Chief Architect of Liga Stavok
This article tries to provide some insight into the complexities of transitioning from monolithic architectures to microservices. Our goal is to offer a high view perspective on the various considerations and challenges that arise during such migrations, terms and keywords you will encounter and their role in this endeavor.
We'll dive into the early stages of decision-making, navigate through the planning and execution phases, and conclude with risk management and impact of transformation on company culture.
While this article doesn't offer a definitive answer to the question of migration, the decision to transition to microservices (MSA) is paramount. Before taking steps towards MSA, it's crucial that your organization thoroughly addresses this question. The decision shouldn't be the sole responsibility of the IT department. Instead, business units and all stakeholders must be involved, as migrating to MSA is a complex, costly, and time-consuming process. Proceeding without a clear, unified strategy can feel like making a heart transplant in the dark room, on patient that is awake and screaming at you to hurry up!
From a technical standpoint, there are several reasons to consider migrating from a monolithic structure.
Key challenges include:
Single-unit Deployment: Minor updates necessitate deploying the entire application, leading to extensive release cycles.
Development & Testing Challenges: Over time, monolithic applications grow in complexity, which complicates development, testing, and maintenance.
Single Point of Failure: Tight coupling of components risks system-wide failures from individual component issues.
Stack Homogeneity: A unified technology stack across the application can limit flexibility.
Scalability Concerns: Scaling specific components independently is problematic, often requiring the entire application to be scaled.
These challenges negatively impact several architectural metrics like:
Churn Rate: High churn rates indicate architectural complexity or instability, while low rates suggest stability and maintainability.
Deployment Frequency: This reflects the agility and efficiency of the development process.
Lead Time for Changes: A shorter lead time indicates agility in addressing business or NFR requirements.
Change Failure Rate: High rates highlight potential issues in code quality, testing, or deployment.
Microservices, by definition, is a design style where software systems are crafted as collections of small, deployable, and loosely coupled services, each representing specific business capabilities. Essentially, microservices can be viewed as a refined version of the SOA architecture, focusing on narrow functionality scopes with well-defined interfaces.
Key characteristics of microservices include:
Single Responsibility: Every service focuses on one business capability.
Independence: Services operate, deploy, and scale independently.
Decentralized Data Management: Unique databases for each service ensure autonomy.
Distributed Development: Development flexibility with varied technology stacks.
Fault Isolation: System resilience is maintained by isolating failures within individual services.
Autonomous Operations: Small teams can oversee the entire lifecycle of each service.
Scalability: Services can be horizontally scaled as required.
Given these characteristics and our architectural metrics, microservices appear to be a good fit for our organization. However, to realize their full potential, a deep and precise design approach is crucial. Microservices offer significant advantages but also present complexities that require careful handling.
Lastly, it's crucial to understand that microservices aren't always the answer. While they excel for large, complex systems, smaller applications may benefit more from a monolithic design due to its inherent simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
Microservices Migration Preparation
When considering a migration to microservices, the foundational step is formulating a clear Migration Strategy. This strategy serves as both a directive and a blueprint, determining the trajectory and scope of the migration.
Central to the Migration Strategy are two main question: WHY and WHEN
The migration objectives must clearly articulate the rationale for transitioning to microservices. The WHY of migration:
Anticipated advantages of adopting microservices.
Alignment of the migration with overarching business objectives.
Challenges within the monolithic architecture that the migration aims to address.
The main benefit of a Migration Strategy lies in its ability to provide the organizational direction to realize set objectives. Such a strategy cohesively orients the organization's collective stride towards a shared vision.
A well-conceived strategy, not only provides clarity, but also serves as a cornerstone for decision-making, ensuring all decisions are in line with the organization's long-term ambitions.
Define the extent of the migration. Will you be refactoring the entire monolith into microservices, or just a part of it? How will the microservices be decomposed - based on business capability, domain-driven design, or another method?
This will be one of the hardest and most important decisions.
Will you do partial migration, or do you plan to fully replace your existing monolith will depend on your Migration Objective (The Why).
Regarding microservice design, there is several options out there, and if you feel brave enough, you can mix and match different design if it really something that will benefit your system. Just be careful, because bad microservice design alone can lead to failure of your entire migration process, or even worse... you can end up with distributed monolith.
Several thing that I recommend to keep in mind when designing microservices:
Microservices don’t need to be micro: Decomposing an application into microservices should be done carefully and thoughtfully. Overly granular services can lead to a system that is difficult to understand, manage, and debug. It also can lead to performance issues due to the overhead of inter-service communication.
Microservice doesn’t mean micro resources: Too often I see this misconceptions, that just because service is narrow if functionality it should not need a lot of resources to run.
Focus on domain design: Microservices should always serve a domain, not be just a housing for functionality
Manage Coupling: Coupling can be your friend and foo, too much or too little can cause serious problems down the line
Design approach I prefer is DOMA (Domain Oriented Microservice Architecture). It offers a structured methodology, converting intricate microservice architectures into sets of organized, adaptable, and multi-layered components.
Key concepts of DOMA design include:
Domains Over Individual Microservices: Rather than focusing on isolated microservices, the emphasis is on collections of related microservices, the 'domains'.
Layered Design: Domains are grouped into 'layers'. A domain's designated layer dictates its allowed dependencies, ensuring structured interactions.
Gateway Utilization: Each domain possesses a distinct 'gateway' — a unified access point, streamlining interactions with that domain.
Domain Agnosticism: It's pivotal that each domain remains independent, devoid of hardcoded logic or data models from other domains. However, recognizing the occasional need for integrating logic across domains, DOMA introduces a dedicated 'extension architecture'. This ensures that domains can seamlessly incorporate well-defined extension points, facilitating interactions while preserving domain autonomy.
Tech Landscape & Governance
Before you write the first line of code, establish the technical blueprints for your migration. Which technologies will you use? What standards and best practices should be followed? What kind of infrastructure characteristics you expect?
In this section we will discuss four main topics: Cloud, Kubernetes, CI/CD, Cloud Native and Coding practices. Topics like Data Governance, Deployment Strategy, Testing Strategy, Stream Governance and more we will leave for some other time...
Beginning with infrastructure is pivotal. The architecture of your environment doesn't just house your services; it actively shapes their design. With Microservices Architecture (MSA) granting us the power to scale services horizontally, our infrastructure must be prepared to provide us these advantages. When we scratch the surface of modern infrastructure, two terms consistently emerge: Cloud and Kubernetes.
When we say 'Cloud,' we're diving into the realm of Cloud Computing, and innovation gives us fast and almost unlimited access to servers, storage, databases, and software – over the web, hosted in state-of-the-art data centers of cloud providers in seconds.
Imagine renting prime real estate on a digital supercomputer, adjusting space as needed, and only paying the bill for what you use.
The cloud landscape has evolved dramatically over the past few years, offering a range of solutions from private, public, hybrid, to multi-cloud configurations. But which one should you choose? The decision isn’t always straightforward, as it depends on various factors including your business needs, budget, and technical expertise.
Public Cloud: This is a dedicated cloud environment where all resources are solely for a single organization. It offers enhanced security and control.
Private Cloud: Resources are hosted on the premises of the service provider, and shared among multiple clients. It is scalable and cost-effective.
Hybrid Cloud: This combines private and public clouds, allowing data and apps to be shared between them. It provides more deployment options and greater flexibility.
Multi Cloud: It involves using multiple cloud services, often from different providers. This can be a mix of public, private, or hybrid clouds based on specific needs.
Hybrid cloud adoption is on the rise, with businesses valuing its balance between private data protection and public cloud scalability. Meanwhile, mature enterprises increasingly adopt Multi- Cloud strategies to sidestep vendor lock-in and tap into specialized solutions. Startups and SMEs lean towards public cloud for cost and scalability benefits, whereas sectors like finance, government, and healthcare opt for private clouds due to high-security demands.
Choosing the right cloud model hinges on understanding business goals, security, budget, performance needs, and regulatory demands.
Kubernetes, known as K8s, stands prominently in the landscape of container orchestration. Its inception brought with it a promise to simplify containerized application deployments by offering a unified platform for managing, scaling, and ensuring the resilience of applications.
With features like automated rollouts, self-healing, and horizontal scaling, Kubernetes seemed poised to be the quintessential tool for modern DevOps.
However, as with many powerful tools, Kubernetes' strengths are also its complexities. For developers, especially those accustomed to more straightforward deployment paradigms, diving into Kubernetes can be painful. The terminologies—pods, services, replicasets, configmaps, and more—form a lexicon that requires time and effort to properly understand. The intricate YAML configurations can sometimes become a source of frustration, with minor misconfigurations leading to significant runtime issues.
Furthermore, the decision to adopt Kubernetes isn't always driven purely by technical need. Sometimes, it's influenced by industry trends, peer pressure, or a perceived obligation to keep up with the 'latest and greatest'. This can lead to scenarios where Kubernetes is introduced into environments where its capabilities are underutilized or, worse, where its complexities overshadow its benefits.
For many developers, the journey with Kubernetes has been a mixed bag of experiences. While some have harnessed its capabilities to significantly improve their deployment and scaling strategies, others have found themselves struggling with its steep learning curve and complex setup requirements. As the technology matures and the ecosystem around it grows, the conversation continues to evolve, with developers sharing both their success stories and tales of caution.
Nevertheless, significance of Kubernetes stems from a few key advantages. First, it provides a consistent environment for application development, testing, and production, which streamlines workflows and reduces "it works on my machine" problems. Secondly, it provides self-healing features, such as auto-restarting failed containers, replacing containers, and redistributing resources in case of node failures, ensuring maximum uptime and resilience. Furthermore, Kubernetes scales applications on the fly, efficiently uses available resources, and seamlessly rolls out updates or rollbacks. In short, Kubernetes is not just a tool, it's an essential framework for businesses striving for agility, scalability, and resilience in a container-centric world. Adopting Kubernetes is less about hopping on a tech trend, and more about preparing for future where application demands are unpredictable and constantly changing.
The main thing you should consider when using K8s is the right topology of your K8s cluster, and there is several approaches we can consider:
Single Master with Multiple Workers: This is the most basic setup where one master node controls several worker nodes. While this setup is easier to deploy and manage, it's not truly HA since the failure of the master node could disrupt the entire cluster.
Multi-Master Setup (Stacked etcd): Here, multiple master nodes are present, and each of them runs an etcd member, forming an etcd cluster. This configuration improves fault tolerance, as even if one master node fails, the remaining ones can ensure the cluster remains operational.
Multi-Master with External etcd Cluster: Instead of running etcd on the master nodes, this topology utilizes a separate set of nodes dedicated to running the etcd cluster. This separation can reduce the load on master nodes and ensure that the etcd cluster doesn't affect other Kubernetes components.
Multi-Region or Multi-Zone Setup: For even better fault tolerance and disaster recovery, especially for global enterprises, Kubernetes clusters can be spread across multiple zones or regions. This ensures that even if an entire data center or region goes down, the application remains accessible from another region. This is critical for applications demanding near 100% uptime.
Federated Clusters: For companies operating on a global scale, federated clusters allow the management of multiple Kubernetes clusters as one unified cluster. This is particularly useful when serving global audiences, as you can have clusters in regions closer to your users, reducing latency.
When deciding on the best topology for your company's Highly-Available (HA) Kubernetes cluster, several considerations come into play. Firstly, evaluate the nature and criticality of the applications. For mission-critical apps, a multi-master setup with etcd distributed across multiple zones or regions is advisable. Secondly, consider network latency, especially if you're thinking of a multi-region setup. Consistent and rapid inter-node communication is crucial for cluster health. Lastly, factor in disaster recovery. Can your setup handle entire zone or region failures? By weighing these elements against costs and performance metrics, businesses can tailor an HA Kubernetes cluster topology that aligns perfectly with their operational needs.
