Last week I found myself at a RedMonk developer conference. I was a developer a long time ago and still dabble a bit with Arduino and the RaspberryPi , along with a little C and Python coding. But the days of FORTRAN, COBOL and Various assembly languages are well behind me! So going back into the developer world was a little strange.
But what I found was a very positive group of people devoted to improving the craft and creative reward of developing code. It was interesting that the collective process of design is now being referred to as craft with lots more focus on collaboration and community.
As for the language barrier, I fared better than expected once I'd got my head around the latest development platforms and languages such as Puppet, Chef, Jenkins and the Chaos Monkey. Confused ? Just follow the links for further information. We worth spending a little time discovering what each of these do, as they feature heavily in Cloud management and development.
The Chaos Monkey is a interesting development. It's is designed to randomly kill instances and services in an AWS Auto Scaling Group (ASG) architecture. Originally developed by the NetFlix Team when porting their applications to AWS. Their engineers recognised that each system has to work, no matter what it is hit with. It has to tolerate failure, even from external systems outside its control. This enables a regime of constant testing that ensures the optimum level of availability is achieved in the Cloud. It helps you bullet proof your operation. There are a number of Simians available Janitor Monkey, Conformity Monkey - you can see where this is going - The Simian Army. You can also see how this will be necessary in a cloud environment where safety, security and ultimate availability of service are king.
And one of the session tag lines at the event was "Software is eating the world, the developer is king - disrupt or be disrupted" perhaps predictable, but the developer is playing an increasingly important role in delivering competitive differentiation in applications through their craft and creativity. I think it is likely that the significance of their role will grow particularly as the industry moves towards the Software Defined Storage and Data Centre infrastructure.
At NetApp, it is the designers and developers craft and creativity that has gone into making Data ONTAP what it is today. It is this craft and creativity that differentiates NetApp Storage in the marketplace. An area of continuous focus in Data ONTAP design is availability. In the world of 'storage-in-the-cloud' you can envisage many disruptive scenarios, such as data stores going offline, connectivity disappearing, Hardware failures etc. NetApp designers and developers have introduced key Data Management and Non-Disruptive Operations features in Data ONTAP that ensure data remains accessible, even amidst the chaos of disruption . This aligns well with the disruptive intentions of the Chaos Monkey. You can see that the Mantra of Disrupt or be Disrupted holds true in the new Cloud world. Disrupt your operation regularly and often. Make sure you know how to fix it, or it fixes itself. In the old world we called this BC/DR testing.
Coupled with Craft Beer, World Foods, Fantastic Coffee and Humor, as IT events go, this developer event was a breath of fresh air !
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