Pawel Serwan Blog

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CloudBusters: Episode 3 – Cloud(y) (r)evolution – how cloud changed IT jobs?

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logoWelcome in the third episode of CloudBusters series. I hope that you enjoyed previous one and were waiting for this one 🙂 Last time I was trying to explain the acronyms used in cloud computing or at least the mostly used one. Today I decided to focus on the cloud impact on the traditional roles/positions in IT world.  So let’s  start with the fairy tale…Before reading further please click below sound 🙂

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The steam machine was working on a full speed. The lonely man was standing in front of the tangle of cables, pipes and metal.

“The last chance – he said to himself – and I go home. Time to drink some tea.”

He pull the lever and the machine started to make some strange noises. The man pushed some buttons on the control panel and after some time the result was printed on the punch card.

“It works!!! – man shouted loudly. It works!!! 2+2=4! Finally, it works!!!”

You may thing that the man was crazy but as I wrote it was long time ago – in 1837 and the man was Charles Babbage, a British professor mathematics. The man who invented the first computer. It was basically an mechanical type of calculator that also had a memory.

Since that time quite a lot has changed and I can bet that the inventor of the computer had no idea what he began. Over 170 years later computers are everywhere in our everyday life. The same as IT people who manage, help and develop new IT products. During that time and especially during the last 30 years the IT jobs changed tremendously. Let’s look back one more time to the past. In 70’s and 80’s when IT departments started to be formed the IT person was responsible for everything related to the computers in the companies. No one exactly had idea what she or he is doing. If there was a problem with computer she/he was there to solve it. It has changed in the early 90’s when programming languages became more and more popular and the new operating systems allowed to create applications for the end users. Suddenly the IT person needed to take care of both: hardware and development of the applications for end users. And as it is said you cannot do two things good simultaneously. That’s how two different groups of IT people formed: IT Pro and Dev.

Who is the IT Pro? That’s the person who takes care of administration, management and deployment of IT systems in the company.

Who is the Dev? That’s the person who creates new applications and systems.

For almost two decades the both groups lived in bilateral peace. IT Pros were preparing hardware and systems and Devs were developing their applications using the prepared platforms. But everything has changed when the cloud computing came to the picture. The new cloud services allowed self-service by Devs so that they were able to run new machines without help of IT Pros (at least without a need to contact them :)) But still there were problems with the platform, someone needed to monitor if from time to time and still someone needed to follow the changes in the operating systems, check logs, write scripts. Not every Dev wanted to dive into the world of IT Pros. And that’s how the new group of IT guys formed: DevOps.  I was not aware for a long period of time that someone like DevOps exists until I participated in the session by Mike Martin which you can watch below:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Cloud-Burst/Cloud-Burst-2013/Windows-Azure-though-the-eyes-of-an-IT-Pro

During the presentation he said that he is nor IT Pro nor Dev. And I thought :”Who the hell you are then ? :)” Now I know the answer: he is the DevOps.

Do you remember the separation of responsibilities inside different cloud services? For those who do not remember that I attach it one more time.

cloud-stack

Based on the above picture we can separate IT people into three groups based on the technology used by them:

1. IT Pro – is taking care of traditional on-premise IT infrastructure as well as IaaS. That seems to be straightforward. That person needs to know a lot about the hardware in case of on-premise infra and operating systems as also interactions between different areas: storage, network, operating systems.

2. DevOps – taking care of PaaS service as it requires both: some knowledge of operating system and the platform as well as the understanding of the source code that is deployed on the host.

3. Dev – developer who takes care of the source code of the application. She/he takes care of the application till the final release of the product. It is not his duty to take care of the further life cycle of the service. And course SaaS service allows Devs for that.

As you can see cloud computing changed the segmentation of IT jobs. It seems to be still easy to draw a line between IT Pro and Dev world – if you are using Visual Studio, Eclipse or any other developer tool in your everyday work then you belong to Devs 🙂 And no worries IT Pros, you can still use Powershell and no one will dare to call you a Dev :).

As you can see the cloud brought a new role to the IT world and for sure it will change it even more in the future. I believe that the borders between those groups will blur out after some time. And I’m not sure what does it mean for me and other IT Pro guys. As one of my colleagues said the DevOps role is the future, better administrator. I strongly believe that this is not true and there is still future for all three groups 🙂 What do you think?

evo

See you in the next episode of the CloudBusters series!!!

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