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I view the democratization of infrastructure similar to democracy- the best part of it is that anyone can do it, and the worst part of it is that anyone can do it. On the flipside of specialists getting involved, I also see an awful lot of bad / inappropriate networks and security layouts in cloud environments created by traditional infrastructure engineers because they carried too many principles from managing physical networks. I'm just happy that I shouldn't need to be hassled by anyone to create a random VM for them to test something quick out with such flexible infrastructure.

The devops / Agile philosophy of everyone being empowered to do most things works pretty well when people want to do all these things, are invested in the outcome together, and are at least vaguely competent in their tasking. However, the approach has limitations when it comes to tasks that nobody wants or can do but is still important to the business. It's even worse when something is important but nobody even knows it because of groupthink blindness.

I don't think I'm being hypocritical in recommending specialists for topics I know something about while advocating for empowerment in other functions because if my previous employers / clients knew what they were doing with infrastructure and healthy software development practices, they could have grown much more before needing to hire someone to do it full-time for them. I really don't want to have to re-IP another awful network again and have to tell leadership that you have to incur downtime to do it because their software can't handle database hiccups like when failing over to a hot replica. It is boring, unfulfilling, stressful work to me that - even worse - offers no tangible business value when done well but when done inappropriately is an albatross.

Compute infrastructure across different industries is in an overall state of health where everyone loves junk food but is starting to recognize its harm, some vaccines have been developed for the flu but nobody gets it or the vaccine costs $20k per shot for some people, doctors for Hollywood actors and pro athletes debate publicly over which lifting program is more optimal, and the two fitness trends are competitive decathlons and walking from their car to their desk instead of taking a Bird. In comparison, software is much further along with at least a vague sense of a board of medicine in different states (that is determined through a pageant and feats of strength, not experience in Mississippi), people are taught about the dangers of junk food, there is a debate on GMOs (Uncle Bob is strictly against it, I see some positives although DBs are much more controversial now than the well-researched topic of GMOs), and only the literally crazy people don't believe in use of vaccines.

You and I both agree that tons of people needlessly hire a personal trainer when the information to start exercising is out there and basically free now. What I think you're suggesting is to "just start jogging and it'll work out - everyone can run without a trainer helping you" but I think it's mistaken not because I think trainers are required. Right now most cloud providers don't give you shoes for free because they want to sell you Air Jordans or hiking shoes to recuperate their substantial investments, the roads are totally unpaved except for paths through lemonade stands charged by how fast you run, and I've seen a lot of people hit by cars while running because they kept stopping to pick glass out of their feet all because the common theme is they started running with socks and they were "forced" to keep running. I don't think I'm being unreasonable in saying that by default people start walking with socks on because they think personal trainers are too much when flip flops can work really well until you need to start running. By your view every other former sysadmin is now a personal trainer trying to get people into some shoes when we can do fine without one, and while I can see that I'm personally not the typical sysadmin type because I started off as a developer only caring about running fast and have learned starting off on the wrong foot can cause serious problems that can be very cheaply and easily corrected. Perhaps we are disagreeing over how much those flip flops cost or how difficult bad footwear is to discard?




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