What the fuck is Cloud Native?
As a technologist, it could be the most important question you’ve asked yourself this decade.
Why? Because Cloud Native is the future of computing. Everyone seems to agree on that. It’s going to allow you to deliver software more quickly and more cheaply. It’ll bring together developers and Ops people, ending years of discord. It’ll help you delight your customers, while pleasing your accountants and shareholders. Hell, it’ll even save the planet.
Yes, but … what the fuck is Cloud Native?
Because while it seems everyone can agree Cloud Native is the future, no one can agree what Cloud Native is. Or what it looks like. Or how to get there.
Some people will tell you that you need to start with containers and Kubernetes, or that you just need to embrace the community and open source. Or that the problem is your culture, and you need to fix that before anything else.
Those might all be good things, but do they help you solve your business problems right now? Do they even help you work out what your business problems are?
Others will offer something much simpler, Cloud Native in a box. Or they’ll present you with a whole set of tick boxes that lets you rest easy that, yes, you’re doing everything you need to do and are ahead of the competition.
At best this all smells like dogma. At worst, it stinks of snake oil. When all the excitement of racing to Cloud Native has died down, you might find yourself asking your colleagues, ‘How much have we actually delivered?’ Then, when the answer comes, saying to yourself, ‘Huh. That little’. In the meantime, the world has moved on, your problems haven’t gone away, and you have even less time to fix them.
A Place to Ask Difficult Questions
At Container Solutions, we think that what counts is how you approach problems. We have an idea of what can work to get you moving towards Cloud Native. But what we know is based on our experience, and represents our perspective. We also know we’re still learning, and it’s really important to listen to other viewpoints, no matter how challenging they are.
That’s why we’re launching WTF is Cloud Native, to help you and help ourselves. We want to open up a space where we can all ask difficult questions, and listen to surprising answers. A space where we can begin to analyse the business, technical, process, and yes, cultural and ethical problems we all face in trying to do business better, right from the highest of high levels, down to the most fundamental nuts-and-bolts technical issues.
By not being afraid to say, ‘Hey, the Emperor’s got no clothes’—or at least to politely point out he’s really not dressed appropriately for the conditions—we think we can all learn what the fuck Cloud Native is.
For instance, Agile might be the perfect paradigm for you … depending on your own stage of development. Adopt it too early and it’s going to stifle your ability to innovate. Try and impose Agile across the board in a mature organisation and you could be distracting from the core business that’s going to pay for innovation down the line. (In our experience, that is.)
Or, if you think containers are always the answer when you’re going Cloud Native, you’re probably asking yourself the wrong question. Because we’ve learned there are a whole lot of other questions you need to ask first, and if you don’t have answers for all of them, you’re going to fail. But what have you learned? Tell us.
And if you want to know why we start getting nervous about a company’s direction when a CIO starts talking about what their Dev teams are doing day to day? Well, stay tuned.
A Virtual Coffeehouse
How are we going to do all this? By having some of the brightest people in technology and business joining us right here, to contribute articles, kick off debates, and join webcasts. And through more formal events, like Software Circus, where we can bring large numbers of you together to talk through case studies and user reports, and take technology deep dives. Yes, it has to be virtual for now, but not forever.
Are there going to be disagreements and all out arguments? Definitely. But after 30 or 40 years of highly controlled ‘predictable’ approaches to IT and software development, we think the old ways don’t work anymore, and it’s down to us to build the future. But let’s do this respectfully, because everyone has something to contribute.
When we started thinking about WTF, we decided we wanted it to be like a 17th century coffeehouse, a place where ideas about philosophy, economics, and science were pushed to their limits. These caffeine-fueled debates shaped the world we live in today, ushering in the enlightenment and transforming how we understand the world, as well as giving us news media, financial markets, and shipping insurance.
But unlike those early coffeehouses, WTF is not just for urban, comparatively rich European men. We want everyone to contribute. If you want some help putting together your ideas before throwing them open for debate, let us know. We can help. The only thing we can’t do? Hand you a cup of coffee … for now, you’ll have to brew your own.
So, what the fuck is Cloud Native? We think we know, but why don’t you start telling us. Right now.