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Daily Tech Digest - October 08, 2020

What is DevOps? A guide to common methods and misconceptions

Devops has been defined in many ways: a set of practices that automate and integrate processes so teams can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably; a combination of culture and tools that enable organizations to ship software at a higher velocity; a culture, a movement, or a philosophy. None of these are wrong, and they are all important aspects of DevOps—but they don’t quite fully capture what’s at the heart of DevOps: the essential human element between Dev and Ops teams, when collaboration bridges the gap that allows teams to ship better software, faster. For organizations, DevOps provides value by increasing software quality and stability, and shortening lead times to production. For developers, DevOps focuses on both automation and culture—it’s about how the work is done. But most importantly, DevOps is about enabling people to collaborate across roles to deliver value to end users quickly, safely, and reliably. Altogether, it’s a combination of focus, means, and expected results. The focus of DevOps is people. The means of implementing DevOps is process and tooling. The result of DevOps is a better product, delivered faster and more reliably.


You Don’t Need To Be A Mathematician To Master Quantum Computing

Don’t get me wrong. Math is a great way to describe technical concepts. Math is a concise yet precise Language. Our natural languages, such as English, by contrast, are lengthy and imprecise. It takes a whole book full of natural language to explain a small collection of mathematical formulae. But most of us are far better at understanding natural language than math. We learn our mother tongue as a young child and we practice it every single day. We even dream in our natural language. I couldn’t tell if some fellows dream in math, though. For most of us, math is, at best, a foreign language. When we’re about to learn something new, it is easier for us if we use our mother tongue. It is hard enough to grasp the meaning of the new concept. If we’re taught in a foreign language, it is even harder. If not impossible. Of course, math is the native language of quantum mechanics and quantum computing, if you will. But why should we teach quantum computing only in its own language? Shouldn’t we try to explain it in a way more accessible to the learner? I’d say “absolutely”!


From DevOps to DevApps

Perhaps an easier way to think about event-driven is to think in terms of application flows. For example, when a trouble ticket is created in Zendesk, that data can be automatically analyzed by Amazon Comprehend to determine what the customer’s sentiment is (angry, satisfied, or confused). Then purchasing history, warranty information, and other pertinent information stored in a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift can be used to give the customer service rep a complete picture of the customer, to more expediently resolve any issues. One approach to using event-driven architecture utilizes the JAMStack tools, a term coined by Netlify founding CEO, Matt Billman. While WordPress is a platform that is used by an overwhelmingly large number of users deploying websites, the JAMStack is a collection of tools used to deliver web content. JAMStack tools can be used to deploy websites on the edge of the network, by reducing the number of database calls and bringing content closer to the user via CDN. However, you can also extend that stack by adding additional cloud native services, such as AuthO for authentication. In a web app that collects user data, information could be stored in Airtable.


Digital transformation: The new rules for getting projects done

"Amidst all the misery, this has been a great opportunity to fast-forward a lot of changes that were on the stocks anyway," says Copinger-Symes. "So I wouldn't want to say it's been positive, because that would undercut the tragedies out there, but I think we've adjusted in stride and there are a lot of opportunities to look out for, too." Like other organisations, the UK military has to put its five-year plan for tech-led change on the back-burner while it deals with the priorities of the pandemic. However, this change in emphasis has helped the organisation to reprioritise – and Copinger-Symes hopes the move away from a slower planning cycle is permanent, particularly when it comes to tech. "That has to change, because increasingly our competitiveness is found through the software not the hardware. And if you adopt decade-long planning cycles with software, you're not going to be very competitive," he says. "I think we were being forced to be change our planning to a much shorter loop, so I think this pandemic has accelerated that process. And I'm not saying we're on top of it or we've got it all right, but I think that's just another acceleration of where we were moving anyway – to that software-based view of the world, rather than a hardware view of the world."


Why AWS Recently Open Sourced A GUI Library For IoT Developers

“Developers can model the location and sizes of nodes, edges, and panels, and Diagram Maker renders these as elements on the Diagram Maker canvas. The rendered UI is fully interactive and lets users move nodes around, create new edges, or delete nodes or edges,” says the AWS team. Diagram Maker also gives developers the ability to layout a given graph via an API interface automatically. With this feature, Application Developers can visualise the relationships by having the layout-related information connected to the resources, even if they are built outside the editor. In addition, application developers can use Diagram Maker’s capabilities for use cases that are outside of IoT. For example, with Diagram Maker, application developers can improve the experience for end customers by letting them to intuitively and visually design cloud resources needed by cloud services like Infrastructure as Code (AWS CloudFormation) or Workflow Engines (AWS Step Functions) so as to figure out the various relationships and hierarchies, according to AWS. Alternatively, IoT application developers can utilise the Diagram Maker’s plugin interface to author reusable plugins which can extend the Diagram Maker’s core features.


