Everything-as-code. A polyglot experiment.
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Everything-as-code. A polyglot experiment.

As modern, agile developers we love to master several different languages all at once to be 100% productive. We define our development environments using Gradle. We implement our software in Java, Kotlin or another JVM based language. We use Groovy or Scala to test our code at different layers. We construct the build pipelines for our software using a Groovy DSL or JSON. We use YAML and Python to describe the infrastructure and the deployment for our applications. We document our architectures using AsciiDoc and JRuby. Welcome to Babel! Making the right choice in this multitude of available languages is not easy. This polyglot example project is a highly opinionated journey into the modern era of software industrialization.


This project uses SEU-as-code to build the software development environment for this project using Gradle. The definition is contained in the build.seu build file. To bootstrap the SEU, you need to issue the following command:

$ ./gradlew -b build.seu bootstrapSeu


There are quite some build tools around, every one with its own strengths. Usually I would have used Maven to build this kind of project. But Gradle beats Maven by far. It is way more flexible since you can use it in a declarative as well as imperative way. It is super fast, since it only executes the really required tasks in case of changes. It is highly customizable, via scripts and plugins. And it is short.

$ ./gradlew clean build


What is your favourite primary language? Java is not a bad choice at all. But Kotlin is a serious contender. Highly expressive, easy to learn for a Java developer. Stable.


This project uses Groovy and Spock for Unit and Integration testing, and Scala with Gatling for Performance testing. Spock is JUnit, Hamcrest and Mockito on steroids. Plus a super slick Groovy based DSL. Writing tests like this is fun. Also the integration with other well-known frameworks such as RestAssured is very easy and expressive with Spock.

We use Scala and Gatling as a framework to implement the load tests for this project. Gatling has an expressive DSL, any kind of load test can be expressed easily, not matter if it is a REST-stype project or a JSF-based UI project.

In order to run the integration and performance tests you currently have to start the application:

$ ./gradlew run
$ ./gradlew gatlingRun


We use the latest Jenkins CI server together with the new Pipeline plugin to programmatically define the build pipeline for the project. First, we start a Jenkins instance a Docker container:

$ docker run --name jenkinsci -p 8080:8080 -p 50000:50000 -v ~/Jenkins:/var/jenkins_home jenkinsci/jenkins

Next, we add a Jenkinsfile to our source repository. This file defines the build pipeline with the individual steps and stages.


First, we are going to package our micro service application in a Docker container. You can do this on the command line or using a suitable Gradle plugin.

$ ./gradlew buildDockerImage
$ ./gradlew tagDockerImage pushDockerImage

For easy local deployment of the Docker image you can either start a container manually or use Docker Compose to manage the lifecycle.

$ docker-compose -d up
$ docker-compose down

Sometimes it is useful to have a separate local VM you can use to spin up a Docker Swarm cluster with CoreOS, or maybe only have a box that you can use as an Ansible control node. We use Vagrant and Ruby for this kind of job.

$ vagrant up

In the Vagrant box we now have an Ansible installation for easy code based infrastructure provisioning. You can log into the box using SSH and then execute the Ansible playbooks.

$ vagrant ssh
$ cd provisioning
$ ansible-playbook -i development jenkinsci.yml

To deploy our microservice to DC/OS and Marathon you need a cluster. You can create a cluster locally using Vagrant or using a cloud provider. Maybe use something like Terraform to create it. Then you can create an app in Marathon using:

$ dcos marathon app add src/cloud/dcos-as-code.json

To deploy our microservice to Kubernetes you need a K8S cluster. You can create a cluster locally using Vagrant or by using a cloud provider. Maybe use something like Terraform to create it. Then you can create a deployment using:

$ kubectl create -f src/cloud/k8s-as-code.yml


We want our technical documentation close to the actual source code. We do not want to use a specific editor such as Word. The format needs to be lightweight and developer friendly. We want to version control and diff our documentation. Good choices are Markdown and Asciidoc.

With AsciidoctorJ we can easily run Asciidoctor on the JVM using JRuby. There also is an excellent Gradle plugin available, as well as IDEs for a little more comfort such as IntelliJ or Atom. As an example we used the arc42 documentation template. To generate the document in HTML5 and PDF run:

$ ./gradlew -t ascii


The slides for the initial JavaOne 2016 presentation are written in Markdown. There are several rendering alternatives available. Or if you are a JavaScript fan you can use Reveal.js as a framework to program your slides.

## [fit] These slides are written in Markdown.

- This is for real programmers! :smiley:
- Several open source projects available



M.-Leander Reimer (@lreimer), <mario-leander.reimer@qaware.de>


The software and documentation is provided under the MIT open source license, read the LICENSE file for details.