Its been some times since I put down some feedback on the Tech Radar, of which I am an avid and enthusiastic supporter. However the January 2015 edition has a few gems which I want to replay.
I’ve worked in the Agile + DevOps (= continuous delivery!) space almost exclusively since 2012 and so many organizations have tried to break down the silos between Development and Operations by establishing a separate DevOps team. Queue yet another silo! This is something that I’ve advised organizations against since the start so it is interesting to hear “Separate DevOps Team” as something the Tech Radar suggests should be a “hold”. At last!
I’ve also worked with multi-team i.e. large scale Agile/Scrum teams, both in the public and the private sector, and the SAFe framework did not quite resonate. There are a few elements that are definitely worth adopting – a cross-team Scrum of Scrums, the concept of a release/deploy “train” and program-level (multi-epic?) collaboration. However SAFe left me cold when it again suggested a separate DevOps function. No surprise to see that SAFe is also in the “hold” category.
On the flip side it is great to see MTTR (mean time to recovery) as a metric that businesses should adopt – and focus on. Once this has the management focus it deserves then businesses begin to propagate a culture of reliability, pulling investment focus in cloud, tooling and processes in areas like APM (application performance management) towards an MTTR of zero.
Organizational dynamics are also a rich vein of gold, and only recently I’ve tried to focus a UK major government agency away from the trap that is Conway’s Law. Like many organizations they talked the talk around Digital, Agile and new ways-of-working, but didn’t walk-the-walk. I didn’t realize there was a formal name for the work I’d been doing but the “inverse Conway maneuver” encapsulates it well (a “trial” on the Tech Radar).
Hand-baking of cloud infrastructure seems to have a magnetic allure for a lot of people. Maybe it’s the thought of being at the “cutting edge” but for me it is all about focus. Turnkey Dev, test and other environments before production should be the norm, and Digital Ocean (“trial”) is a good example. Instant developer productivity, with the tools they are familiar with, and which uses the same infrastructure-as-code capabilities that production ready cloud providers use, provides that seamless, and more cost effective, delivery/deployment train I described earlier. Heck it even uses SSD!
I’ll gloss over the pushing of GO, for obvious reasons, and focus only on Xamarin. Re-use of code across multi-platforms has been a dream for as long as I have worked in IT (remember 4GL’s?). Add to this the “mobile first” ambitions of modern “Digital”, along with the gradual migration from Microsoft to other platforms (!) and you have a lot of businesses with a lot of C#…. Cue Xamarin with its ability to use C# code across multiple, modern, platforms – yes, even the iPhone. My old friend James Tuck is doing a sterling job pushing this and this is reflected in the Tech Radar rating of “trial”.
LANGUAGES AND FRAMEWORKS
I’ll focus on Django REST. I’ve loved REST since my days at Sage architecting (and promoting) the SData RESTful framework. Fast forward a few years and cue the modern API-first, Microservices-led revolution, but with better security (OAuth out-of-the box), taking place and you will soon be led to Django REST. You just wait and see.