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Ansible for DevOps - available now!

Ansible is a simple, but powerful, server and configuration management tool. Ansible for Devops is a book I wrote to teach you to use Ansible effectively, whether you manage one server—or thousands.

Ansible for DevOps cover - Book by Jeff Geerling

I've spent a lot of time working with Ansible and Drupal over the past couple years, culminating in projects like Drupal VM (a VM for local Drupal development) and the Raspberry Pi Dramble (a cluster of Raspberry Pi computers running Drupal 8, powering http://www.pidramble.com/). I've also given multiple presentations on Ansible and Drupal, like a session at DrupalCon Austin, a session at MidCamp earlier this year, and a BoF at DrupalCon LA.

Finished writing my first book, Ansible for DevOps

After almost two years of writing, editing, and rewriting my book, I've finally completed the first edition of Ansible for DevOps, and it's available for sale on Amazon, LeanPub, and iTunes!

Ansible for DevOps cover - book on Ansible by Jeff Geerling

The book is 400 pages long, just shy of 80,000 words, and was a huge effort. It's such a relief to finally have it 'out the door', though publishing-as-I-write has been a great experience. Pre-first-edition, I've already sold over 2,200 copies of Ansible for DevOps on LeanPub!

Here are a few blog posts from Server Check.in where I describe more of the publication process:

Souls and Goals - 2015 Soccer Game

STEAL NOTHING BUT PHOTOGRAPHS: 2014 - Souls and Goals &emdash; Souls and Goals-103

The 'Souls and Goals' soccer match is now in its third year! The Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Lions will battle against the Clergy and Company team (comprised of a bunch of priests and a few friends, like me!).

The game will be held at St. Dominic High School on Thursday, November 5, with a kickoff at 7 p.m. The game is free to anyone, and concessions will be available. More info is available on the Souls and Goals website (with a fresh new design for 2015).

I'll be playing in goal again this year (as part of the 'and Company' on the Clergy side), wearing my Vatican-yellow jersey! The Seminarians won the past two Cups—we'll see if we can pull off a victory this year!

$25K in book sales, and I'm almost ready to publish

I started writing my first book almost two years ago. At the beginning of the project, I set an ambitious goal: Write a 90-page introductory-level technical book on some relatively new software, and sell 200 copies.

As a developer and dabbling entrepreneur, I calculated that if I sold the book for around $10-20, and wrote the book based on real-world scenarios I'd already encountered (meaning very little extra research/discovery required), I could make enough money to keep things interesting while helping a few hundred developers pick up the new software more quickly.

Almost two years later, Ansible for DevOps is almost 400 pages long and has sold over 2,000 copies—and I haven't yet published the book.

Books sold per month

What follows is an analysis of what led to this success, and some cautions for those considering writing a book.

New features in Ansible 2.0: Blocks

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of Ansible for DevOps, a book on Ansible by Jeff Geerling.

Introduced in Ansible 2.0.0 (still in active development, currently in alpha), Blocks allow you to group related tasks together and apply particular task parameters on the block level. They also allow you to handle errors inside the blocks in a way similar to most programming languages' exception handling.

Here's an example playbook that uses blocks with when to run group of tasks specific to one platform without when parameters on each task:

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