DevOps considered legacy - in the Serverless world

December 26, 2018

“WTF is this dude talking about!?” you may ask. But don’t think about something negative, old and non-wanted when you think about “legacy”. Don’t think about the depts you inherited. Think about the power and the wealth you inherited by your ancestors.

In our business, we tend to associate the word “legacy” with something old and negative. Like legacy systems, legacy code, and so on. Some old, huge and complicated artifacts, we have to take care of, although we don’t want to care about. Rather we want to develop new code, shiny software, starting on greenfield and using the newest technologies. While dreaming of this, we should always be aware of, that every piece of code and each part of a system is legacy as soon as it is written or deployed. Think about it!

So is DevOps - it’s there - an thus, it’s legacy. But DevOps isn’t something bad or complex and hard to cope with. Ok, sometimes it’s hard to introduce the DevOps mindset and spirit in a company or team. But once it’s there (aka. “legacy”), it’s one of the most powerful instruments for getting better, day by day, each moment. In the beginning, you have to sharpen your tools again and again, you have to discuss things again and again with collegues. In the beginning of DevOps, you can’t “just use” it, you have to learn it. Because DevOps is different from the way we used to work in the past. And that’s what it makes so hard to learn, to understand and to take it for normal. But DevOps itself isn’t hard, nor complex. It’s so simple. And it deals with responsibility. DevOps makes (missing) responsibility visible.

Back to Serverless - how is DevOps different for Serverless?

Surprise: It isn’t!
Most of the serverless developers are young people, starting right now into our business (old guys like me are exceptions, unfortunately). They grow up with the DevOps mindset, without explicitly naming it “DevOps”, because for them, there is no other mindset available. DevOps is the only principle they know, and that’s good. So, they won’t call it “DevOps”, because they don’t need to distinguish from something else. The Serverless developers tribe has inherited the DevOps mindset from our generation (while we have difficulties to adppt it right). So this is “legacy” for them.

While the classic “Ops” is gone (aka. no more necessarily needed by the developing team or company) in a serverless world, the team is responsible for the application. Since there’s no Ops-Team any more, there’s also no Dev-Team, it’s just “The Team”. And the team is responsible for performance, availability and reliability of the application and the correct usage and health of its resources.

Serverless developers will just do this.
It’s their job.
It’s their business.
They don’t know it any different.

So, if you think you’re doing serverless stuff, but you don’t live the DevOps mindest, you’re not serverless. Then, you’re still stuck in your old environment, sadly. Serverless without DevOps is just half the rent. And please don’t call it “DevOps”, nor talk about DevOps. Just live it!

Tags: serverless devops