Human DevOps

Sunday 30th April - Building Legacy

Published 10 months ago • 2 min read

It's the end of April already and it feels like we're starting to hurtle towards the Longest Day. Questions for this week:

  • How's the job market looking?
  • When to use serverless rather than kubernetes?
  • When complexity is your lingua franca?

After a rocky start to the year I think that things are starting to ease up on the job market front for software and IT professionals. I see and hear positive signs around the place and as we're getting well into Q2 those projects aren't going to deliver themselves. If you're looking for a new opportunity then my advice is to keep plugging away.

I'm always looking out for the next interesting thing whether I have a job or not. This week I saw on the Rands Leadership Slack I saw that someone was hiring for a big US firm in Amsterdam. I had some questions - mainly I wanted to find out if I could stomach becoming an Engineering Manager again in a corporate. The value of this Slack is that you can ask these kind of questions and get throughtful responses from a variety of people in just those kind of roles across many industries. So quickly I came away with the clear answer that no, it's probably never for me again. While I love helping engineers and teams grow, I have a problem having to communicate policy which I'm not directly responsible for - and if I think it sucks it's going to put me in a difficult position.

That's why you really have to find a company who's ideals you can get behind - or at least aren't totally at odds with yours. Of course with a difficult job market, being picky isn't easy but I would encourage you to try to find a good fit rather than a so-so fit.


Last few weeks I've been settling into learning a new application. It's a kubernetes orchestrated microservices application that I think would be ideally suited to running on serverless. Why do I think that?

  1. It's already well integrated with API gateway/API management and other cloud first resources.
  2. It's a simple workflow type architecture with small, fast moving workers.
  3. There is minimal persisted data, lookups or enrichment.
  4. The front-end is already completely decoupled.
  5. Despite using an orchestrating abstraction layer, it already feels too complicated on k8s.

However, despite us hearing good things about serverless and it being simpler and cheaper to run - there's a speedbump in adoption. Are we addicted to complexity or afraid of a vendor lock-in that we're already kind of doing? Because if you're kubernetes cluster is highly integrated with a single cloud provider in terms of storage, API management, use of NoSQL for data integration and buffering - then aren't you already committed?

I would say that serverless or k8s development is the same level of complexity when building locally. I'm quite surprised that serverless isn't making the impact it should in lots of places but perhaps we're addicted to complexity? We like to show off our knowledge and having kubernetes in the mix is not only great for the CV, it's also another way that we can show our knowledge.

Last Tuesday I was at the Domain Driven Design NL meetup in Rotterdam where we had a workshop on Object Modelling. It was pretty clear from this little demonstration using CRC cards, that even senior devs often have a problem finding the right level of zoom for their architectures. It's opinions all the way down and often, we will default to complexity when faced with a programming challenge. Does complexity automatically mean that code will become harder to maintain, become legacy in the future? Something to consider...

I hope you have a good Sunday!

-- Richard

Are Relational Databases still important in the Age of NoSQL?

Published on April 26, 2023

Ten or more years ago, the IT world was in the grip of the big data hype cycle. Then we were told that unstructured data – data lakes and flexible querying would be the future. NoSQL databases were the way forward and relational databases were dead. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the situation become… Read More »Are Relational Databases still important in the Age of NoSQL?


Human DevOps

by Richard Bown

Join my newsletter for regular views and news about doing effective, essential human DevOps engineering. I dive into the human factors that make successful DevOps organizations and the teams and platforms at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From leadership to team setup, maximizing performance, tools and techniques.

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