The end of any year is a perfect time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to list the most popular blog posts from this past year. After the holiday craziness turns into some peaceful reading time, put up your feet, grab your beverage of choice, and enjoy this trip through the best of 2019!

1. AWS Cloud Certifications Explained: Which Certification Is Right for You?

With nearly half of the cloud market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a safe bet on which to base career decisions. In fact, according to the GlobalKnowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report, the average salary of an AWS-certified IT professional is now $129,868. AWS currently offers three of the ten highest-paying certs in North America, and the AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional)—the best of the bunch—commands an average salary of more than $148,000. Enterprises recognize that employees who earn AWS certs know their stuff, and they also recognize what it takes to retain these employees.

This update to our 2018 version will help you:

  • Understand the AWS certification system and its 11 core and specialty certs
  • Learn the formats, fees, length, and prerequisites for each of the 11 certs
  • Build your AWS certification plan

2. Best Software Developer Events and Conferences: A Global Guide

There’s a reason we keep updating this post regularly—our readers love it! In it, we offer a comprehensive, chronological, (and just slightly opinionated) list of the most awesome events for software developers and engineers around the world.

You’ll learn:

  • Dates, locations, prices, Twitter accounts and hashtags, and links to the software and systems events around the world from December 2019 to July 2020
  • Where to find New Relic events

3. What Is Kubernetes? An Introduction to the Wildly Popular Container Orchestration Platform

Large and small software companies alike are now deploying thousands of container instances daily, and that’s a complexity of scale they have to manage. So how do they do it? Enter the age of Kubernetes.

Kubernetes is an open source container orchestration platform designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. In fact, Kubernetes has established itself as the de facto standard for container orchestration and is the flagship project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), backed by key players like Google, AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, and Red Hat.

As another post we update regularly, this is one you can use to enlighten your nontechnical spouses, parents, and bosses about what you do. They’ll learn:

  • Why Kubernetes is so popular
  • How it works
  • The difference between a cluster, a node, and a pod
  • Useful Kubernetes concepts and components, like statefulness, labels, YAML objects, DaemonSet, namespace, helm, Istio
  • Kubernetes adoption challenges
  • How New Relic helps your journey with Kubernetes

4. Monitoring Application Performance in Kubernetes: How New Relic Sets You Up for Success

Here at New Relic, the Kubernetes story boils down to a couple of very strategic points. First, we believe that for all of its success to date, Kubernetes is actually—and amazingly—still in its early journey toward achieving its full potential. Tomorrow’s Kubernetes environments will operate at a scale that will dwarf what we see today. As Kubernetes environments continue to scale, they will also become more complex—and present bigger challenges for efforts to monitor their performance and health.

Second, many of our customers tell us they see tremendous value in leveraging the New Relic platform to transition to and run their application workloads in Kubernetes. So we have been working hard to expand and upgrade the New Relic platform with a new generation of monitoring tools designed for Kubernetes environments.

This post introduces some of the most powerful capabilities in the New Relic platform for monitoring applications running in Kubernetes and resolving performance issues in these environments. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use New Relic to achieve end-to-end Kubernetes monitoring
  • Surface Kubernetes-specific metadata by injecting it into APM agents, so you can explore performance issues and troubleshoot application transaction errors
  • Visualize application performance metrics within the New Relic Kubernetes cluster explorer

5. Introducing New Relic One: Our Platform for the Next Decade

Written by New Relic CEO Lew Cirne, this post marked our transition from being a tools company to being a platform company. Critically, our customers tell us that as they adopt new technology, they don’t want to adopt new tools to monitor them. They want one place where they can observe it all. They need one way for everyone in the organization to visualize the flows and dependencies in their complex systems and to see everything relevant to the entire business—that elusive pan-enterprise single source of truth and single pane of glass.

