Taking Care of Fellow Team Members

Throughout my educational career, I have gone above and beyond to provide my team members with the best resources I could acquire. I have done so to make group projects quite enjoyable.

One thing  I provided to multiple groups I have worked with was a Gobby / Infinoted server to enable Google Docs like pair programming.  At first I hosted the server on an old desktop machine I had laying around, then I started hosting it on Digital Ocean, followed by AWS for a brief period of time. Everyone who used the Gobby client and server  really liked it. If you would like to set up an Infinoted server, you can now use Docker to get on up and running in just a few minutes.

I also set up git repositories for version control which made collaboration even easier. In order to get my team members familiar with git, I recommended they use GitHub’s easy to use GitHub Desktop client. One reference I recommended was this simple to follow guide which covers the basics of git.

Now unfortunately, not everyone has the best, or even adequate resources to complete a task. There was one group member I had for advanced databases who was still running Windows Vista in the Fall of 2016. With Vista’s end of support date being in the following spring, most developers had already abandoned support for the aged operating system and as a result, my partner was not able to run many modern applications like Visio or Office. In order to help him, I first had him use TeamViewer to remotely access my laptop while we worked on documents together. After that I had him try to download Windows 7 from MSDNAA / DreamSpark / Microsoft Imagine, but low and behold, the client you had to use to download Windows 7 from  Microsoft Imagine would not run on Vista. In order to work around that, I downloaded Windows 7 on my machine and then uploaded the ISO file to a shared SkyDrive / OneDrive folder.

Considering the fact that the computer he was working on was from 2006, I asked him if he had a spare machine he could use in case his PC failed. Unfortunately he did not, so I had him take an old desktop that I had available home. Now ironically, his old PC ended up failing a few days later. I spend quite a bit of time helping my partner with technical problems, however since I was able to understand the situation he was in, I did my best to help him and did not complain to the professor teaching the class.

 

Affordable Public Openstack Cloud Providers

While reading through the Chris Parin’s outstanding course notes, I came across a list of public OpenStack cloud providers. While going through the list, I noticed two of them that accepted USD and were quite affordable compared to RackSpace. You have to consider the fact that you get what you pay for, however, if you are in the market for an environment to learn the platform, they are great.

OVH Public Cloud

  • Pros:
    • Most affordable
    • IPv6 support
    • GPU instances flavors
  • Cons:
    • API tends to run slow at times
    • Occasional outages
    • No US regions, closest is in Canada, near Montreal
    • Images are not IPv6 ready by default, you will have to configure it manually, or with a provisioner

Internap AgileCloud / AgileServer

  • Pros:
    • US regions
    • Free Dedicated IPv4 subnet
    • Bare metal instance flavors
  • Cons:
    • A tad bit pricer
    • No IPv6 support, yet IPv6 is available by request