When we interviewed Chuka Ofili — Google Developer Expert, Certified Cloud Architect, and Full Stack Gigster Engineer — for The Ops Show recently, I was more than impressed. It wasn’t just his incredible video call setup (see it here) and animated, positive outlook on life, but the way he designed his DevOps workflows into their purest forms.

Chuka takes steps to make sure his developer workflows were simple yet robust, powerful yet cloud-centric, and easily automated. “If I do something one, two, or three times, I will automate,” Chuka explained on The Ops Show.

He found the right Lean DevOps tools and tricks to do just that out of the broad landscape of possibilities. And it is big. The Cloud Native Foundation tracks around 1,425 technologies alone and the microservices landscape is even larger.

So, in order to bring some simplicity and clarity to the DevOps world, here are a few of Chuka’s DevOps workflow hacks ranging from Slack to Kubernetes to GitOps to open source cloud configurations.

First, let’s start with his remote work collaboration stack:

  1. Slack — for communication and collaboration.
  2. Google Meet — for video calls and screen sharing.
  3. Jira by Atlassian — for engineering project management tracking and reporting. Jira automations are also clutch.

Next, let’s jump into his DevOps workflows stack and his fully cloud-integrated pipeline:

  1. Skaffold — helps developers do everything locally even if your laptop doesn’t have the processing power. “Skaffold is powerful. It’s the only thing I build with on my CI server,” Chuka says, “It’s the only thing I run and you can literally use a Chromebook with low computing power for your Ops.”
  2. Kustomize — Maintaining multiple environments and configurations becomes so much easier: Write your Kubernetes YAML files once for development, and reuse for staging, production without using template substitution!
  3. Docker — Using Docker as his containerization tool, packaging applications with all the parts that it needs to run makes it easy to build once and run anywhere.
  4. CircleCI — Chuka uses CircleCI combined with Skaffold to build and push his Docker images to the Google Container Registry.
  5. Flux — Chuka used to use CircleCI Orbs but now uses Flux for as his GitOps operator for Kubernetes clusters.
  6. Kubernetes — The final orchestrator! Automating deployment, scaling, and management of his containerized applications.

Some other things Chuka thinks about in regards to Lean DevOps and selecting new tools while refining his strengths are:

  1. Helm — Dead simple package manager for Kubernetes.
  2. Terraform — Safely and predictably create, change, and improve your infrastructure.
  3. CICD — “You don’t need the full CI/CD pipeline using the same provider (for example, CircleCI) if you have a VM that can run Skaffold which can create and package a Docker container,” says Chuka, “In 15 minutes you can be up and running.”
  4. GitOps — “With the new GitOps paradigm, engineers don’t need to know what the Ops are doing. You can have a single person Ops team.”

We hope you learned something new that will increase your productivity in your daily dev workflows. If you'd like to learn more about Lean DevOps give this article a read. You can also watch the entire interview with Chuka below and never miss a beat on simplifying your DevOps workflows: