Three things I learned from my readers in 2021

January 2, 2022

It’s traditional around this time of year for everyone and their dog to write a “look at what I did last year!” post. I’d rather not write a self-focused post, however.

And while 2021 was a busy year for me (I launched the “Tiny DevOps” brand, this daily email list, and a podcast), I don’t really want to focus on my accomplishments.

Instead, today I’m going to recap some of the feedback I got from you, my readers, over the last year. I learned a lot from you, and I hope you’ll keep challenging me throughout 2022 and beyond!

I’ve selected three reader replies to comment on here.

  1. Can you debug code? Yes? Congrats. You’re a scientist! Reader Pieter-Jan Smets wrote in to make this point, as originally made by Brian Cantrill:

    Debugging is the act of answering questions and then answering them. Not: guessing what the answer is.

  2. The honest pursuit of “agility” and DevOps tends to converge on many of the same best practices. Axel Schüssler illustrated this from his perspective as a professional tester.

    I come to DevOps from the other direction. We solve the problem of the “wall of confusion” between dev and QA by enabling dev teams to do most testing on their own. And DevOps gives teams a whole range of new possibilities to address quality risks. Exciting times.

  3. And finally, there are practically always exceptions to our best thought-out rules of thumb and best practices. Paul Swail explained how his daily work is often an exception to some common advice like: Make sure you can work offline:

    My dev work is almost exclusively building backend APIs using cloud services on AWS. The workloads are often integration-heavy. Many of these cloud services can’t run at all on a local developer workstation or if there are emulators, they’re suboptimal and can introduce other issues. For that reason, I almost always advocate developing directly in the cloud against real resources.

Of course I’ve received many, many more responses from many of you than I can possibly summarize here. I read every one, and reply to most. Please keep it up!

Happy 2022!


Related Content

Agile houses

We often contrast software to physical buildings--the idea that software is easy to change, whereas buildings are difficult to change. But is this really true?

Pick a methodology: Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean or DevOps?

None of these items directly replaces or conflicts with any of the others. In fact, you can use them all simultaneously.

"Readability" is subjective

Ask yourself: Will the least experienced developer likely to read this code be able to understand it?