Curiosity leads the path.

Welcome to the 27th issue of Zero to Hero Highlights. A lot has happened since the last issue. Let’s check them out, shall we?

It’s the Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the holiday season when time stops, and you start relaxing and going with the flow. I hope you spend time with your family and loved ones, enjoying and cherishing every moment 🎅.

I am sure the new year will be fantastic. I plan to kick some epic ass in the next year 🙂; I bet you’ll do the same too.

Same Content, New Name

You might have realized that I’ve changed this newsletter’s name because calling it “Zero to Hero Weekly” does not make sense when I publish once a month—if I’m lucky, that is 😆. 

So Zero to Hero Highlights is the new name.

Given the dynamic nature of my schedule, the intervals between my updates have been more extended than a week, which reflects the multitude of ongoing projects and commitments. However, the newsletter’s content will remain similar, as I’ll follow a similar theme.

Got My Mac Burger

As a Thanksgiving (and a post-acquisition—see below) present, I got a beefy Mac Studio.

This thing is a monster!

I can achieve a lot with 24 CPUs and 128 gigabytes of RAM; I can do a lot with this beast of a machine. For example, it enables me to simulcast to multiple platforms without requiring a separate streaming machine.

Volkan Uses

I created a website containing a list of tools, gadgets, software, and hardware that I currently use, have used, liked, and find worth mentioning.

volkan-uses.z2h.dev is one of the many sites that I’m planning to include under the z2h.dev umbrella (see below).

Deer in the Valley

Along with TalkSPIFFE and VMware Secrets Manager Contributor Hours, I’ve also started hosting a new tech podcast, Deer in the Valley (Vadideki Geyik).

By this writing, Deer in the Valley is among Turkey’s top 10 in the Technology category and top 16 in Azerbaijan in the same category again. We are having so much fun while recording the sessions, also reflected in these stats.

With four folks from the Silly Cone Valley, we started a podcast about our experiences before and after working there and our thoughts, ideas, and tips for those who want to follow a similar career path. It’s very well-received by the community.

One caveat, though: The show is in Turkish. So, if you don’t know Turkish, either use a simultaneous translation AI or maybe it’s time to learn a new language to expand your horizons—and get lost in translation a little.

I see the entire thing as therapy. We talk freely and candidly about the good, bad, and ugly of the Tech Valley, our lives, and everything in between.

We do live talks on the Kampus Discord and simulcast it over Twitch and YouTube. We typically livestream the session every other Saturday at 10 am Pacific time.

Radio Geyik 🦌 📻

Deer in the Valley also has a YouTube channel. We simultcast the Deer in the Valley live shows on ZeroToHero TwitchKampus Discord, and Deer in the Valley YouTube.

In addition to all of the above, I’m experimenting with something new. Whenever the channel is idle, I stream otherworldly beats there. So, if you want something to listen to while getting stuff done, head down to the Dear in the Valley YouTube channel.

npm install deers

We also have an NPM package called deers, which is a helper to provide random deer ASCII art images.

It’s a fun little project; check it out.

Contributions are—as always—welcome.

Hey, What Is This “Kampus” Thing Anyway

Kampus is a Discord community where anyone interested in learning about tech can join. The closest way to visualize it is to imagine an actual College Campus with lectures, student clubs, co-working sessions, libraries, etc.

So, Is Kampus Like a Study Group? Or…

We intentionally keep the definition of “Kampus” vague so that it will evolve and define itself.

I see Kampus as a community of like-minded individuals who want to grow and become a better version of themselves.

Hello Broadcom

Broadcom has acquired VMware after dragging for around one and a half years.

That has been one and a half years of waiting in relative stress and anxiety. So, I’m glad that the deal has been sealed. This means I will be working at a new company, doing the same thing: doing epic innovations around Radio Access Networks, leveraging O-RAN.

This was a $69B acquisition, one of the largest (if not “the” largest) of its kind. So, it will take some time for things to settle down. As things settle down, I’m sure I’ll have more to share in the next highlight. But overall, it’s pretty darn good news, and I’m confident things will be epic!

Wait, How About VSecM?

One immediate question I’ve received from various channels is whether this merger will impact VMware Secrets Manager in any way. As far as I can tell, there are no immediate changes in the project’s status and governance. We’ll continue to secure the cloud-native world one secret at a time. The VMware Secrets Manager will remain open-source under VMware’s GitHub organization.

That said, things are new. I will inform everyone in various channels, including VSecM Slack workspace, Twitter, and other communities if I receive any specific guidance related to VMware Secrets Manager. However, I don’t expect any significant changes. From the vantage point of VSecM, things will continue to be “business as usual.”

VMware Secrets Manager Is Growing

On that topic, VSecM has a team of core maintainers right now. And we are getting external contributions, too. To contribute to the project, contact me or any of the core contributors, and we’ll do our best to help you hit the ground running.