In the realm of modern software development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD) are paramount. These methodologies not only underpin the infrastructure of modern software practices, but they also create a ton of discussions, debates, methodologies, and diverse implementation strategies.
At its core, CI-CD represents an elegant principle: it's an automated process that seamlessly integrates code contributions from multiple developers into a unified software project, followed by an automated deployment of these integrations to the production environment.
Although we talk about it as one hole process, there is two part of CI/CD and they should be treated as such, as two separate, independent processes.
- CI -
Continuous Integration, is a process that evaluates the most recent code modifications to determine if they require the creation of a new artifact. Typically, these artifacts are regarded as release candidates. Fundamentally, when a code alteration occurs, we employ our CI pipeline to assess whether the changes can be encapsulated into a deployable unit suitable for a potential production release.
Importance of CI lies in early detection of issues, which often translates to quicker and more cost-effective resolutions. By consistently integrating code, we can identify and address integration challenges promptly, thereby preventing the last-minute chaos that often arises when trying to merge disparate pieces of code right before a release. CI enables a collaborative environment, encouraging developers to share their updates regularly and ensuring that the software is always in a releasable state. If you are aiming to maintain high quality and rapid release cycles, CI is a necessity.
The number of steps you can include in you CI pipeline is almost infinite, and will depend like always on your needs, requirements and overall maturity of the team, but we will mention a few just in case:
Static Code Analysis
When designing your CI pipeline, start small, make basic steps and then grow from there. Jumpstarting with a complex CI pipeline can lead to substantial challenges in the future. Moreover, some elements that may seem essential initially could later turn out to be useless or even burdensome.
- CD -
Continuous Delivery/Deployment emphasizes the ability to release software updates to any environment, including production, at any time in an automated and repeatable manner. CD comes in two forms:
Continuous Delivery - This approach guarantees that software is always in a deployable state, in other words it gives us un option to deploy what we want, when and where we want.
Continuous Deployment - goes a step further by automatically releasing every change that passes the pipeline directly to the production environment. This implies that after a developer's code is merged (and assuming it navigates the CI tests), it will be automatically and immediately deployed to production without human intervention. This level of automation demands an elevated degree of confidence in the development and testing process. Rigorous testing, comprehensive monitoring, and robust rollback capabilities become imperative to swiftly detect and rectify any issues.
Steps we can add to our CD pipeline vary vastly, because it depends on many factors in your company, from our Testing Strategy, Deployment Strategy, Data Governance, Stream governance etc... (which is a separate topic in itself) and its is almost impossible to write a lit of everything we can add here without understanding everything we mentioned above. But like CI, start small, and grow as your competence and confidence grows.
This is a messy topic, and often dangerous to talk about, because probably there is as many opinions as there is developers. So consider this paragraph as recommendation from experience.
Rule 1: Develop strong coding guidelines
Coding guidelines are not merely suggestions; they serve a pivotal role in ensuring consistency across huge codebases, especially when dealing with hundreds of microservices. A set of unambiguous and clear guidelines is crucial. By "coding guidelines", I refer to a multitude of standards: from naming conventions for classes and objects to the specific locations in your codebase where business logic, DTOs, interfaces, and the like should reside.
Furthermore, beyond just naming conventions, it's beneficial to employ distinct suffixes tailored to various application types and runtimes. It's also essential to establish a clear solution structure. For example, lay out a consistent organization for your code and designate specific prefixes and suffixes for distinct folders and libraries.
Robust coding guidelines not only improve the onboarding of new developers but also streamline code reviews, transitions between projects within a team, and the effective use of static code analysis tools.
Rule 2: Separate code and infrastructure
Throughout its operation, your application will interact with vast number of infrastructure components, including databases, Redis, Kafka, RabbitMQ, Prometheus, LogStash, K8s probes, and more. To ensure uniformity in usage and avoid dubious implementations, it's recommended to create a suite of standardized libraries for these interactions.
