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Git - the best resources to learn

Some days ago, I've been refreshing my mind with git and github.

I want to share the best explanation I found

Short intro with lots of diagrams:

This FREE e-book helped me a lot, it has good diagrams, clear examples and it follows a step-by-step approach that I liked


Learning DevOps - day 4 to 7 - How I passed 3 AWS exams in 5 days

Hi all. The good news is that I passed the SysOps Exam, and two days later I passed the developer exam and one day later the Solution Architect. Three exams in 5 days! I am happy and tired.

You have two ways of approaching the exam:

  1. You want to learn the technology and pass the exam
  2. You want to pass the exam

To learn the technology, use:

To pass the exams

The questions asked during the exam are mostly "factual", this means that it's stuff you need to learn by heart, like "How many table are you allowed to have in a single DynamoDB instance". So my advice is simple: DO AS MANY MOCK TEST AS YOU CAN FIND ONLINE.

Good places are:
Go for it!!!


Learning DevOps - day 3 - Right order to pass amazon certifications

Day1 Day2

After watching the intro section of the Udemy training course for Certified Amazon SysOps it seems that I got the order all wrong. As the author of the training makes it clear that for total beginners the best order is 

  1. Certified Developer Associate - Useful links
  2. Certified Solution architect Associate - Useful links
  3. Certified SysOps Admin Associate - Useful links
  4. Certified DevOps Eng Pro - Useful links
  5. Certified Solution architect Pro - Useful links
So I got it mostly wrong for the Associate part. Oups


Learning DevOps - day 2 - Amazon certification

This is day 2 of me trying to get back in technical shape after some years focusing more on sales, people and money. The first article is available here.

If I'm to learn something, better get a piece of paper in the process. So I decided to get the Amazon certifiations.

Current certifications (as of 2nd of September 2017)

I plan to have as many as possible and this is my choosen order of obtention

  1. Certified SysOps Admin Associate - Useful links
  2. Certified Solution architect Associate - Useful links
  3. Certified Developer Associate - Useful links
  4. Certified DevOps Eng Pro - Useful links
  5. Certified Solution architect Pro - Useful links
In particular I find that the Self Preparation Labs are cool (at least the one I did) 
In the lab I'm following the SysOps Administrator - Associate - Full time estimate of 6 hours
The lab costs lots of money so I moved to Udemy which was a $15 for the full 9.5h lessons.

I've schedule my exam for the 12th of September 2017. Wish me luck.


Learning DevOps - day 1 - what is DevOps

Disclaimer: I've been refused two interesting jobs because I'm too business oriented and have lost my geekisness. So after 3 years of focus on managing people and money, here I am ready to geek the world again! This is the first article of a discovery and learning process, I focus more on making stuff happen and less on the style. So grammar errors, typos and other mistakes are probably all over the place. Keep your focus on the content.

This project has multiple goals:

  • Show myself and potential employers that I'm not that rusty 
  • Document my discoveries in DevOps for the future me and future collegues
  • Share my discoveries hopping that they will help others

Disclaimer #2: I -think I- know at a high level what DevOps is, but starting from scratch is the best way to stay humble and avoid wrong assumptions.

So, what is DevOps?

My ideas before reading google

DevOps = Development + Operation.
Ok, but what is development and what is operation? An analogy is welcome here.
Lets immagine that you work at a big newspaper. There are two main roles:
  1. Journalist, who creates content
  2. Editors, who create a newspaper from lots of content
In IT:

  1. Developer, who creates a piece of code. 
  2. Ops guys, who create a full software from lots of pieces of code

So DevOps should be a way to help people code, deploy an keep the software running all in one. Sounds good!

I see three possiblities of implementation:

  1. training of the dev guys and ops guys to understand more each-others work
  2. do nothing and use the word DevOps as the next buzz word for a reorg of the IT department
  3. standardize and use lots of tools to automate the process. (NB: each new tools comes with relative consultants and incompatible configuration files)

    Option 1 is promising, but saying to your boss "Hey why not spend money on training our guys" doesn't look cool
    Option 2 is probably used by lots of companies, but very short term and not relevant to our topic
    Option 3 is very cool to tell a boss. And that's what DevOps seems to be. Brain, be ready to read a lot of manuals!