From this post you’ll learn about New Relic One as well as:

  • Lew’s vision for New Relic
  • Why our observability platform is entity-centric
  • The significance of having a programmable user interface

6. Kubernetes Cluster Explorer: Multidimensional Monitoring for Running Kubernetes at Scale

Kubernetes is a remarkable success story: A container orchestration technology that made its first public appearance barely three years ago now plays a pivotal role at thousands of organizations that have adopted container-based application architectures.

But as Kubernetes environments scale and become more complex, it gets harder to answer some fundamental—but very important—questions: What is the health of my cluster? What are the hierarchy and the health of the elements (nodes, pods, containers, and applications) within my cluster?

We think it’s essential for our customers to have the tools they need to get useful answers to these questions, so they can take a proactive approach to monitoring the health and performance of their Kubernetes environments—at any scale and any level of complexity.

Introducing New Relic’s Kubernetes cluster explorer. From this post, you’ll learn:

  • What our Kubernetes cluster explorer is and why you’ll want it
  • How it gives you improved views into Kubernetes health and performance
  • Why it enables faster and more effective troubleshooting

7. The Most Popular Programming Languages of 2019

Every year, we analyze data from several sources to understand today’s programming language landscape: Which languages are engineers using most often today? Which ones would they prefer to use, given a choice? Which ones are employers most likely to request when hiring developers?

While some results of this exercise stay fairly consistent from year to year—witness Java’s multi-year reign as the most commonly requested language on job-board postings—other trends better reflect the diverse and dynamic nature of modern programming languages.

From this annual post, you’ll learn:

  • How we rank the most popular languages
  • Three top-line trends we discovered
  • Sources for industry rankings of languages
  • Languages associated with the best-paid developer jobs
  • Our list of the most loved and most dreaded programming languages

8. Secrets of a NRQL Wizard

One of our major innovations at New Relic, NRQL (pronounced “nerkel”) is a query language you can use to query the New Relic Database (NRDB) about your application data. You can then transform those query results into New Relic dashboard charts so you can quickly and easily interpret what your data says, and take action.

This post will be especially useful for New Relic customers, and assumes a general understanding of NRQL syntax, components, and functions. You’ll learn:

  • How to disguise, transform, ignore, and facet data
  • Unexpected (and unnatural) combinations in NRQL
  • How to put barriers around your data
  • How to apply advanced mathematics

9. Critical DevOps Interview Questions—and How to Answer Them

Just because the market is hot right now doesn’t mean you’re going to breeze your way into a new gig. You’ll still need to ace that interview—often multiple interviews—and that means careful preparation.

Originally published in 2018, this post is regularly updated and well read by job-seeking developers and engineers. It outlines:

  • A framework of critical DevOps interview questions and what themes to hit on when answering them
  • The questions you should be asking when interviewing
  • Career opportunities at New Relic!

10. FutureStack 19: Introducing New Capabilities for New Relic One

At New Relic, we believe that your digital strategy is your company strategy. You use software to uncover revenue streams, transform your customer experience, and outpace your competitors. With that much on the line, software matters more than ever. Innovation and rapid delivery are crucial. Whether you're dealing with synthetics, log management, and more, New Relic can help.

As software operations and delivery have changed, so have monitoring practices. You need the ability to instrument everything in your software stack and to view all your telemetry data in one place. But you also need context and curation to make sense of all that data. And intelligence to know what to take action on.

Launched during our own FutureStack19 conference, this post updates you on the newest capabilities we’ve built into the New Relic One platform. You’ll learn about:

  • Why “open, connected, and programmable” are essential for observability
  • Capabilities like New Relic Logs, Metrics and Traces APIs, and New Relic AI
  • How to connect your customers’ mobile behavior to your software performance with New Relic React Native Mobile Agent
  • The essential platform capabilities built into New Relic One

That’s it—the most read blog posts from New Relic in 2019. With all that you’ve just learned, you’re ready to celebrate a very happy transition into the New Year! Make sure to check out our top blogs in 2021.