Having these shared libraries can expedite troubleshooting, reducing the time spent pinpointing issues within your applications. Additionally, it can reduce the need for exhaustive unit testing. By standardizing app setup and integrations developers can focus more on swiftly developing features and delivering value to customers with a predictable and transparent application behavior.
Rule 3: Keep your CI pipelines out of your code base
While a CI pipeline requires code to generate an artifact, it's advisable to house this code in a separate repository, distinct from the application code. By doing so, you can refine and develop your pipeline independently without altering the application's core code. This separation can minimize potential challenges, such as unintended global renaming or misclicks, among other potential pitfalls.
All that we talked about above boils down to one term that has steadily gained momentum in the world of software development and that is “Cloud Native”
But what does it mean, and why is it often impacts the way businesses think about IT infrastructure?
At its core, Cloud Native refers to the design, implementation, and deployment of applications in a manner that maximizes the advantages of cloud computing. Instead of merely lifting and shifting traditional applications to the cloud, Cloud Native encourages designing applications for cloud environments. This means applications are decomposed into smaller, independent pieces, that can run and scale independently.
It’s about a complete shift in the way we think about and build software – taking full advantage of the cloud, rather than just using it as another hosting environment.
As businesses face increasing pressure to deliver faster and more reliably, the Cloud Native approach provides some answers. It’s not just about technology, but also about culture – promoting practices like DevOps, where development and operations teams collaborate closely. It's a paradigm that focuses on agility, scalability, and resilience.
We can classify Cloud Native principles as follows:
Microservices Architecture: Instead of monolithic applications, Cloud Native promotes the development of microservices. Each microservice is a small, independent unit that performs a specific function, enabling isolated development, deployment, and scaling.
Containerization: Containers encapsulate an application and its dependencies into a consistent environment. This ensures that the application behaves the same regardless of where the container is run, be it a developer's local machine or a cloud-based production environment.
Dynamic Orchestration: As applications can consist of numerous containers, dynamic orchestration tools like Kubernetes step in. They handle the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, adjusting to changes in real-time
Continuous Delivery: Cloud Native emphasizes the continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI) approach. This means that code changes are automatically tested and deployed to production, ensuring faster feedback loops and rapid feature delivery.
Resilience and Redundancy: Systems should be designed to be fault-tolerant. Failures will occur, but with Cloud Native principles, these failures are anticipated, allowing the system to gracefully handle or recover from them.
Decentralized Data Management: With microservices, each service manages its own data and is responsible for its own database. This decentralization enables more flexibility in choosing data storage solutions and reduces dependencies.
API-Driven Communication: Services in a Cloud Native environment interact with each other using lightweight APIs, typically over HTTP. This ensures loose coupling, standardized communication, and ease of integration.
Immutable Infrastructure: Once deployed, the infrastructure components don't change. Instead, updates are made by replacing components rather than modifying them. This approach ensures consistency and reduces the chances of configuration drift.
Observability: Given the dynamic and distributed nature of Cloud Native applications, having clear observability through logging, monitoring, and tracing is paramount. This provides insights into the system's health and behavior.
Deciding when to go Cloud Native requires an informed assessment of an organization’s needs, existing infrastructure, and long-term goals.
If your organization is looking to develop applications that must rapidly scale in response to varying loads, Cloud Native is the way to go. Businesses undergoing digital transformation, aiming for faster innovation cycles, or those that require high availability and resilience should benefit from this approach. Furthermore, if the goal is to stay agile, reduce infrastructure costs, and speed up time to market, Cloud Native's principles come in handy. For companies building new applications from scratch without any legacy constraints, diving into the Cloud Native world often makes sense.
Conversely, if your organization runs legacy applications that have stable and predictable demands and do not justify the overhead of migration, going Cloud Native might not offer significant advantages. Transitioning to Cloud Native can also introduce complexity, requiring new skills, tools, and operational practices. Smaller projects or applications with a short lifespan may not reap enough benefits from a Cloud Native transformation to justify the associated costs and efforts. Additionally, certain regulatory or data residency requirements might limit an organization's ability to fully embrace cloud-centric paradigms. In such cases, a hybrid or on- premises solution could be more practical.
