devoops DevOops 2019 SPb (29.10.2019)

Why IT industry is entering its darkest era yet, how DevOps is to blame and why Das Kapital can help

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How did the era of the computer industry begin and what is happening now? Why DevOps influenced IT so much? How developers can stand against huge corporations? And the most interesting how "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx will help answer all these questions.

A lot of us are too young to remember, but the 50s and 60s were not a particularly cheerful era to be in computing. And no, Roman is not talking about the dress code for developers. He’s talking about the awful monopolies around compute infrastructure that defined that period in our history. You see, back then, if you wanted to earn your paycheck doing computing it meant selling your soul to IBM and hoping for a small slice, the breadcrumbs really, of an enormous concentration of computing power bottled up in one of its mainframes. Then Silicon Valley and minicomputers happened and the world was alright for any little geek to live in again.

What is happening in front of our eye right now is, in many respects, a replay of the 50s and 60s. We see a handful of companies building a modern-day equivalent of mainframes. This time, somehow, they are called hyperscale clouds, but that’s where the difference ends. While initially skeptical, most Fortune 500 companies are now enthusiastically embracing moving almost all their IT operations into the Cloud (to a point where even Pentagon’s future is going to be very cloudy). And who can blame them? The quantity and quality of the services offered by the hyperscale cloud providers are second to none. It will be madness to replicate even a small percentage of those services in an environment of traditional datacenters of yore.

The DevOps community, of course, is a major catalyst of this change: constantly helping spread the gospel of hyperscale clouds and forever accelerating the adoption of more and more cloud-native services.

But is this the future we dreamed of? Did you ever expect "Hello, World!" web application to require 9 microservices and at least two different platforms to manage them? Does a computer industry, dominated by a handful of closed source, extremely well-financed multinational companies exerting their will on the rest of us (while brutally eliminating all competition) make you shudder and feel like you’re entering a really bad dream? And even if it does, what can us (little geeks) do about it?

This talk will try to answer some of those questions while highlighting whatever silver lining there is: the rise of multi-cloud, open-source platforms (Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry), Edge Computing and how a little knowledge of Das Kapital may ultimately provide an answer to the next phase in our industry’s evolution.