To learn more about VSecM, check out its website.

Federating Secrets Across Clusters

For the VMware Secrets Manager enthusiasts who have been following the project’s development for a while, I’ve experimented with cross-cluster federated secrets sharing using VSecM, which went well.

I also created a quick demo and talked about it in SIG SPIRE. In addition, I am working on a tutorial to show step-by-step how to establish cross-cluster secrets federation; I’ll share it in various channels when it’s done.

Moved VMware Secrets Manager’s Build Server to Linode

Another VSecM news is since I don’t need anything specific to AWS for VSecM’s build needs, I moved it to Linode: fanatical support and excellent price/performance ratio. I am delighted with them so far.

Besides, you can get almost twice the performance from Linode with the same amount of money you shell out to AWS. And their tech support is top-notch; they have never let me down.

VMware Secrets Manager Onboarding Session

Within the context of Kampus, I’ve also delivered a 3-hour onboarding session for VMware Secrets Manager to a group of interested developers who want to contribute but don’t know where to start.

The training was very well received.

  • I gave a presentation about what VSecM is, what a Secrets Manageris, and why we need such a thing,
  • Followed by a code walk and architectural overview,
  • Finally, doing a live demo to show how VSecM works in practice,
  • Then, there was a Q&A session to wrap things up.

It was great, and the project received many contributions after the onboarding session. Which motivates me to do more of the same.

Next, I plan to do a follow-up session about setting up a VSecM development environment.

I record these training sessions and share them exclusively with the Kampus members. So, to watch the videos, you’ll need to join Kampus.

Zero to Hero Live Streams are Back

Another piece of news is that I’ve started streaming on the Zero to Hero Twitch channel more frequently. 

Whenever I work on something unrelated to my work at VMware that I can share with you folks, I stream it.

As mentioned, I also simultcast the stream on Deer in the Valley (Vadideki Geyik) YouTube Channel and the Ada Lovelace Stage on the Kampus Discord Server.

The New z2h.dev

Another project I began doing on the side is z2h.dev: It’s an umbrella project of smaller, focused, no-fluff/just-what’s-needed reference material. For example, if you want to learn about tmux, you can check out tmux.z2h.dev.

There is also volkan-uses.z2h.dev, which contains a list of widgets, gadgets, and software I use for various things.

There is much content to add to z2h.dev and so little time, so it will grow at its own pace. I’ll let you know through various channels when something new happens.

All Your Dreams Are Belong to Us

Yet another project I’m experimenting with is DreamDiffusion.

At DreamDiffusion, I share the AI-generated artwork that I create. There are just a few images; I’ll add more—stay tuned.

OpsBeacon Has Shown Much Progress

Another project that has shown much progress is OpsBeacon

What Is OpsBeacon?

OpsBeacon  gets complex work done across all your apps, servers, and tools within Slack without IT help.

Although I don’t directly contribute to the code, I’m one of its advisors, so I constantly communicate with the team, exchanging ideas and discussing architecture. And they have done a tremendous job in the last couple of months. 

I have used OpsBeacon in my workflows and automation, and I can honestly say that it’s incredible. It’s a tool that you don’t know how much you need OpsBeacon badly until you use it. And after you begin using it, you are hooked. I am not directly developing it, but 

Random Thought of the Week

Nurturing your curiosity can impact your leadership skills, learning abilities, and value as a team member. Here are four supported methods to cultivate your curiosity.

Take Ownership

Don't wait for factors like being too busy or relying on your mentors or superiors to drive your growth. Recognize that fostering curiosity is solely your responsibility. Commit to regularly allocate time to explore topics that intrigue you.

Identify Your Interests

Reflect on the subjects you’re genuinely eager to learn more about or the areas you aspire to master. Dedicate 20-30 minutes each day pursuing these interests through reading, writing, or engaging in discussions with like-minded individuals.

Break Your Routines

Never underestimate the power of shaking up your routines. By changing how and when you perform tasks, exploring routes to work, trying out lunch spots, or engaging in diverse weekend activities, you can significantly expand your mindset and invite fresh ideas into your life.

Embrace Novelty

Be open-minded and willing to try things even if they don’t initially align with your interests or experiences. Embrace the thrill of discovering hobbies, indulging in “pleasures,” and embracing diversity in all aspects of life.

These strategies will help foster curiosity within you. Enhance your growth as a leader, learner, and valued team member.

Feel free to change direction and give something a shot if it doesn't connect with you or pan out. 

By following these `guidelines, you can actively nurture your curiosity, ultimately contributing to professional development.

Look What I’ve Found

Thanks a Lot ❤️

That’s all for this week.

Until next time… May the source be with you 🦄.