Migration Approach & Patterns
Once we write our first microservice, that will be first tangible step of replacing our monolith, we will need to come up with a plan how to correctly and effectively use it to really achieve its purpose, replace part of monolith. The list of challenges that we can face here is almost endless. To deal with some of those challenges, understanding 'well-used' patterns can be helpful.
There is several migration patterns worth considering that can help you in this process:
Strangler Fig Pattern: strangler fig pattern involves incrementally replacing parts of the monolith with microservices. You start by identifying a specific piece of functionality in your monolith, developing a new microservice to provide that functionality, and then routing requests for that functionality to the new service instead of the monolith. Over time, you continue this process until all functionality is provided by microservices and the monolith can be decommissioned. This pattern is named after the strangler fig, a type of tree that grows around other trees and eventually "strangles" and replaces them.
Parallel Run Pattern: This pattern involves running the new microservice in parallel with the old monolithic system and comparing their results. This is a useful way to validate that your new microservices are functioning correctly without immediately decommissioning the old system.
Branch By Abstraction: This involves adding an abstraction layer within your monolith that can route requests to either the old code or the new microservice. This can be a helpful way to gradually shift traffic from your monolith to your microservices.
Change Data Capture (CDC): If your monolith and microservices need to share a database, the CDC pattern can be a good solution. This pattern involves monitoring the database for changes and then publishing those changes as events, which can be consumed by other services. This way, the microservices can stay updated with changes in the monolith without needing to directly access its database.
Anti-Corruption Layer Pattern: As mentioned before, the ACL pattern involves creating a translation layer between your monolith and your microservices. This layer ensures that changes in the monolith do not negatively impact the microservices and vice versa. This is particularly useful when you need to maintain the monolith and the microservices in parallel for a long period of time.
Bubble Context: This is another pattern for gradual migration, where you create a "bubble" around a specific function of the monolith. Inside this bubble, you can use modern techniques (like DDD) to create a new microservice that implements the function. The bubble shields the new microservice from the complexities of the monolith.
Big Bang pattern (when entire system is destroyed and rebuilt from scratch) is better to not take in consideration when we talk about migrations patterns, because technically its is not a migration, but a desperate move with slim chances of success.
Various migration patterns can assist in your transition, and typically, it's not a matter of choosing just one. Most projects will use multiple patterns simultaneously, not only for platform migration but also for domain migration. Throughout this process, it's natural to produce a significant amount of code that will eventually become obsolete. This shouldn't be a concern, as these supplementary components can help in ensuring the integrity of your newly developed microservices.
Focus on the New: Begin by conceptualizing the new business domain. Understand its functional boundaries and requirements. Once you've established a clear understanding, start with the creation of the new component. This entails developing the data domain model, necessary CRUD operations, and communication protocols. Only once the core elements of this new service are in place should you strategize about transitional components and replacing legacy systems.
Isolate Transitional Components: Transitional components should be designed as independent services, distinct from other system components. Their primary role should be to act as an intelligent mediator, bridging the gap between old systems and new implementations.
Keep Transition Logic Separate: As far as feasible, refrain from embedding transitional logic within your new services. Combining the two can result in complications, making it increasingly challenging to differentiate between transitional logic and the core domain logic of the service over time.
Once a clear strategy and its accompanying objectives are set, it becomes imperative to formulate detailed plans for each phase of our migration. The depth and complexity of these plans depend on the size and complexity of the migration.
For simpler migrations, a top-level overview might be enough. However, in more complex projects, each individual microservice might require its own comprehensive plan to ensure seamless transition.
Creating a structured roadmap for migration is not just a formality and nice 'picture' for your bosses so it seams like you know what you are doing, it serves multiple critical functions:
Risk Mitigation: Foreseeing potential challenges allows for preemptive solutions, reducing the impact of unforeseen complications.
Progress Monitoring: A well-structured plan enables consistent monitoring, ensuring that the migration stays on track and within the set time frame.
