In the growing cloud-native landscape, there are as many different approaches to cloud-native development as there are companies in the space. One recurring theme, though, is the adoption of a developer platform or control plane as a clear way to ensure developer productivity, workflows and developer experience. These developer control planes are likewise as varied as the companies using them, but to be effective, the design of the platform needs to match the business problems they aim to solve and the goals and challenges of the developers who use them. Several key takeaways surfaced: Support developer efficiency and success with an opinionated developer platform: Meeting business goals comes down to how people, and in this case developers, get their work done. At Zipcar, the platform team strives to help developers become more effective at their jobs and do this with a developer platform. "We are focused on the developer experience and on building developer understanding of how their work interacts with the other components in the system. We want to pave a seamless path to production." For Zipcar, this has meant ensuring that a developer can get up to speed and contribute right away using the tools and processes of the platform. At the same time, the platform is designed on the principle that "a developer can come up with a new idea for a microservice any time, and in a self-service way, create everything they need to get it to production. With a couple of pull requests, they can in fact be in production within an hour". While most developers might not do that practically speaking, the idea is that the platform makes it possible.
The Livin' On The Edge Podcast Series
At Ambassador Labs, we're more than just a cloud-native application development company. We're a catalyst for change in how enterprises design, deploy, and manage microservices on Kubernetes.
About the Podcast Series
Join us to learn about best practices for releasing functionality via continuous delivery pipelines, and investigate the latest developer tooling, API gateway technology, and service mesh implementations.
In our "Livin' On The Edge" series, we interview practitioners and senior technical leaders from organizations such as HashiCorp, Lyft, GitHub, Ticket Master, Buoyant, and more.
Our Host: Dave Sudia
I'm a Director of Devrel at Ambassador Labs. My passion at work is helping others reach their potential, and I love helping developers produce the highest quality, most reliable code they can, and get it to users! My previous career was as a behavior specialist, and I apply that expertise to improving the behavior of applications.
I appreciate working on teams of curious people, where leadership roles are flexible, and members have the opportunity to step up and lead when they have the expertise, and step back and follow when they can learn something. Peer programming has been a powerful tool for me for writing better code. I don't like sitting in a closet coding all day.
I am experienced in several languages, and pick up new stacks quickly. My current passion is the cloud-native technology space centered around Kubernetes, especially in small and medium-sized organizations.
Notable themes emerged during the conversation: The pure developer - upsides and downsides: While many developers just want to code and not worry about the challenges of infrastructure -- and companies like Google make the developer experience seamless and easy -- there is a twofold tradeoff. First, the developer never needs to learn how it works under the hood, which isn't helpful if a developer goes to work in a company that insists on developer ownership and autonomy. Secondly, the Google-like experience, while convenient, shields the developer from understanding of the complexity of shipping and running their code. This can be positive, keeping the developer focused. At the same time, it removes the responsibility for considerations like provisioning resources, which would be valuable knowledge for full-ownership developers.
To kick off Season Three, we figured who better to bring on the show than Flynn, the Tech Evangelist from Buoyant. Flynn was one of the original creators of Emissary and a previous Ambassador Labs team member himself. As someone who’s been a part of the Emissary and Edge Stack story from the early days, his 40 year’s worth of knowledge and experience is something we can all learn from. Flynn’s day-to-day life revolves around dealing with the complexity of the cloud-native world and the rapid pace of change that comes with it. I sat down with him to discuss some of those complexities, as well as what he’s looking forward to right now in the cloud-native world.
Apostolis Apostolidis (better known as Toli) joined Daniel Bryant in the latest Ambassador Labs podcast. Toli discussed the culture of software engineering, how best to engineer platforms to help teams achieve their goals, and how to set up and benefit from communities of practice. Here are some of the key takeaways from their conversation: Consider how to improve the craft of software engineering
Livin' on the Edge Podcast #4: Alla Babkina on Platforms as Products, 2020 Fullstack Engineers, and Observability
Key takeaways from the podcast included: If an engineering team decides to build an application platform, this must be treated like any other product within the organization. Requirements should be gathered from customers (e.g. developers), and the delivery and maintenance of the platform should be explicitly managed. Appropriate people, time, and resources should also be provided. Although the term “fullstack engineer” is probably over-used, in 2020 it is beneficial for engineers to understand an appropriate level of detail about several topics: programming language, algorithm design, and the underlying cloud platform.