bob and Deepak. https://youtu.be/TJ11g4H8IKo

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1076952 2016-07-28T17:24:25Z 2016-07-28T17:43:57Z I'm allowed to say this publicly too #VoteSA #VoteDA

I have been doing naughty things at great speed on the various highways that we have here in Cape Town. My recent purchase of an over-powered and over-powering "Commuting Bike" has been causing me to invent reasons for getting around Town. A lot. I also usually need to get wherever I need to be really quickly... Therefore, I notice that we have excellent roads with nice grippy tar every time I find myself entering some corner at an absurd lean-angle by accident

I have been riding on some very nice roads recently and I am very, very grateful. The stack of speeding fines in my drawer carries with it a monetary value to my gratefulness. 

ONE of those roads is called Helen Suzman Blvd and the thought has often entered my mind that I wonder who she was and what she had to do to have a nice road named after her in the New South Africa

I am also lazy and have left actually finding out to apparently right now.

I just saw this video courtesy of The South African

It is interesting! The #DA made it and I have to say it is very, very self-congratulatory, but that's OK. I like it anyway. Enough to want to say "Ek stem saam!" out in public.

U edel-agbare. Ek stem saam.

Edit: You might have heard of the Helen Suzman Foundation, which has been in the news recently.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1074386 2016-07-20T11:11:41Z 2016-07-20T11:12:03Z Ven Fifth Minyak Rinpoche visits Cape Town Kagyu, Aug 2016

Ven Fifth Minyak Rinpoche visits Cape Town Kagyu in the beginning of August 2016. 

Here is a link to the Cape Town Kagyu website with the details of the program.

I also went ahead and created a public google calendar for these events

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1066237 2016-06-23T11:44:37Z 2016-06-23T11:53:15Z Gravity, but in real life

Do you remember the Sandra Bullock movie Gravity in which all kinds of shit goes down in space? Turns out, that actually happened. 

But it wasn't actually Sandra Bullock, it was one NASA astronaut and two Russian Cosmonauts. And it wasn't the ISS, it was Mir space station.


They survived...

Linenger was succeeded by Anglo-American astronaut Michael Foale, carried up by Atlantis on STS-84, alongside Russian mission specialist Elena Kondakova. Foale's increment proceeded fairly normally until 25 June when during the second test of the Progress manual docking system, TORU, Progress M-34 collided with solar arrays on the Spektr module and crashed into the module's outer shell, puncturing the module and causing depressurisation on the station. Only quick actions on the part of the crew, cutting cables leading to the module and closing Spektr's hatch, prevented the crews having to abandon the station in Soyuz TM-25. Their efforts stabilised the station's air pressure, whilst the pressure in Spektr, containing many of Foale's experiments and personal effects, dropped to a vacuum. In an effort to restore some of the power and systems lost following the isolation of Spektr and to attempt to locate the leak, EO-24 commander Anatoly Solovyev and flight engineer Pavel Vinogradov carried out a risky salvage operation later in the flight, entering the empty module during a so-called "intra-vehicular activity" or "IVA" spacewalk and inspecting the condition of hardware and running cables through a special hatch from Spektr's systems to the rest of the station. Following these first investigations, Foale and Solovyev conducted a 6-hour EVA outside Spektr to inspect the damage.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1063669 2016-06-15T11:40:54Z 2016-06-15T11:40:54Z Jesus playing a guitar. Probably my favourite thing to listen to atm

Estas Tonne (wikipedia) - Internal Flight (2013)

iTunes link

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1062418 2016-06-11T23:02:29Z 2016-06-11T23:02:29Z Cornering bible - Twist of the wrist 2

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1062254 2016-06-11T12:02:58Z 2016-06-11T12:02:58Z Jeremy Clarkson assembling a DSL (postage) box

Funnier than the new Top Gear apparently.

I’m guessing they’re in on this stunt.

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1062091 2016-06-10T20:16:31Z 2016-06-11T12:06:58Z Hammock Driven Development - Rich Hickey - YouTube


This is about more than software (development).

Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1062072 2016-06-10T19:13:26Z 2016-06-10T19:13:27Z The Song of the Butterfly [Hungary 2014] HD - YouTube

OST to the dawning of my consciousness.
Pieter Breed
tag:pb.co.za,2013:Post/1061875 2016-06-10T07:29:44Z 2016-06-10T07:31:19Z Gardening as a metaphor for Life

From Wikipedia:Gardening

Gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people.

Same article, but this time on the section relating to Gardens as Art

Garden design is considered to be an art in most cultures, distinguished from gardening, which generally means garden maintenance. Garden design can include different themes such as perennial, butterfly, wildlife, Japanese, water, tropical, or shade gardens. In Japan, Samurai and Zen monks were often required to build decorative gardens or practice related skills like flower arrangement known as ikebana.

Implying that Gardening is also “good for the soul”.

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

Liberty Hyde Bailey (brainyquotes)

Pieter Breed