Early Error Detection: By continually revisiting and refining the plan, errors and weak points can be identified and rectified early in the process, saving time and resources in the long run.
Transparency is key in this process. Ensuring every stakeholder has access to these plans, not only keeps everyone informed, but also encourages a collaborative environment. This allows for constant feedback and reference, enhancing the overall efficiency of the migration.
Regular discussions and reviews of the plans are essential. Revisiting these plans frequently, and fostering open communication channels with everyone involved, lays the foundation for a successful migration. After all, in the dynamic world of IT, adaptability and collaboration often play crucial role the success of complex projects.
The Essential Intersection of Microservices and Culture
Building microservices isn't just a technological decision, it's a strategic move towards creating a more agile and responsive organization. The ultimate goal is to enable teams to deliver features to production more rapidly and seamlessly. To get full benefits of microservices, the right organizational culture must be in place. This includes embracing significant cultural shifts that prioritize both developer and operator productivity.
Hard Truths About Implementing Microservices
Success in microservices is more about people and culture than tools or architecture.
A Growth-Oriented Mindset is Key: Microservices thrive in companies driven by growth and excellence. It's not about impersonating big tech companies but about nurturing a genuine ambition to expand the business. Recognizing and leveraging good software talent plays a crucial role in this endeavor.
Avoid a Survivalist Culture: Microservices require a willingness to take risks and innovate. A culture consumed by survival will suffocate these efforts. Employees stuck in survival mode aren't inclined to the risk-taking and flexibility that microservices need. The most talented developers, who should be driving your success, are likely to flee from such an environment.
Value Technical Expertise, Not Just Management: Not all talented developers are destined for management. Microservices need skilled engineers at the helm, and this could mean providing more chances for horizontal than for vertical growth because at the end; coders like to code.
Companies that wish to make microservices successful must tackle cultural challenges head- on. This means reversing cultural decline and stimulating growth. Failing to see and address these cultural changes could result in losing out on the substantial benefits that microservices bring. Often highly skilled developers perform best in environments that prioritize autonomy and individual freedom.
Monolith architecture can sometimes act as roadblocks, and this roadblocks manifest as challenges and defects when there's pressure to timely deliver features, perform optimizations or adopt new technologies. The very nature of such systems can freeze innovation, causing friction and slow down the pace of progress.
It's no surprise, then, that talented developers often seek ways around these roadblocks. They are proactive, presenting solutions to management that can ensure not only their own autonomy but also the overall speed and efficiency of the project.
For companies like Amazon and Netflix, adoption of microservices wasn't a planned business strategy. Instead, it emerged as a answer to existing problems by their software engineers. They wanted to minimize inefficiencies, design applications that enable quicker and safer development, and most importantly, remove all those roadblocks that stood in their way.
Relationship of Software Evolution and Culture
Any shift in software architecture, be it through microservices or future innovations, comes from a deeper evolution, a dynamic and nurturing organizational culture. In such environment, microservices can amplify your team's efforts, aligning developers and operators in their goals. The result is a more content and efficient team that empowers the digital side of your business forward.
Cultivating the Right Software Culture: A Roadmap
Incentivize Problem Solving: Reward innovative solutions and reduce the fear of making mistakes.
Stimulate Creativity: Organize hackathons or similar brainstorming sessions to encurage free-thinking.
Promote Collaboration: Explore techniques like pair programming to enhance teamwork.
Build Community: Open source some of your tools and welcome external communities by hosting meetups.
Showcase Talent: Arrange tech talks, giving your team the platform to share projects or tech insights.
Adopt and Adapt: Encourage greenfield projects to test new technologies and practices.
Diversify Perspectives: Boost creativity by building a diverse team, enriching your problem-solving capacity.
By consistently incorporating these practices, you position your business as not just microservices-ready, but also an attractive environment for top talent.
It's essential to understand that microservices, though significant, are just a part in the ongoing revolution of a digital business and not the end goal. In a world where software rules, uplifting your company culture is as crucial as updating your technical toolkit.