    Asking Google for some help (and stop the guess work)

    The first definition available looks terribly like option 2.… a lot of buzz word to say Dev and Ops should collaborate. 
    DevOps (development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase used to mean a type of agile relationship between Development and IT Operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship by advocating better communication and collaboration between the two business units
    Next in the google result is The agile admin (cool name). A  really interesting article on what DevOps is not or what it is partially. I cannot find any useful definiton for our purposes.

    Next is the mystic Wikipedia with a great definition of DevOps.
    DevOps […] is a software development and delivery process that emphasizes communication and collaboration between product management, software development, and operations professionals.[1][2][3] It supports this by automating and monitoring the process of software integrationtestingdeployment, and infrastructure changes by establishing a culture and environment where buildingtesting, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.[4][5][6] 
    See you soon for the next episode about the search of a clear pipeline for DevOps...


    Why should you move your IT to the cloud

    Hi all

    In the XIVth century people were hesitant to move their gold and money into the newly created banks. Today your money is in a bank, full stop.

    In the XXIst century people are hesitant to move their digital gold (aka data) into the newly created cloud. Tomorrow your data will be in the cloud, full stop.

    As banks have evolved in a multitude of services, products and clients so will the cloud and its services.

    Today Google, Microsoft and other have a lots of users data offered directly by the users, in the future this data will have a price, interests and possibly a stock exchange. Providers of good data will have a special status and data driven decision will be standard.

    Security will be very high, hacking will be like robberies, infrequent, punished by law and insured.

    The real danger will come from three main factors:
    1. Common sense will be less and less valued
    2. Computer are based on electricity, who control electricity controls the data (but that is already the case, only worst)
    3. Data borders will be enforced for tax reasons, cyberwar and legislation/culture of countries.
    a bientot


    This a technical blog, the more human one is frankcontrepois,com

    Hi, this is a technical blog , for the real thing

    go to

    Hi everyone

    In this previous post I list my values, sharing is among those.
    I feel particularly proud of my the balance and the harmony of my life and I want to share how you can achieve it in a dedicated blog.

    By Jaime Fearer –

    The first post is here and it's not yet available to the public, because I need your help, as privileged editors. Please review and comment for the blog to start with the right foot.

    Don't be shy, comment on typos; graphics; why you'll (or will not) follow it; which topics you'd like to see discussed.

    "The moving thinking tank" will continue to exist as a representation of all the ideas, technicalities and curiosities I've in my brain.

    Thank you


    How to use the recall message feature in Outlook

    Only works if you're fast and everyone is on an Exchange server.
    It allows you to:

    1. Delete an e-mail sent by mistake (recall)
    2. Change the content of an e-mail with a new one (recall and substitute)
    If the recipient is not using exchange then he/she will receive a short message saying "<your name> would like to recall this e-mail" potentially attracting even more attention.

    Frank Contrepois - for a LIFE, work and sleep harmony blog


    Invoke-RestMethod and self-signed certificates

    As part of my study of Powershell I tried to connect to some REST API using an encrypted connection to a dev webserver. As it's a dev server the certificate is self signed so not "valid" for Powershell scripts

    First problem

    PS C:\Users\Frank> $headers = @{accept = "application/json"}
    PS C:\Users\Frank> Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $uri/session -Method Post -Body $jsonCred -ContentType application/json -SessionVariable xsSession -Headers $headers

    Invoke-RestMethod : The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.
    At line:1 char:1
    + Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $uri/session -Method Post -Body $jsonCred -ContentType ap ...
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (System.Net.HttpWebRequest:HttpWebRequest) [Invoke-RestMethod], WebException
        + FullyQualifiedErrorId : WebCmdletWebResponseException,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.InvokeRestMethodCommand

    Wrong solution found on Internet

    [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = {$true}
    This command will work only for the first call of invoke-restmethod or invoke-webmethod, any further call to Invoke-RestMethod will FAIL with this message
    "Invoke-RestMethod : The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send."

    Good solution

    I found the following piece of code to work perfectly. Copy paste it in your script or directly in the powershell windows shell.
    Original solution post

    # Only to ignore certificates errors
    add-type @"
            using System.Net;
            using System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates;

                public class IDontCarePolicy : ICertificatePolicy {
                public IDontCarePolicy() {}
                public bool CheckValidationResult(
                    ServicePoint sPoint, X509Certificate cert,
                    WebRequest wRequest, int certProb) {
                    return true;
    [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::CertificatePolicy = new-object IDontCarePolicy
    # From now on the Invoke-restMethod and Invoke-webmethod calls will work with an invalid certificate



    How do I lock and unlock the Fn key on a surface computer

    Just press Fn+Caps will lock/unlock the Fn key

    No tooltip will indicate the change of state


    How to keep LIFE, sleep and work in harmony

    Hi everyone

    In this previous post I list my values, sharing is among those.
    I feel particularly proud of my the balance and the harmony of my life and I want to share how you can achieve it in a dedicated blog.

