What I am trying to achieve here is the operational insight and real-world examples on the subjects of dev and ops. Mainly I will try to show some of the pitfalls of certain choices and how to avoid them or provide integration examples that are combined for a real working environments and not just theory based stuff.
I will, for now, concentrate on the BSD and integration of fully working, secure, hardened and of course stable systems that do not suffer from lack of functionality. I too struggle every day with these but somehow, for the time being at least, I manage to integrate things my way. That does not mean that my way IS THE WAY but - it may be start for you or at least give you idea.
Often, as everyone else (though I admit this freely and openly) I am wrong :) so correct me either trough comments or trough direct contact. I am always open to constructive critique and I know the etiquette of conduct when I fail (read - I cry in the bed, late at night ;D).
I am employed in privately owned Company that does most of the work in Enterprise companies. I draw my speech and communication skills there as IT Architect and learn how to integrate systems into coherent services. Much of my knowledge comes from my spare time. Even after the work hours, I learn new things, try out new technologies and practices. I have a great desire "to know".
I am willing to share this openly, not just to spread this over the net but to reinforce my knowledge as well. Often I find myself, that I can remember how I found certain article which provided my with some solutions but not the solution itself! This is VERY frustrating for me. This is changing as I am trying to complete the work on my own and not search for the quick path to copy-paste (although this is exactly what I am doing here on my site :D), and after I exhaust all options that I can remember, then I turn to Search Engine. BUT - that doesn't mean, that you, the valued reader, can not benefit from this!
In my lab environment I use little box, that does all my bidding - the Qnap box. that's right, a NAS with little more brain. I own a TS-453 Pro box with three regular drives for storage and one SSD for the virtualization use. This Qnap provides integrated QEMU virtualization platform, that can provide my full range of *nix guests (not that I do not use anything other, mind you).