The Joy of Experimentation and Playfulness

It's been a hectic week to say the least...

I was invited to an informal get together organised by Microsoft, where some of the brightest tech minds in The Netherlands exchanged ideas on how to use technology to its full potential.

Later in the week, I also travelled to Vilnius to deliver a workshop and give a presentation at DevOps Pro 2016, joining a couple hundred of my peers to talk about microservices, Docker in production and how to scale containers.

We're all in this together

Based on the presentation I gave, all the talks I sat in on and the discussions that were had, I can sum up my experience in one sentence: We're all in this together. We all want the best (technological) solution for our companies and clients, and want to deliver the best user experience for the consumers who use what we create.

When you're a vendor, agency, system integrator or a bedroom coder, you need to have the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and share. You need to help keep the discussion going about how software can help us achieve our goals. Software should be there to help us and not create any barriers i.e. 'technology noise'. I can't do it alone, we can't do it alone, and you can't do it alone.

A long time ago, someone once said: Sharing is caring. Container technologies are here to stay. And while the container space continues to change and evolve, many of us are still in nurturing mode when it comes to thinking about our container babies. But you don't need to build your strategy in isolation, or spend too much time debating how to get started. Step up and engage with the community, because they can help you discover the tools to get you on your way.

Stop discussing. Start experimentation.

Often we fall into this trap of endless discussions over which platform is the best to run containers, or what's the next big thing around the corner. Before you know it, you end up getting caught in this web of discussion and righteousness, where a lot of time is wasted on nothing.

During DevOps Pro, Stephan Thair gave a talk titled:
Devops is the Answer ! What was the question again?

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He coined a new principle called PACE.

  • Product oriented
  • Automation
  • Collaboration
  • Experimentation

What I really liked about this principle is the call for experimentation.

Lately, I've been hearing more and more people ranting about the need for more experimentation in the tech space. And I totally agree, especially as it relates to container technologies and microservice architectures.

Instead of waiting, creating endless discussions and trying to front-end all our decision making, how about we park all that to one side and just get on with experimenting with the technology right away?

You can start off with a small-scale microservice build, and use a production-ready platform to look after your services. Consider these things, but don't let it prevent you from starting to experiment right away. Tools like Cloud 66 were created to specifically help manage taking development code and deploying it to a production-ready Docker environment in a matter of minutes.

Embrace Playfulness

There's nothing to prevent you from creating a small side project to use when testing new technology, platforms and tooling. It's a simple way to allow you to get excited over new technologies, and you never know where the journey will lead you. Have fun doing it, and know we've got your back with our ops tools for developers.

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Experimentation should be part of your DevOps culture, teaming it with the right tools to allow you to enjoy experimenting with new technologies. So to start embracing playfulness and experimentation with containers right away, here's where you can get started.

Daniël van Gils

Daniël van Gils is a developer advocate at Cloud 66. He helps other developers craft web apps and container based architectures with ♥, to deploy on any server or public cloud.

Amsterdam & London
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