    By Jaime Fearer –

    The first post is here and it's not yet available to the public, because I need your help, as privileged editors. Please review and comment for the blog to start with the right foot.

    Don't be shy, comment on typos; graphics; why you'll (or will not) follow it; which topics you'd like to see discussed.

    "The moving thinking tank" will continue to exist as a representation of all the ideas, technicalities and curiosities I've in my brain. There will be a post a week as usual.

    Thank you

    PS: John, please follow the new blog


    Receipe: Pasta with Salmon

    Lets have a change, this evening I've got a subliminal message from my wife: "Tonight you cook, I bought pasta and salmon". So here we go for all of you a recette just tested

    Come on guys lets prepare a very simple dish for your lady! 10 minutes, one boiling pan, one frying pan and some steps.

    Initially I wrote the post with 11 steps to prepare the pasta then discovered that bbc has a receipe in 4 steps. I'm including both, mine is for 2 with less onion and allow for more mistakes.

    Frank's style
    • 200g of pasta. Tradition would say "penne" but take what you have
    • 200g of salmon. Smoked or freshed is not that important
    • 70g of single cream (or double or creme fraiche)
    • 1/8 or onion 
    • 10 g of butter (cut an angle) 
    • 10 g of olive oil (throw 2 coffee spoon in the pan)
    • Pamiggiano reggiano
    You need one boiling pan and a frying pan

    1) Bring 1 liter of water to boil in the boiling pan with a fist of big salt
    2) Drop the pasta in the boiling pan and put a timer as indicated on the pasta package
    3) Put the frying pan over high fire
    4) put in the butter and oil together in the frying pan. FYI "the mix oil and butter is to reach the right temperature without burning the butter"
    5) meanwhile cut the 1/8 or onion. 
    6) when the butter is melted drop the onion in the pan and wait for a couple of minutes while you...
    7) ... cut the salmon in small pieces, and drop them in with the butter and onion
    8) reduce the frying pan fire to medium (not to burn it all)
    8) one minute before the pasta time is over put the single cream in the frying pan and mix
    9) pasta is ready, drain the pasta and put it in the frying pan with all the other ingredients, while the fire is still on. 
    10) mix mix mix and serve.
    11) bring parmiggiano on the table so she can add it as preferred
    12 Enjoy



    Preparation method

    1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in a pan of salted boiling water, then drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and red onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or until the onion has softened.
    3. Add the salmon cubes and double cream and continue to cook over a gentle heat for five minutes, or until the salmon has cooked through.
    4. Stir in the drained pasta and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley.


    How to stop new e-mails to kill your productivity

    Unless kept under control, reading and writing e-mail can become the only activity of the working hours. Valuable work or Brain work, the one requiring thinking and psychic energy is left for the worst hours.

    To do brain work you need to reduce distractions as much as possible.

    The reason for most of the interruptions in an office is a new e-mail in the inbox. It's almost automatic, you look at the e-mail, take time to decide if it should be read and answered. By doing this you loose your focus and lots of psychic energy.

    So first thing to do when starting a brain work is to block new e-mails from coming, while being able to read old e-mail and write new one.

    In Outlook 2013 you can achieve this by turning on the "Offline mode"!

    Accessible from the Send/Receive tab it tells Outlook to stop sending and receiving new mail while allowing to access old e-mail and prepare new email to be sent after the brain work is done.

    Here is where you can find the button in Outlook 2013

    This is the icon of Outlook indicating that offline mode is ON
    Offline is ON

    To turn if off, simply press the Work Offline button again

    A bientot
    Frank Contrepois


    How do I print long documents in OneNote as a continuous paper?

    Check this blog article (


    "Live by your values, pursue your goals to achieve your mission in life"

    Hi all

    "Live by your values, pursue your goals to achieve your mission in life" - Frank Contrepois

    Finding your values, mission and goals is a great way toward a better life. Here is why you should search yours now.

