Twenty years ago ops engineers were called “sysadmins,” and we spent our time tenderly caring for a few precious servers. And then DevOps came along. DevOps means lots of things to lots of people, but one thing it unquestionably meant to lots and lots of people was this: “Dear Ops: learn to write code.”
It was a hard transition for many, but it was an unequivocally good thing. We needed those skills! Complexity was skyrocketing. We could no longer do our jobs without automation, so we needed to learn to write code. It was non-optional.
It’s been 10-15 years since the dawn of the automation age, and we’re already well into the early years of its replacement: the era of distributed systems.
Consider the prevailing trends in infrastructure: containers, schedulers, orchestrators. Microservices. Distributed data stores, polyglot persistence. Infrastructure is becoming ever more ephemeral and composable, loosely coupled over lossy networks. Components are shrinking in size while multiplying in count, by orders of magnitude in both directions.
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