As a new engineer, learning cloud native concepts is important for several reasons.
First, cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular and is now the norm for many organizations. Many companies are moving away from traditional on-premises data centers and migrating their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. Knowing how to build, deploy, and manage cloud-native applications will give you a valuable skill set that is in high demand in the job market.
Second, cloud native concepts and technologies are designed to be flexible, scalable, and efficient. They enable faster development and deployment of applications and make it easier to handle the increasing demand for more computing power and storage. By learning these concepts, you will be able to build applications that can handle large amounts of traffic and data and can easily scale up or down as needed.
Third, cloud native concepts and technologies are designed to work well together. They are all part of a larger ecosystem that is designed to make it easy for developers to build, deploy, and manage applications on cloud infrastructure. By learning these concepts, you will be able to take advantage of the full range of cloud-native tools and services, and will be able to create more powerful and efficient applications.
In summary, as a new engineer, learning cloud native concepts will give you a valuable skill set, allow you to build flexible, scalable, and efficient applications, and enable you to take advantage of the full range of cloud-native tools and services. It is an essential skill set for many companies today and will be essential in the future.
What is Cloud Native?
Cloud native is a term used to describe an approach to building, deploying, and running applications on cloud infrastructure. It involves containerization, microservices architecture, and the use of cloud-native tools and services.
Containerization packages software, its dependencies, and configuration files together in a lightweight and portable container, allowing it to run consistently across different environments.
Microservices architecture designs and builds software as a collection of small, independent services that communicate with each other via well-defined APIs. This approach enables faster development, easier scaling, and more flexible deployment options.
Cloud-native tools and services are designed specifically for cloud environments and provide capabilities such as auto-scaling, load balancing, and service discovery. They allow for faster and more efficient deployment and management of applications.
In summary, cloud native is a way of designing, building, and running applications on cloud infrastructure. It leverages containerization and microservices architecture, and utilizes cloud-native tools and services for faster and more efficient deployment and management of applications. As a new engineer, it is important to understand these concepts and how they work together in order to build cloud-native applications.
Here’s a list to get you started learning about Cloud Native. Note that some of these links may not be free and may require a subscription or payment. I receive no affiliate payments for these links.
- “Cloud Native Training & Certification from The Linux Foundation & CNCF” by the Linux Foundation: https://training.linuxfoundation.org/blog/cloud-native-training-certification-from-the-linux-foundation-cncf/
- “What is Cloud Native” by Google Cloud Platform: https://cloud.google.com/learn/what-is-cloud-native
- “Cloud Native Architecture: The Big Picture” by Pluralsight: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/cloud-native-architecture-big-picture
- “Guide to Cloud Native DevOps” The New Stack: https://thenewstack.io/ebooks/devops/cloud-native-devops-2019/
- “Kubernetes: Ready for a starring role at the movies, and in your architecture?” by Google: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/containers-kubernetes/kubernetes-to-secure-and-develop-cloud-native-applications
- “Cloud Native Infrastructure with Azure” by O’Reilly: https://learning.oreilly.com/library/view/cloud-native-infrastructure/9781492090953/
- “Cloud Native Patterns” by Manning Publications: https://www.manning.com/books/cloud-native-patterns
- “Cloud-native development – An architectural introduction” by Eric D. Schabell: https://dzone.com/articles/cloud-native-development-a-blueprint
- “Cloud-Native Security” by Microsoft: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/architecture/cloud-native/security
Videos to watch
What is Cloud Native and Why Should I Care?
Wealth Grid is a mid-sized firm that has product and service market fit, but is struggling to shorten its time to value and stay off the front page news. To do this, they must embrace cloud native technologies, but this is not business as usual. With the help of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Wealth Grid can learn from their mistakes and use tools and techniques to achieve their goals.
Expert talk: Cloud Native & Serverless • Matt Turner & Eric Johnson • GOTO 2022
Matt Turner and Eric Johnson discuss the importance of Cloud Native Concepts for the new engineer to learn, such as Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, and the benefits of testing in production to catch certain classes of bugs.
A Possible Learning Path
Hands-on experience: It is important to start by experimenting with different cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure, and GCP, to understand the basic concepts and services offered by each. This can be done by creating a free account and following tutorials and guides to build and deploy simple applications.
Theoretical learning: Once you have a basic understanding of cloud computing, you can begin to explore cloud native concepts such as containerization, microservices, and service discovery. This can be done through online resources such as tutorials, courses, and documentation provided by cloud providers, as well as books and blogs on the topic.
Joining a community: Joining a community of cloud native enthusiasts will help you connect with other people learning and working with cloud native technology. This can be done through online forums, meetups, and social media groups.
Practice, practice, practice: As with any new technology, the best way to learn is by doing. The more you practice building and deploying cloud native applications, the more comfortable and proficient you will become with the technology.
Specialize in a specific cloud provider: Cloud providers each have their own set of services and ways of working, so it is beneficial to specialize in one or two providers that align with your business or career goals.
A Note From the Architect
Don’t be intimidated by the volume of information you’ll need to learn to be proficient in cloud-native technologies. Because I have a secret for you from a twenty-five year veteran. There’s little chance you’ll ever be much more than competent. You may be able to master a few of these subject areas, and that’s great if you do, but it’s not necessary if you truly understand one important thing.
I call this important thing, “The Why”.
In each of these articles where I present an important topic from big concepts in cloud-native development I will give you my opinion based on personal experience as to why you should consider using this technology, what are other possibilities, and what are the trade offs.
I believe that ‘The Why’ is one of the most important parts of a technology consideration. So what is the, “why,” of Cloud Native? In my opinion, it’s the ability to develop and deliver solutions on their built-to-fit platform. Even though there’s still a huge market for large systems like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle, the future belongs to value created solutions running on platforms that best fit their need.
I’m sure some people are wondering if everything really needs to be containerized. No, there are plenty of alternative options for running your workloads that don’t involve containers.
As a developer, I have come across several alternatives to cloud native technologies. One alternative is using virtual machines (VMs) instead of containers. VMs offer a higher level of isolation and security, but they also have a larger footprint and are less portable. Another alternative is using on-premises infrastructure, which provides greater control over data and security, but also comes with higher costs and maintenance responsibilities.
Another alternative is using a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) instead of containers. PaaS provides a higher level of abstraction and can simplify the deployment process, but it also limits the level of control and customization that you have over the infrastructure.
It’s important to note that, while these alternatives can be viable options depending on the specific use case, they often trade off some of the benefits of cloud native technologies such as scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the tradeoffs and choose the solution that best aligns with the needs of your project and organization.
What I hope to accomplish with this series is to open your eyes to the possibilities of what Cloud Native has to offer.