Setting Up for Success: Governing Self-Service BI

With an increased number of users given access to the data layer, more reports and dashboards are generated to support business decisions, especially in the early stages of self-service BI adoption. When multiple individuals utilize the same data source at different times, it can lead to discrepancies in the data reported and redundant reports and dashboards generated from the same data set. Different business users also create their own versions of data sets derived from huge and more complex data sets. These activities, when compounded, will eventually lead to inconsistent reporting, which can set back executives making time-sensitive, data-driven business decisions. ... It’s not surprising how often and soon organizations run into performance issues with their self-service BI tools. Redundant data sets and reports can increase the load on systems, leading to capacity issues. Though some of the most powerful BI tools available provide best practices to improve report development, load testing, and capacity management, it still boils down to how end users are handling the technology in the absence of effective governance. ... An overloaded system, with redundant data sets and reports, may still have recourse, but when a security breach happens, it is one of the hardest setbacks that CIOs and organizations endure. 


The Changing Role of Data & the Chief Data Officer

In the short term, we’ve seen organizations increasingly focus on their data strategy. Data management has become a lot more important because organizations have to truly understand and trust their data. And especially for things like contact tracing, you have the right contact data. In that context, as part of a data coalition of my fellow CEOs, I wrote directly to Congress about the need for valid, reliable data to help us fight the pandemic in a much more thoughtful, data-driven way. We also worked very closely with one of the hardest hit states in the early days of the pandemic. They struggled because they didn’t have the necessary technology. They needed to get the right data quality to analyze health issues and figure out where the virus was spreading. We helped them leverage our technology to understand how to bring the right equipment—PPE, ventilators—to the right hospitals to the right patients at the right time. And just as innovative enterprises around the globe have leveraged data to transform themselves to serve their customers better and improve their products and services, we recommended that the government do the same. The government is the biggest employer in the US.


What CIOs need to know about hardening IT infrastructure

The good news is that infrastructure hardening technologies are readily available and can be added to existing environments, often with minimal disruption to production activities. However, to be extra prudent, it's important to test hardening products in a test environment -- if available -- to protect the integrity of production systems. ... In addition to the hardware and software tools that act as active frontline defense methods to hardening IT infrastructures, CIOs should consider establishing policies and procedures for infrastructure hardening. It may be that hardening activities are part of day-to-day IT operations, but it also makes sense to document these activities, especially if an IT audit is being planned. IT general controls (ITGCs) include numerous controls and metrics examined by IT auditors. Activities and initiatives mentioned above are among the ITGCs being audited. Key ITGCs include organization and management, communications, logical access security, physical and environmental security, change management, risk management, monitoring of controls, system operations, system availability, backup and recovery, incident management, and policies and procedures.


How Redis Simplifies Microservices Design Patterns

Microservice architecture continues to grow in popularity, yet it is widely misunderstood. While most conceptually agree that microservices should be fine-grained and business-oriented, there is often a lack of awareness regarding the architecture’s tradeoffs and complexity. For example, it’s common for DevOps architects to associate microservices to Kubernetes, or an application developer to boil implementation down to using Spring Boot. While these technologies are relevant, neither containers nor development frameworks can overcome microservice architecture pitfalls on their own — specifically at the data tier. Martin Fowler, Chris Richardson, and fellow thought-leaders have long addressed the trade-offs associated with microservice architecture and defined characteristics that guide successful implementations. These include the tenets of isolation, empowerment of autonomous teams, embracing eventual consistency, and infrastructure automation. While keeping with these tenets can avoid the pains felt by early adopters and DIYers, the complexity of incorporating them into an architecture amplifies the need for best practices and design patterns — especially as implementations scale to hundreds of microservices.


The End of the Privacy Shield Agreement Could Lead to Disaster for Hyperscale Cloud Providers

Companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft were initially happy that SCCs weren’t annulled. But they soon realized how the Privacy Shield ruling could have more adverse consequences for them in the long run. Soon all the three big shots issued statements in a bid to assure the customers that their clouds were still open, with Microsoft assuring their commercial or public sector customers that they could continue using Microsoft service without breaking the European law. However, a few privacy advocates were quick to point out that only those companies who continue to use SCCs can continue providing assurances about data protection from third-party surveillance that are either at rest or in transit. So several of these statements were misleading. Google, for instance, is an electronic communication service provider, as a result of which it falls under both categories. The platform may very well be the largest search engine. Yet, the increasing awareness of data security and privacy might force users to look for other reliable options that assure the more secure sharing of private information online.



Quote for the day:

"Start at the end. You can't tell a story unless you know how it ends." -- Lewis



This post first appeared on Tech Bytes - Daily Digest, please read the originial post: here

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Daily Tech Digest - October 08, 2020

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