Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Many modern web services give you data in JSON so that you can easily incorporate it into web applications. But a lot of automation tasks are done in the shell, where the built-in tools predate JSON and thus can't handle that particular structure.

Sound familiar? You should check out jq, a tool that interprets JSON data and gives you a language for extracting, reformatting, and manipulating it. It uses a data-flow metaphor analogous to awk where you work with chunks of data at a time.

Large percentages of my automation scripts now incorporate jq, and it sometimes seems like my main contribution at my current job was introducing it to the development toolkit.