Empower the team by providing tooling

I wanted to provide some tooling for the team and at the same time, I didn’t want to burden our devops person (yup, a single one, talk about efficiency and bus factor, right?) too much. After some research I discovered Rancher - and oh boy it was a crazy good call to use it!

We used it for hosting our Sentry instance, we spin up Grafana and pushed a lot of data into InfluxDB to create some better observability around our apps, we spin up our CI instance using Drone - and even used some gaming-dedicated boxes from hosting provider to speed up our test suites (as we could control the hardware underneath). Everything was configured via Ansible (server nodes) and rancher compose yaml files (applications stack).

We even had traefik so developers could spin up some APIs of their choice simply by adding a new stack there - but the latter wasn’t that popular back in my days - having the ability to do so was IMO nice tho.

I think having a unified, easily accessible stack of basic tooling was a good call - every developer could access those tools and set up a configuration for their new app(s) as needed without too much of a hassle. Suddenly catching errors, adding CI & CD deployment pipeline, and pushing some data so you can plot some graphs in Grafana was rather effortless - as you could sign in to most of those tools via Github we removed that traction. And having frictionless experience is even more important nowadays - in remote-first IT world.