If I Can DevOps, So Can You – Part II : “What do you want to eat…”
I think my first question was, when wanting to try this on my own is: “I really don’t have an idea what I want to do?”
Do I want to write a small app? Do I want to contribute to an open source project? Do I want to do something that helps me at home or in the office? Do I just want to do a website or blog?
Well, I picked the latter. Not just because it’s probably simpler, but most modern applications are essentially web-based frameworks. The use of it to build a website, like the blog you are reading this from, proves that you can see the output, interact with it, and see when it’s operating correctly (or incorrectly). It’s also visual and visceral. I can show you, literally, what makes what you’re reading work and point you to exactly the same tools and methods I used.
So, this is essentially what we want to eat, or at least we know we are hungry and have to eat something and now we need to get the ingredients together, find out if we have the pots and pans, cutlery and other tools to make it happen. But let’s dissect that decision of how do we decide what we want to do and what it is that we want to consume.
Most senior leaders are tasked with evaluating their portfolios of current services and applications and have to triage which ones are needing to be modernized. Will it need to be refactored, replatform, rewritten or just something entirely new as a result of evaluating the costs of current operations and maintenance, as well as the steady stream of modification requests or identifying how many supplemental activities are created to supplement what the solution can’t or won’t do to support business operations. This is that initial rationalization for organizations on what kind of work they want to undertake.
Think of it this way – are you going to order a hamburger because it’s quick and easy, and somewhat cheap, or are you going to hit the grocery store to get the ingredients for a recipe you’ve been wanting to try, or are you going to go all out and host a dinner party, where your guests may bring something, but you essentially have to cook the base meal. Picking up the level of complexity and involvement not only depends on the level of effort you’re willing to expend, but how mature are you in your own capabilities in order to successfully pull it off and not end up with food poisoning.
Modern application and service development falls along that same kind of self-evaluation rubric and analogy. Do you want a quick and dirty kludge to kick the can down the road and keep the system just around – or do you really want something that can be supported in the long term using tools that readily available and are supported? Developing a simple website can test to see where you are on this readiness and maturity assessment, and help identify any gap filling that may be necessary with skills and resources. If you have a well-managed application portfolio, you can also select a candidate that best embodies the type of integration you’d like to test out using the new techniques, capabilities and technologies. Regardless, developing a test case for such work is essential to determine where your organization stands with proceeding with such an effort.
Now, get cooking.