DevOps: Year One

I had the pleasure of addressing the Triangle DevOps meetup group on the subject of DevOps: Year One. The target audience was anyone who has bought into the idea of DevOps transformation for their business, but wanted practical advice for how to get started.

With only an hour to speak, and so many great questions to answer, we barely got to scratch the surface. But we did get to talk about some specific practices that have helped the Systems Engineering team at Bronto to work much more effectively.

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Introducing the Bronto Kegbot

As Kegmasters, Daniel Lowe and I strive to deliver refreshing brews to our clients (Bronto Software employees and guests) in order to achieve maximum satisfaction. We were recently discussing how to improve our service and realized that we were not following the Bronto protocol of using engagement metrics to drive success and uplift our ROI. As a result, we have implemented a new system designed to capture relevant metrics and we intend to build advanced alcohol automation around this cloudy platform in order to become the most popular choice for self-service beer delivery in the entire Bronto Software Durham office!

After evaluating several companies that offer kegerator monitoring solutions, we decided to implement Kegbot. Kegbot appears to be the most full-featured analytics solution for anyone who operates a communal kegerator. By splicing inline flow sensors into our taps, it allows us to measure the volume of beer poured with less than a 2% margin of error. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the responsiveness of the Kegbot team – we reported a few trivial bugs and suggested some feature improvements via their Github projects and they have responded within a matter of hours each time. Setting up Kegbot is a fairly painless process:

  1. Purchase the Kegbot hardware (we bought two single tap kits and a data cable)
  2. Purchase a compatible Android tablet and mount (we bought a 2012 Nexus 7 and a VESA security enclosure)
  3. Install the Kegbot web server (optional, but recommended because you get more features)
  4. Install the Kegbot Android app on the tablet (depending on the tablet, you may need to root it)
  5. Install the Kegbot hardware in your kegerator (the hardest part since you may need to get creative with cable management)
  6. Party!

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