content i'm thinking about week ending 08-28-20

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to the site. Work, freelance writing projects, and the return of school(in some entirely new abstraction) has unfortunately limited my time for freeform writing. Building a habit of consistency is still something I’d like get better muscle memory for before 2020 draws to a close.

The Future of Ops Is…

There’s a lot of superlatives I feel I should be using to describe this post: I’ll leave it at this: this is one of the most forward-thinking posts on operations(“ops”) and DevOps I’ve read in quite some time. This post resonates for me particularly well, early in my career I was very “in-the-trenches” ops, and have since pivoted to a more traditional devops/SRE role. This post does an amazing job of delivering succinct, thoughtful assessments of the current state of operations.

Lately, I’ve spent time thinking about my type of role, and where it has a place in the future of software engineering. “Vendor engineering” strikes me as an apt way of describing it. It’s pretty rare these days to build ground-up infrastructure from nothing. More and more it seems like the work is in managing how different $thing-as-a-service tools interact with each other, shuffling JSON output from API A to API B, all the while making sure the internal state of this “system” can be canonically assessed from “somewhere”(observable).

“Sociotechnical Engineer” is also a great term I intend to shamelessly steal. I’ve written before that hiring a great devops engineer is about finding someone that is able to be “organizationally dynamic”, and sociotechnical is a great way to describe that.

At the end, devops is about enabling organizations to iterate and ship features faster, and that may mean stitching together APIs, or building tools with…

… No code?

That’s right. Although the author of this post is talking about building tools to handle internal business logic, I think there is a lot of overlap here. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about no-code these days, and while the focus has been on tools for business logic and front-end web design, I think there is an entirely untapped, un-had discussion about what these types of tools might bring to the devops space.

Someday in the future, ops jobs might involve dealing with tools like Zapier, Integromat, and Bubble, just as much as they do Docker, CircleCI, and Python.

Certainly something to think about.

Hope everyone stays healthy and safe this weekend!

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