Do you consider yourself an “infra” girl/guy? Or maybe a “virtualization guru”? Are you getting skeptical when people throw terms like “cloud native” or “serverless” at you? After all, without infra none of this would be possible right? So it’s OK to stay in you infra comfort zone because you know infra as we know it will be around for ever… or will it?
Since I my self have been in the infra side of things and am now operating more in the “cloud native” parts of the world I thought I’d share my insights into why I think you should consider learning a thing or two about cloud native.
It’s about adding value
The first and maybe most important aspect of working in a cloud native position is that it is all about adding value for the business. When you’re operating in a cloud native environment you are directly helping increase developer productivity. Which directly helps boosting the performance of you company. This is very different from working in infra which is usually seen as a cost center. A necessary evil if you will.
I personally enjoy working on things that directly add value. And I think most people do.
It’s about speed
As some people like to say: “Speed is the new currency“. What this basically means is that the speed at which you can try out new ideas and grow successful ideas has a value in and of its own. Now, what do you think? Does upgrading a vSphere cluster to the latest version every few months increase the speed at which your company can try out new ideas? Probably not. What if your company had an application platform that enables a developer to deploy a new app in minutes? And scale it out in seconds when the product proves successful? Wouldn’t that add a lot of speed?
It’s about collaboration
Building a cloud native platform you’ll work together with different parts of the business. First and foremost the developers who’ll use the platform. But also the infra folks. When working together to achieve one common goal you can do awesome things. Fast!
But there will still be infra right?
Sure, that application platform still needs infra to run on. But the infra on its own is not giving you an advantage over competitors. The apps running on the app platform do. Infra is rapidly becoming like “power from the grid”. Almost nobody generates his own power, you buy it. Same is true for infra. More and more companies just buy infra.
“buying infra” can take two forms: Cloud or “pre-packaged-on-prem”. With the latter I mean things like VMware Cloud Foundation. Those don’t need as many people to maintain and design as more traditional infrastructures. Also they way in which modern infra will be built and managed will look more and more like the ways of working from the cloud native world.
So if you’re in infra, career wise there are two options in my opinion: Move up the stack or become a specialist in your niche.
I’ll suggest some technical subjects you might want to dive into in a future blog post.