I’ve had a theory that the hard-line philosophy of open source has softened in recent times. Rather than thinking closed source is to be avoided at all costs, I think most developer types are a lot more willing to accept closed source bits mixed in with open source bits. That is, open core has “won.” I discuss this topic with my long time pal, Barton George, while at SpringOne Platform, plus the work he’s doing in the developer and OSS worlds at Dell.
We also talk about Hawaiian food.
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Show-notes and Links
The biggest cloud native conference is coming up at the first week of August, SpringOne Platform. To plan out my time I took at look at the sessions. Here’s what I’m looking forward to and what I think you, dear readers, will find interesting as well. Doing a list like this, of course, ends up excluding some awesome sessions, so be sure to check out the talk list yourself as well.
Also, if you’re interested and haven’t registered yet, be sure to use the code
pivotal-cote-300 to get $300 off.
Dealing with legacy
Almost every conversation I have with large organizations involves a discussion about dealing with legacy software. While you may not be running JFK era IT, you probably have to deal with legacy. Here’s some sessions on that topic:
Cloud Native Coding
Moving to The New, New Thing requires different ways of architecting and coding your software. Here’s some sessions that go over those new ways:
- 12 Factor, or Cloud Native Apps – What EXACTLY Does that Mean for Spring Developers? – “At the conclusion you will understand what is needed for cloud‐native applications, why and how to deliver on those requirements.”
- Architecting for Cloud Native Data: Data Microservices Done Right Using Spring Cloud – dealing with data is always a pain and one of the least talked about parts of the cloud native approach. I’ve seen Fred give a version of this talk, tho, I have to admit I wasn’t paying full attention. It’ll be nice to actually listen and watch.
- Building .NET Microservices – compatibility with .Net ranks up there with a top question right after asking about dealing with legacy. We recently talked with Kevin on Pivotal Conversations, so I’m looking forward to seeing .Net and Spring in action together to go all microservices crazy.
- Consumer Driven Contracts and Your Microservice Architecture – while we were walking to a park bar in Warsaw a few weeks back, Marcin explained this idea of contracts with API management. It sounded like an intriguing way, to use my rephrasing, get the benefits of type safety into a dynamic languages and type-enforcement-resistant environments like over-the-web APIs. Should be interesting. There’s also another session on using the contract metaphor if that’s your bag.
- Implementing Microservices Tracing with Spring Cloud and Zipkin – another one with Marcin and also Reshmi Krishna. I asked Marcin to explain all this Zipkin in Spring and PCF stuff to me on a train ride between Warsaw and Krakow: it was awesome, esp. given my background in systems management. When we talk about “day two problems,” a large part is monitoring new applications in production. I think Zipkin’s addition to cloud native ecosystem will be incredibly helpful.
- Who Does What? Mapping Cloud Foundry Activities and Entitlements to IT Roles – this is another one that could pop-up in the “dealing with legacy” bucket, but it’ll apply to net-new development as well: “In this session Cornelia will take a holistic view of the Cloud Foundry “control plane” and map the key functions to IT roles (perhaps with some redefinition), and she’ll show which entitlements allow which configurations.”
While cooked up demos of Pet Stores and Breweries are education, I’m most interested in hearing tales of what’s actually happened out in the world. Here are some of the case studies that look interesting:
- Building Out a CI/CD Pipeline at Express Scripts – “Find out how Brian worked with the Line of Business, with Application Development, and with IT to broker this alignment, exposing to the business why the infrastructure matters and why they were able to get a better seat at the table and become more relevant. Hear the reality of what Express Scripts experienced in adopting microservices, touch points into legacy integration, and how to approach the challenges involved.” Brian was also on the Lord of Computing podcast where he gave an excellent overview of transforming ESI.
- From 0 to 1000 Apps: The First Year of Cloud Foundry at The Home Depot – Home Depot has been using Pivotal Cloud Foundry for awhile now and each time I’ve seen them talk on the topic it’s been incredibly helpful to understanding how large orginizations do cloud native. Most of this session looks like meatware-talk, which suits me just fine!
- Unwinding Platform Complexity with Concourse – hear Matt Curry and his co-worker at Allstate, Alan Moran, talk about setting up their continuous delivery pipeline. Also, see my recent Q&A with Matt where we talk about this session, as well as transformation in general at Allstate.
The Usual Chuckle-heads
And, to highlight talks from my team:
- Someone got Casey to do two sessions! The Five Stages of Cloud Native and The Twelve-Factor Container.
- Cloud Native Java – if you haven’t seen The Josh Long Show, you should make sure to check this out. I’ve seen him present to a huge room and then an audience of one: it’s always fun, and educational.
Containers Will Not Fix Your Broken Culture (and Other Hard Truths) – as someone who’s actually run containers in production, Bridget is legit on this topic. Check out a little preview here from Velocity.
- Extending the Platform – the other part of the Cloud Native Java duo, check out Kenny: ”
There are several supported mechanisms for extending the platform. In this talk we’ll consider each method and which problem areas they address well. We’ll cover everything from user-provided services to first class services managed by BOSH.”
