Invention & Innovation Spreads

Any invention at a hyperscaler first gets adopted by (relatively) smaller technology companies and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and ISVs have problems similar to hyperscalers but not at their scale. 

The true transformation happens at the next level of adoption when technology makes it to practitioners. Practitioners are companies whose primary business is not to sell software but to use technology to improve their business operations. Since "software is eating the world", these companies are super-heavy users of technology. They also evaluate every technology purely from the business value perspective.


The Leveling of the Playing Field

Organizations work best when each member is empowered and respected. Engineering organizations always had a huge class divide between developers and “mortals” (the folks in quality assurance, release teams, production support teams, analysts, and everyone in between). 

The issue of being mortal means that you don’t have a right to innovate. You are simply supposed to follow the process. This is an opportunity loss for both team members and the organization.

Site reliability engineering and DevOps both changed it by applying software principles and practices to operations. It not only improved the process but also provided non-core developers an opportunity to be more skilled and help in innovation.

The Virtue of Social Mobility

I have yet to meet someone from QA who does not want to become a developer. A developer who does not want to become an architect. An architect who does not want to become a principal architect. Upward social mobility is ingrained into our psyche and that's what keeps us driven and motivated.

Back in 2003 the job market was very tough and, for a few months, I worked as a business analyst in Austin. It was essentially a QA role with extra focus on business requirements and making sure there were no gaps. I felt constrained within my position and what I could do, and it was the first time that I recognized that developers were looked at as a different class.

DevOps vs SRE

The term site reliability engineering was first used at Google 20 years ago. 

Here is a simplistic Silicon Valley definition of site reliability engineer (SRE): 
An SRE is an individual who monitors people and their work flows and handles issues once workloads have merged into production. In other words, an SRE deals with day 2 problems.

A DevOps engineer operationalizes the developer's work. They are CI/CD people.

The confusion arises when we need to decide whether DevOps is a process or a role.


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Looking Forward

The rise of the cloud has not only worked as a great disruptor but also as a great equalizer. While agile methodologies provided a framework for how the modern development teams should operate, the cloud made rebuilding the whole technology organization an urgent problem. Transformation demands change of roles and responsibilities to facilitate the needs of the modern development process. Because of this, I predict the following convergent patterns will occur:

CloudOps or Cloud Engineers will manage infrastructure

DevOps Engineer + Integration Testing + SRE will merge into one application operator role. There is a high likelihood this role will be called an SRE.

Developers will remain developers. 

To help with cloud transformation a modern tool is required to manage the evolving software development lifecycle (SDLC). This is where the Roost environments as a service platform comes in.

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Rishi Yadav

About Rishi Yadav

Rishi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Roost and has over two decades of experience in leading enterprise application teams. He is a published author and active blogger.

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