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Craft of Code

Simplicity, Support, and Openness Lead Changelog to Linode Kubernetes Engine

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As the founder and editor-in-chief at Changelog, Adam Stacoviak leads a thriving media business that includes six regular podcasts, a daily newsfeed, and a weekly newsletter. The company’s media properties attract an audience of more than 14 million developers, including some at Microsoft, Intel, Google, IBM, and Facebook.

Ten years after hitting the airways for the first time, Changelog chose to completely embrace the technology of its advertising partners through deeper integrations. Conspicuous references of companies like Fastly for real-time CDN and worldwide bandwidth, Rollbar for error monitoring and alerts, and Linode for high-performance SSD Linux cloud servers were not enough.

Changelog Media

“We wanted our audience to see how we approach everything,” said Adam. “Rather than just promoting our sponsors, we want to show our listeners and readers who we’re using and what it all looks like.”

Changelog also shifted the way it approached development as well as infrastructure configuration and tooling, creating a continuously deployed and monitored, three-tier web app. There are no infrastructure operators, and anyone can contribute in a few commands. All automation is declarative and idempotent without risk of unexpected side-effects.

The move to an open source app repository in 2019 coincided with Changelog’s first foray into managed Kubernetes and the introduction of the Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE), a fully-managed container orchestration engine for deploying and managing containerized applications and workloads on Linode.

Changelog’s site reliability engineer, Gerhard Lazu, was hoping to find a middle ground that captured the benefits of Kubernetes without going down rabbit holes. By open-sourcing its infrastructure code on GitHub, Changelog created direct collaboration channels with their partners in a way that is transparent to the public.

Gerhard Lazu

“Linode raised the bar for us. With LKE, we can declare more of our dependencies via this single API that the entire industry is converging on. Because LKE does more for us, we need less Terraforming and less manual integrations. There is more automation running in LKE with better visibility and tighter integrations. It’s a real game-changer,” said Gerhard Lazu, Changelog’s site reliability engineer.

Simplifying Changelog’s container orchestration and moving from a Docker Swarm to Linode got an additional boost from LKE, which bundles free transfer, providing a less expensive alternative to other solutions for managing containerized applications.

“A product like GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) is complicated because it does a lot more, some of it which we don’t need. Understanding all the integrations, and deciding what is not worth using takes time and effort,” said Gerhard. “We prefer a simpler Kubernetes experience that delivers on all the key requirements, and then gets out of the way. We also prefer fewer options and better defaults, because we don’t have all day to spend on Kubernetes.”

In addition to the simplicity provided by LKE, Changelog relies on Linode for 24/7/365 support. A highly-trained team of service professionals is committed to always finding the right solutions and providing an unparalleled customer experience 24/7/365.

Adam Stacoviak

“There’s so much we’ve grown to expect when it comes to reliability with Linode in terms of the hardware, the people, and the interactions” said Adam Stacoviak, Changelog’s founder and editor-in-chief.

As an early adopter of LKE, the Changelog team joined more than 500 others in an open beta program known as Linode Green Light, an essential group of developers who take pride in being the first to test new products and share knowledge with the Linode community.

“We value the relationship and the personal touch we receive from Linode,” added Jerod Santo, managing editor at Changelog. “With larger providers, they can make you feel like you barely exist. They’re not there in terms of a relationship or help and support. Not like Linode.” 

In addition to simplicity and support, the Changelog team values a similar commitment Linode continues to show to the open source cloud community. “We’ve always been open source, open concept, and open idea sharing,” said Adam, “so Linode’s dedication to the open cloud is extremely important to us as well.”

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