    Values are the filter your action need to go through to be good ones. You have values, coming from education, tradition, family and experience. You might not have a list of them but you have them. Values help you  make decisions every day and shape your day and how others see you. Finding the  most important values allow you to make YOUR right decisions, the ones that you'll accept and that will not leave any regrets.
    Find them, share them, live them.

    My values are:

    • Trust - to build long term relashionship
    • Honesty - I believe in what I say
    • Improvement - to evolve, survive and be a better person
    • Sharing - as in team work
    • Fair - I understand others views
    • Open Minded - I believe in the brain and actions as the way to value people

    Mission is next. I do not mean a James Bond style mission, I mean a life mission, one or more statements that define your life goal. Following your mission might requires courage, patience, perseverance (all are great values to have), it needs to be valid for a life.
    By following your mission you'll have the energy to do, the commitment to succeed and the recognition of others. Having your mission clear help other understand you and your actions. It helps finding the right persons and find a job that align with your ultimate goal.

    My mission is: "Live and share a happy and balanced life between family, new achievements and continuous improvements"

    The short version is "No WOW is left behind": which explain that for life and work I'll be there for the most important moments not matter what.

    Goals, present a shorter timeline toward your mission. A kind of what's next on the road. I recommend choosing goals with a 1 year, 3 years and 5 years horizon and try to align your activities to them. You should have goals for life, work and community (The triple bottom line) and make them hard to reach but in line toward your longer term goals and ultimately your mission.

    I share my family goals only with my wife, my work goals with my wife, collegues and some friends, my community goals with everyone.

    My community goals are:

    • Selling a book presenting a framework of how to maintain a life/work balance
    • Receive a prestigious award for my contribution to the world
    • Receive more than 1'000'000 positive feedback from my activities
    As an example, this blog is due to the need to improve my writing skills to write the book and achieve 1'000'000 positive feedback. Comments on blog count, so don't hesitate

    In conclusion, we all have values, we all have a mission and goals, but writing them down and sharing them will expand their reach and will help you live a better live. 

    NB: Finding values, mission and goals is not easy and take time and mind power, so patience.

    Reading related to the post:
    GTD and the altitude view
    7 Habits  to help on the mission creation


    Changing mindset between work and home

    I often work from home, and one of the hardest thing to do is to move from a work mindset to a home one. If you're in the office you have the commute, the last chat with colleges or the pint at the pub. (I live in London at the moment) and avoid this

    So how do you move from work to home? Specially when you're working from home or receive work call while reaching home?

    I've discovered (and probably read) that the brain focus on the present, even if the present is irrelevant, and forgets about the past, even if important.

    So during my transition, I do mind emptying activities like games, or mind filling things, like reading a fiction book. This helps the brain disconnect from the work and move into home with a smile. 

    That's what happened yesterday, I came back from work in a "home sweet home" mindset, but received a work phone call with adrenalin triggering news that made the transition more complicated. 
    To accelerate the transition I played "Alto's adventures" and my wife joined me and we ended up laughing at how bad we are and enjoying each other -rare- successes. After that it was time to sleep and so the blog stayed empty on Friday but is now filled with something interesting.

    And you, how do you move from work to home mindset? Are you someone who manage this transition easily; do you ever make this transition; do you use a trick like me?

    PS: Alto's adventure website is

    Have a great weekend!


    How do I extract MSI files

    msiexec /a test.msi /qb TARGETDIR=c:\tmp 

    to extract test.msi content in the c:\tmp directory


    How do I deploy ESXi in 10 minutes? A great video

    How do I deploy ESXi in 10 minutes?

    Bonus vCenter Operation Manager. I think now the product has a new name... but the video is still cool


    How keep your new year resolution? Share!

    Hello everyone!
    Today is Friday, and as every Friday in the last month I'm writing a blog article.

    Today's article is special, it exists because a friend told me "It's Friday, I'll have something to read in your blog".
    Oups, today has been a complicated day, with lots of work, stress and unexpected things, I had completly forgot about the blog, but now I HAVE to write an article, because you (at least one of you) is waiting for it.

    Sharing your goals, your resolutions, creating anticipation will help do things! I've made a promise to someone, and I keep my promises, so here I am, writing this short article.

    This concept can be applied to many things and it helps committing and after lots of forced commit, you'll have a new habit. I hope that in some month, writing something on my blog will be as natural as brushing my teeth!

    less than 10 minutes to write and I feel better with myself, try it, it works.

    If you have ideas or examples to add to this article, write them in the comments.

    a bientot