SATURN 2015: DevOps Essentials for Software Architects

Len Bass; Sascha Bates, Chef; Sam Newman, ThoughtWorks

by Jacob Tate, Mount St. Mary’s University

Len Bass, Sascha Bates, and Sam Newman started off the afternoon session with a presentation titled “DevOps: Essentials for Software Architects.” Dr. Bass introduced this session by explaining exactly what the speakers will mean by “DevOps.” He stated that after software architects or engineers finish their job, it often takes too long to get their code into production. DevOps is concerned with reducing the time from code completion to code production. Errors in code and miscommunication about which versions of which tools are being used are some of the biggest problems causing the process to be slow. We can speed up deployment by setting up an architecture so that development teams do not have to coordinate with each other; this coordination is where a lot of time is lost.

The speakers then turned to three facets to get code into production quickly. Bates spoke about the first facet: continuous deployment. This technique (continuous deployment) is in high demand and focuses on delivering features to users quickly and then receiving their feedback and making changes based on it. Small incremental changes, automation, and frequent testing are at the heart of continuous deployment and are crucial to getting this first item down, thereby speeding up code deployment.

The second facet, microservice architecture, was discussed by Sam Newman. Newman is considered an expert on microservices and he has a forthcoming book on the topic. In fact, he started his discussion with this quote: “I wrote the book, so I get to define what microservices are. If you disagree with me, write your own book.” Sam defines microservices as follows: “small autonomous services that work together modeled around a business domain.” He emphasized that power must be decentralized and that each team must be allowed to see its project through from start to finish to ensure accountability. He also touched on isolating your failures, deploying independently, and always hiding your implementation details.

Bass then wrapped up the session with a brief discussion of the third facet: deployment issues. Dr. Bass breezed through problems such as user access during upgrades, failed deployments, and multiple microservices executing simultaneously. This session was chock-full of useful information and techniques for speeding up that painful time between code completion and code deployment (as well as Netflix references, but we do not judge). Do not forget to buy Sam Newman’s book, and congrats to the raffle winners!

Follow everything about the conference on Twitter @SATURN_news with the hashtag #SATURN2015.


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