Modern methodology to enable better management
An interview with Nick Allevato
As we watched the August 13th webinar, one take way was that having modern methodology as part of the change control process, brings more people to the table and allows them to review the code in the way that you wouldn’t be able to just on a kind of tech by tech basis. That will give the stakeholders, supervisors and the engineers the ability to do that effective review, to test and commit. We had the opportunity to meet with Nick and ask him some other questions:
Can you briefly describe how modern methodology works?
When you manage infrastructure project, you want to have an effective review process, you want the changes to be obvious, and you want the changes to be auditable, having the immutable work history. This is what modern technology in a nutshell does for you.
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Why is modern methodology important when it comes to managing IT infrastructure projects?
Definitely getting version infrastructure code chcd pipeline is necessary to do cloud at all cloud correctly but also to scale and grow in the cloud.
We’re going to use infrastructure code and a ci cd pipeline and this can take many forms, some are more advanced than others. The code can be in one or more languages it’s really a matter of the engineering team with the ultimate goal of reducing that friction.
Can you give us an example of how you have used modern methodology at GPL?
We use it all the time, with every client. It is really important; it is one of GPL´s main differentiators. In a version control software, it’s called a commit for a reason, it’s attached to a shaw a hash of your commit, it’s a unique ID and that gets layered on top of the existing code base and the engineer can commit and make changes, another engineer can commit, make changes, everyone in the team can.
As a team we can track every file, every line, every piece of code that’s in the code base, and we can refer back to it over time, so there are times when you go back to a feature that you haven’t touched for several months, you look at the code that’s associated with it, you can look at the engineer´s comments, you can look at his commits, you can look at your own, and you can look at another engineer that may have moved on to a different department or different project, and you can see what they were thinking, why they committed, what they committed and review their history.
What is the benefit when you reduce friction?
When you reduce friction, engineers are going to be able to do more, they’re going to be happier they’re going to deliver and they’re going to be able to also adapt to changes because we all know that no IT environment is static. They will be static for some time, but changes are going to have to happen whether it’s a business goal, a technology goal or maybe a user needs a new service, a new plug-in.
How does tracking changes in your infrastructure enable a better management?
Code tracking is also a key enabler of better management, when you have infrastructure code you can apply that infrastructure code to first your local environment you can test in local virtual machine setup. If you have a variant set up, you can make sure that your code and the configuration that your code is creating is functional. Then you can merge to a development environment and have a development environment deployed using the same infrastructure code.
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To wrap up, how do you summarize the main business benefit of modern methodology?
I summarize it as flexibility and efficiency. When tracking changes, if you have to go all the way back to the beginning you can, if you want to start in the middle you can, you can rewind and you can see what the changes were made.
This feature alone has paid dividends for us at GPL in almost every situation that we’ve worked with in the cloud, whether it’s a change that had an unintended effect change that needed to be made that we needed to unwind some complexity the ability to to rewind the code history has been.
It is very very very powerful and with cloud as main topic in today´s IT world, the engineer needs to be able to clearly understand all of those nuances and configuration points. We like to say to we like to introduce the infrastructure code sooner rather than later, we want engineers to use infrastructure code right away we create a fresh repository for the project or the customer.