- Machine Learning Exposed! – when it’s time to hit the cocktail circuit, you’ll need to know about machine learning: “You’ll be the hit of your next party when you’re able to express the near-magical inner-workings of artificial neural networks!”
- IoT in the Cloud: Build & Unleash the Value in your Renewable Energy System – I’ve seen Mark talk and he packs a lot into a good, coherent session. Here, I like the idea of showing how the cloud native approach is helpful, if not needed, for IoT.
- DevOps for Normals – What’s Happening as Donkeys Adopt DevOps – my 2016 DevOps talk, updated with stats, studies, and advice I’ll have come across.
(And, remember: if you want to come, you can get $300 if use the code
pivotal-cote-300 when you register.)
With consumer SaaSes and mobile apps coming and going, I’ve been thinking of the idea of “disposable software”: apps that last a year or so, but aren’t guaranteed to last longer. In the consumer space, there’s rarely been a guarantee that free software will last – that’s part of the “price” you pay for free.
This mentality is getting into business software more and more, however, and I don’t think “enterprises” are prepared for it. Part of the premium you pay for enterprise software should include the guarantee that it will have a longer life-cycle, but it’s worth asking if it does.
Also, it’s good for enterprises to be aware of vendors, particularly open source driven ones, are putting out code that might be “disposable.” The prevailing product management think nowadays encourages experimenting and trying things out: abandoning “failed” experiments and continuing successful ones. Clearly, if you’re a “normal” enterprise, you want to avoid those failed experiments and, at best, properly control and govern your use of them.
Of course, there are trade-offs:
- With consumer, experiment-driven software, you’re always getting the newest thinking, which might turn out to be a good idea and provide your business with differentiating, “secret sauce”; or it might be a failed experiment that gets canceled
- With “enterprise,” stable software you can generally count on it existing and being supported next year; but you’ll often be behind the curve on innovation, meaning you’ll have to layer on the “secret sauce” on your own.
It’s good to engage with both types of strategies, you just have manage the approach to hedge the risks of each.
I gave a talk at Gartner AADI, US going over the need for organizations to become good at software (you know, our usual thing at Pivotal) and some thinking we have about the three pillars of becoming a software defined business (software defined delivery, DevOps, and microservices) as well as the “contracts and promises” way of looking at what Pivotal Cloud Foundry does. I manage to jam it all into 30 minutes. Here’s the abstract:
If software is eating the world, software capability is the disruptor’s advantage and the disrupted’s vulnerability. Continuous Delivery, Microservices and DevOps are three labels that describe aspects of the same phenomena; the principles and practices of high performing organizations that deliver highly available software, rapidly, at scale. This presentation catalogs the capabilities that allow organizations to move quickly, reliably and economically in an end-to-end infrastructure-to-application platform; these Cloud Native advantages outlined as promises and contracts.
In addition to the slides, check out the video recording from Gartner, they’ve got them a fancy interface with the video and slides they gots!
I’ve been working with the team standing up the Dell Software Group since I joined Dell in August, in the role of a corporate strategy guy. Back in March, we launched the group, which is very exciting. People often ask me what areas Dell will focus on in software. In today’s financial analyst meeting presentation, you can find this slide:
So there you go: security, systems management, business intelligence, and applications. When I was still at RedMonk, I started to see the assemblage of a software group at last year’s industry analyst conference, so it’s been fun to see – and help! – the sausage getting made.
He also explained that rapid releases help Google to introduce “gradual, gentle” upgrades over time, which makes the browser update process easier for users. Ruel walked around the still controversial automated browser update feature, but hinted that users value convenience and don’t want to be bothered with unnecessary system messages, or system restarts after installation. As long as the software update remains convenient for the user, Google apparently believes that the automated update is seen as a benefit by users. —Google Details Successes of its Chrome Release Process
Over the years, the whole release often thing has had one constant counter-argument: users don’t want updates that frequently. They like stability, and all that.
Gradually, as in the above, frequent upgrades have become a functional feature rather than just marketing – classically, you put out upgrades to get people to spend more money on the new version of your software.
But when the software is free (and you monetize some service, like ads in Google’s case), upgrades become a way to keep people in your ecosystem. Having frequent update becomes a differentiator, not a hassle.
In this episode, Charles and I talk about daiquiris and cigars in Munich; Miller High Life & Mickey’s when it comes to Charles’ decreased beer snobbery and my grandfather; giving away software to sell it; Charles take on Green IT: “turning out the light when you take a shit…wait…after you take shit”; and finally the recent WordPress acquisition, Gravatar.
(This episode edited by Coté.)
Oh, and happy halloween!:
In this episode, Coté and Charles talk about developer tools, esp. when it comes to when Charles will spend money on tools. Throughout, we hear some nuanced comments on the benefits of pair-programming: namely having someone there to share best practices and usage idioms with.
We also hear about Silva’s new Mac and how cute it is.
(This episode edited by Charles.)
In this episode, we talk about — no shit! — white gravy, videos, JavaOne rejecting The Front Side, and user delight.
Charles finally has a Twitter account.
(This episode edited by Charles.)