Istio Course Development Progress (or lack of?)

TLDR; it looks like I might be done by October, sorry for all those who have been waiting!

I’m currently working on an Istio course – and progress has been SLOOOOOOW to say the least. 5 months in now and recording has only just begun.


The opening demo will use Kiali to troubleshoot a bottleneck/cascading failure.

Here’s a bit of an update (and a de-compress).

Istio is probably the hardest course I’ve worked on for many years; certainly I can’t remember a tougher one.

In my company, we are currently using Istio, although we’re certainly not using it to its full potential. But just using a framework, especially one as complex as Istio, is not enough to be qualified to build a training course around it. For that, it’s necessary to take the framework apart, to understand its inner workings. To find the traps, the gotchas, the workarounds.

All of that is needed to build a good course. I’m not sure exactly how well it will turn out, but I can promise I won’t be simply running through the sample application provided on the Istio site – their abysmal “bookinfo” app just does not cut it. (Actually: the app is fine, the problem is running “kubectl apply” on a few yaml files and observing the result is not in any way insightful, but in many cases that’s all you have to go on with Istio).

Which leads me to the sample app – I’d love to build something new and fresh – honestly I’m sick of that Fleetman app, I must have spent hundreds of hours watching those trucks trundling around! I’m sure many of my viewers share the feeling! But I’ve decided to go with it, at least to offer consistency with the Kubernetes course. If I’m uncharitable about myself, I’d say I was just too lazy to write something new.

Unfortunately, Fleetman as it was on the Kubernetes course isn’t rich enough to demonstrate some of Istio’s features, so I’ve also spent many hundreds of hours upgrading that. I’m becoming more aware of my limitations as an Angular developer as I try to unpick what I did over a year ago!

In short, I’m getting there but it’s taking time. I would like to have it off my back, by the end of October at least. And then I’m taking a LOOOOOONG holiday 😉

4 thoughts on “Istio Course Development Progress (or lack of?)”

  1. Looking forward to it, currently following the K8s course. So istio would be a nice follow-up 🙂
    Keep it up, your course is great.

    1. Thanks Valentin, you’re very kind! That’s one of the problems – I know people are looking forward to it, so the pressure is on! It looks like it might turn out to be around 10 hours, so I hope I’ve not overstretched it. Two weeks to go argh!

  2. Looking forward to the Istio course Richard!

    Working through your k8s course at the moment (its totally awesome!!) and the istio one will be good to do around Christmas when I have a bit more spare time.

    Read your last comment, don’t worry about over-stretching it, as a student, I’d rather have more information than not enough 😉

    Keep up the awesome work – your courses are clear, concise and well laid out.

    1. Many thanks Jay – it’s just been released now at Udemy and VirtualPairProgrammers. I work best to a deadline, even if it’s a bit of a false one, so I went all-out for finish for November 1st. I did miss three topics – Mirroring (easy concept but I’ve got a cracking demo planned – running a local IDE debugger that’s receiving live traffic from your cluster), RBAC authorization (I’m not sure this is a compelling feature, but I know many will want to know about it) and Remote Services (this topic just fell through the cracks), so I’ll be adding those over the next month. Will write a proper post about it today – hope it works for you, for some reason Istio is riddled with unnecessary jargon, I tried to keep it understandable for all.

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