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The Perfect Quiche for Real DevOps Practitioners

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Back in 1983, a funny letter about computer programming was published in Datamation. Titled “Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal”―the letter was a tongue-in-cheek riff on the bestselling book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche―it extolled the characteristics of real programmers.

A great deal has changed since then. This presentation revisits a few of the original letter’s assertions about programming from a DevOps perspective.

Published in: Technology

The Perfect Quiche for Real DevOps Practitioners

  1. 1. The Perfect Quiche for Real DevOps Practitioners
  2. 2. Back in 1983, a funny letter about computer programming was published in Datamation. Titled “Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal”―the letter was a tongue-in-cheek riff on the bestselling book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche―it extolled the characteristics of real programmers. Real programmers could code in Assembler on punch cards, while mere quiche eaters had to use structured languages like Pascal.
  3. 3. A great deal has changed since then. Assembler is still around, but punch cards are a distant memory. Computer programmers are now called “software developers” or “engineers”. And the DevOps movement emphasizes collaboration and sharing.
  4. 4. Let’s revisit a few of the original letter’s assertions about programming from a DevOps perspective.
  5. 5. “Application programming is for dullards who can't do systems programming.” Today, apps and the customer experience are everything, and DevOps is critical for digital transformation. Great developers have insight into how their coding impacts the performance of underlying infrastructure (and vice versa) and use this to improve performance.
  6. 6. “Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be even harder to understand and modify….” Just because something is easier to support doesn’t make it any less pure. On the contrary, in DevOps, supportability is an essential element of high-quality software.
  7. 7. “Real programmers don't write in COBOL.” While real DevOps practitioners might not actually code in COBOL (more likely Go, Javascript, Node,js, Python), they’re great at unlocking value through APIs and integrating apps end-to-end. Enhancing the customer experience trumps scorning legacy tech.
  8. 8. “Real programmers' programs never work right the first time.” Unlike the gung-ho programmers of yore, real DevOps practitioners remove all the constraints that result in defect-ridden software, as they continuously code, test and deploy.
  9. 9. “Real programmers don't like the team programming concept.” DevOps practitioners actually relish working in self- managing, empowered teams. And team members can and will include systems administrators, security specialists, enterprise architects and QA folks.
  10. 10. “At a party, the Real Programmers are the ones in the corner talking about operating system security and how to get around it.” These days, DevOps practitioners bake security into all their application quiches, right from requirement definition and design, all the way through production.
  11. 11. “Real programmers don't write specs. Users should be grateful for whatever they get …” That is a recipe for crippling technical debt. DevOps professionals accept that digital engagement requires constant iteration based on user feedback.
  12. 12. “Real programmers don't eat quiche. They like Twinkies, Coke and palate- scorching Szechwan food.” Well, some things truly never change.
  13. 13. Though this all now seems funny to us, we shouldn’t see the assertions of this letter as hilarious idiosyncrasies from a by-gone era but rather as a wake-up call, reminding us of how far we still have to go. Even though the names, functions and technologies have all changed, the persistence of parochial practices and siloed thinking remains a recipe for disaster.
  14. 14. To bring your software development and release practices into the 21st century, download the book, DevOps for Digital Leaders Download Now

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