This post is part of a series where Behance developers talk about the various tools they use to get things done and make ideas happen.
1) Who are you and what do you do at Behance?
Hello everybody, I’m Manny Toledo a Devops Engineer here at Behance. My main goal is making sure that Behance always offers the best experience possible to everyone in the community. Beyond that I help implement and build tools to make our lives easier on the development and infrastructure side of Behance. My new shiny toy to accomplish that is Chef. It is a configuration management tool that lets us use code to describe what our infrastructure should look like and push those rules out to each server. This also allows us to commit our configuration to git and keep versions of infrastructure changes. Overall some really awesome stuff for managing a servers in bulk.
With my Chef tools in hand I have a strong passion for Automating everything we do here. I’ve been focusing on getting our infrastructure converted managed by Chef entirely. On top of that keeping the site up to date and secure involves so many moving parts that you need all the help you can get. I’ve been lucky to work with a great set of tools built in house by teammates like Malcolm or Kevin. I’ve contributed a bit on the bash script end of things and hope to do a lot more in ruby as we move over to Chef.
I’ve been a Jersey boy all my life coming in and out of Manhattan so I feel at home here. When I’m not at work I enjoy American and Belgian craft beer, some rock climbing over at Brooklyn Boulders or general outdoor activities.
2) What hardware do you use?
I have a Retina MacBook Pro with 16 gigs of ram and dual 24 inch Asus Monitors. I run a few Virtualbox machines on my laptop at any given time, which makes me very appreciative of those 16 gigs of ram.
3) What software do you use?
I feel that part of the devops role is dealing with a huge toolchain all the time. This has followed me to my laptop. For searching code or configs in a directory nothing is faster than Ag – the silver searcher - it will change your life. I replaced Terminal with iTerm2 and tmux and use it to keep window sessions running on remote servers with all the hot keys iTerm2 brings to the table. My bread and butter is Chef as I already mentioned. I have always been a big fan of Sublime Text with Package Control. I have added git, chef, json and several other plugins that help my workflow. As much as I love Sublime Text, I do most of my work on remote servers, which mean I can’t work locally as much as I want. This has brought me to really using vim as my primary editor. With the help of Square’s Maximum Awesome config files I’ve been able to make my vim experience that much better.
I can’t leave out the one piece of software that has followed me around for years which is Evernote . I have used this under almost every OS and mobile device I’ve run. Most recently I have discovered the Drafts app for iPhone which is the fastest way to get ideas from my head into a medium that persists them. Drafts is actually where I wrote the bulk of this post!
4) What do you listen to while working?
I don’t always listen to music when I work. There there are so many things that get yelled across the room or conversations that are relevant to me happening, that I like to be aware of my surroundings and don’t often keep my headphones on. When I need to drown that out and focus I have a pool of random music I’ve grown fond of over the years. Some of the artists I’ve been fond of lately are AWOLNATION, Grouplove, The Echo-Friendly, Mark Knopfler (yea the guy from Dire Straits) and Explosions in the Sky who my manager Chris was nice enough to play on his hifi while we worked late tonight . I keep a few 80s playlists around to when I need my Robert Palmer fix and some 90s playlist for my Eddie Vedder fix. Of course I keep my Bailando playlist around to honor my Hispanic roots. When I really want to focus and block out the world I switch to Porcupine Tree or any metal my buddy recommends at the moment.
5) Out of all the equipment used, what piece of software/hardware do you feel is the most useful of all?
I never really thought about what tools I use the most until I had to write this post but after pondering this for a while I have to say my iPhone. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up. I check messages from my girlfriend, email alerts from servers, news and weather. Throughout the day it follows me to meetings, gives me email notifications before Outlook and, like I said, I even wrote most of this post on it. I have an iPhone 5 but really it’s the great bunch of apps I’ve tracked down to get a decent workflow going. Just to mention a few I use Reeder with Feedly to track my news. Alien Blue to follow Reddit and the built in Podcasts app to stay on top of the latest tech podcasts. I even use the Prompt app from the wonderful people over at Panic to do work on servers.