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The Death of DevOps Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, but Platform Engineering Is Here To Stay

The Death of DevOps Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, but Platform Engineering Is Here To Stay

No, DevOps is not dead, and anyone who says anything different is selling something. However, the kernel of truth beneath the obnoxious hype is this: there is a post-devops era on the horizon, and platform engineering is at its vanguard.

Let’s talk about the tectonic shifts in infrastructure, reliability, and product that are reshuffling the landscape of engineering roles, and in particular, what that means for those of us who have made a career on the operations/devops/SRE/DBRE side of the house.

Charity Majors

June 26, 2023

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  1. @mipsytipsy
    The Death of DevOps Has Been
    Greatly Exaggerated, but Platform
    Engineering Is Here To Stay
    DevOps Days NYC 2023

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  2. @mipsytipsy


    real observability for complex systems

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  3. My ❤ belongs to operations engineering…
    Everything interesting happens in prod
    The cost of writing software can be
    rounded down to 0, compared with the
    cost of maintaining and operating it.

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  4. “Fuck you”
    “DevOps is Dead”
    Stop trying to sell me shit
    with your shitty clickbait

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  5. Software doesn’t die.*
    • COBOL

    • Java

    • Javascript

    • MySQL

    • Postgres

    • LISP

    • emacs

    • SQL
    • FreeBSD

    • Linux

    • IPv4

    • TCP/IP

    • png

    • gcc

    • gdb

    • elisp
    • X11

    • /proc

    • grep

    • sed/awk

    • O’Reilly books

    • bash

    • nginx

    • haproxy
    * a list of things that are not dead, all of which are older than devops

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  6. Warning:
    You might hate this talk. It’s all about
    definitions and what terms mean. That’s
    ok!! I’m not offended if you leave :)

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  7. “DevOps is dead”
    is just a stupid thing to say…

    clickbait marketing🤮
    But there is a kernel of truth there
    DevOps is not eternal.

    It will be superseded.

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  8. Operating that software is eternal.
    Developing software is eternal.
    but “DevOps”?
    What happens when there are no
    more “dev” teams and “ops teams”?

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  9. The long arc of software careers

    Write code and

    run what you write

    Devs write code,

    Ops runs code.

    Friction ensues.

    DevOps emerges;

    devs + ops

    Empathy, #hugops blah blah

    Write code and

    run what you write

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  10. 1. Every engineer writes code.
    2. Every engineer runs the
    code that they write, and
    operates it in production.
    These days:

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  11. Systems are becoming
    rapidly more complex.
    They can only really be operated
    by the people who write them.
    And you can’t do a good job of writing them
    unless you are regularly exposed to the
    feedback loops of operating them.

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  12. Operational expertise is more critical than ever,
    but the landscape is shifting for ops roles.
    Two big trends are converging:
    everybody writes code,
    runs the code they write
    hosted infra and tools,

    we all move up the stack

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  13. We are decoupling “infrastructure”
    from “software operations”
    Platform engineering has emerged
    from this realignment.
    • Companies are shutting down their ops teams and
    outsourcing infrastructure to PaaS/IaaS/etc.

    • We now rely on a complex web of other higher-level
    providers, services and tools via APIs and SDKs.

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  15. No.
    You have a platform engineering
    org, which encompasses your
    infrastructure needs
    Infrastructure(n): the code you have to run,
    in order to run the code you want to run.

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  16. Infrastructure(n): the code you have to run,
    in order to run the code you want to run.
    Infrastructure is a cost center.
    It may be a competitive differentiator,
    but it is still a cost center.
    which means you want as little as possible.

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  17. ⛔ Infrastructure Org
    ✅ Platform Org
    • SRE

    • Deep subsystem teams

    • “Pure” platform teams

    • Security

    • Release engineering

    • Developer tools

    • Front-end developer experience

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  18. One of the things platform
    teams are best at:
    Running Less Software.

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  19. which builds infra composes
    architecture as a product.
    Within your platform organization,
    you may have a platform team

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  21. How to tell if your “platform team” is
    really a platform team or not:
    Is the team responsible for SLOs, service
    uptime, and a reliable customer experience?
    ✅ platform team
    ⛔ platform team

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  22. Platform teams are responsible
    for developer productivity.
    Product engineering teams
    and SREs are responsible for
    customer experience.

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  23. If your platform team spends a lot of time
    writing software, something is wrong.

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  24. Your platform team
    *should* spend time on:
    • Doing discovery

    • Building champions

    • Baking in feedback cycles

    • Working with product managers

    • Working with design (!)
    • Figuring out the golden path

    • Practicing change management

    • Building a roadmap

    • Talking with focus groups

    • Building internal APIs

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  25. Cost is an essential part of architecture.
    Build vs Buy is not the only time
    we need to think about this!!

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  26. “If you build it, they will come”??
    No, they fucking won’t.
    Make sure you are building a platform
    that people actually want and need!

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  27. “Vendor engineering” is a large
    share of any platform team’s remit
    Cost is an essential part of
    Platform teams are
    super high leverage.

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  28. If you’re an infra/devops/ops engineer, and you
    haven’t learned to work on product: Learn.
    Once you dig your way out of
    firefighting, product is what comes next.

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  29. The hardest part of software is operating it.
    Always has been. Always will be.

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  30. In conclusion,
    computers are
    Everything dies
    Have fun!

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  31. Charity Majors


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