Cloud computing: Empowering businesses of all sizes

Cloud computing is now widely accepted as a solution that is here to stay for businesses looking to streamline, centralise and add value to their operations. Pavin argues that cloud, while not a game-changer for large companies, has brought forward a revolution for a huge number of businesses, in particular when it comes to adding enterprise-level capabilities on a small business budget.

In a business, it also offers an easy way to deploy tools, services and manage access. Pavin notes from his personal experience the ease of no longer having to ask the IT department in order to get access to specific tools, to get accesses validated for different systems, or having to ask an IT guy to come and actually install software on a laptop. Cloud allows for easier deployment and management in a controlled and secure environment.

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DevOps tools training sparks IT productivity

Enterprises have a new weapon to combat the IT skills shortage where new hiring and training practices fall short.

Most IT pros agree the fastest path to IT burnout is what Amazon engineers have termed “undifferentiated heavy lifting,” which is repetitive and uninteresting work that has little potential for wider impact beyond keeping the lights on. DevOps tools training, which involves IT automation practices, can reduce or eliminate such mundane work and can compensate against staff shortages and employee attrition.
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10 Hot Data Analytics Trends — and 5 Going Cold

Big data, machine learning, data science — the data analytics revolution is evolving rapidly. Keep your BA/BI pros and data scientists ahead of the curve with the latest technologies and strategies for data analysis.

Data analytics are fast becoming the lifeblood of IT. Big data, machine learning, deep learning, data science — the range of technologies and techniques for analyzing vast volumes of data is expanding at a rapid pace. To gain deep insights into customer behavior, systems performance, and new revenue opportunities, your data analytics strategy will benefit greatly from being on top of the latest data analytics trends.

Here is a look at the data analytics technologies, techniques and strategies that are heating up and the once-hot data analytics trends that are beginning to cool. From business analysts to data scientists, everyone who works with data is being impacted by the data analytics revolution. If your organization is looking to leverage data analytics for actionable intelligence, the following heat index of data analytics trends should be your guide.
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DevOps Jobs: How to win that role

For IT job hunters, some of today’s most desirable jobs are DevOps jobs. A company with a strong commitment to DevOps wants people to run fast, experiment, and iterate their way to success. These organizations prize innovation. But the DevOps methodology and culture turns some old rules about IT job hunting upside down.

For instance, your ability to spot trouble and turn around failures now trumps certifications, says Robert Reeves, CTO at Datical, a database release automation company. For DevOps teams, companies need people who can think on their feet – and communicate clearly to all kinds of people, from marketing team members to engineers. Remember, DevOps is all about cross-functional teams.
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The Difference between SOA and Microservices?

We’ve had a few articles over the years on the differences and similarities between SOA and microservices. Some suggest there is much to be learned from SOA whereas others believe that distancing microservices from SOA is more beneficial. Furthermore, Neal Ford, amongst others, has suggested that moving from monolithic architectures to a services-based approach may be easier than going to microservices. There has not been much activity recently around the overall “SOA or microservices” debate until RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady published an article on the subject. In it O’Grady suggests that the size of the service is not the deciding factor, similar to what others have argued over the years, such as Dan North, and separately Jeppe Cramon stated:

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Life as an IT contractor | Network World

Independence, job variability, earning potential, skills development. But is it worth it?

The upside of life as an IT contractor is alluring. You get to be your own boss, accept only the jobs you want, and work flexible hours. With each assignment comes the opportunity to learn new skills and gain exposure to different environments.

But there are obvious sacrifices – job security and paid vacations, for starters. As an IT contractor, you’re also often responsible for your own benefits (healthcare, retirement), paying taxes, and marketing yourself for the next gig.

Tech pros who successfully balance the pros and cons of contracting play an important role in the IT world. They provide manpower when workloads spike and can bring key expertise or niche skills to a team. In recent years, companies have increasingly relied on a contingent workforce to augment their full-time staff. According to new survey data from IT staffing and services firm TEKsystems, 26% of IT hiring managers expect to increase headcount for contingent workers in the second half of 2017 (another 46% report that headcount will remain the same for temporary workers, and 13% say it will decrease).
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Why serverless? Meet AWS Lambda

Why would a developer use AWS Lambda? In a word, simplicity. AWS Lambda—and other event-driven, “function-as-a-service” platforms such as Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk—simplify development by abstracting away everything in the stack below the code. Developers write functions that respond to certain events (a form submission, a webhook, a row added to a database, etc.), upload their code, and pay only when that code executes.

In “How serverless changes application development” I covered the nuts and bolts of how a function-as-a-service (FaaS) runtime works and how that enables a serverless software architecture. Here we’ll take a more hands-on approach by walking through the creation of a simple function in AWS Lambda and then discuss some common design patterns that make this technology so powerful. Read more..

New Online Training – AWS in Motion

AWS are happy to announce the filming of our book Amazon Web Services in Action. Our video course AWS in Motion is introducing Amazon’s cloud offerings in more than 3 hours of video lessons and 25 exercises.

Manning has published our online course consisting of:

• Quality video lessons available on-demand.
• Rich, interactive transcripts for navigation.
• Exercise driven learning.

Packed with exercises and tutorials to try out, you can learn how to work with AWS in a way that makes sense: by working with AWS directly. We’ve designed the lessons to work within a free trial subscription to AWS, so you can get started without spending anything on a live AWS account. With the expert training of the Wittig brothers, the authors of our bestselling Amazon Web Services in Action, you can rest easy knowing you’ve learned the foundation that every AWS developer needs to succeed, and fast! Read more..

The Benefits of Serverless Applications in a Data-Rich World

Serverless applications are the source of much confusion of late. For one thing, they’re not “serverless” at all. In fact, it’s more accurate to refer to them as “multiserver apps” — their components are distributed among cloud servers far and wide and assembled on demand.

This begs the question, “Do you know where your app is?” In today’s microservices-based computing environments, the question becomes meaningless. Exactly where particular pieces of a full-blown application live matters much less than the network’s ability to retrieve and assemble the required components accurately, and in a timely manner, when and where they’re needed.

Such widely distributed applications demand a new approach to development, deployment, maintenance, and updates. Forbes’ Janakiram wrote in a March 22, 2016, article that the growing interest in serverless apps is driven by two trends: mobility and the Internet of Things. In both cases, applications need to follow the IFTTT model: respond in an instant as current circumstances dictate in terms of location, time, input, and context. Read more..

How the Financial Industry Is Doing DevOps

The second DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) Europe, once again held in London, brought together the DevOps enterprise community. The financial industry was well represented, giving the attendees a unique perspective on the challenges facing this heavily regulated industry and how DevOps is helping to overcome them.

One of DOES’ main goals is to gather high-fidelity experience reports and to gather evidence that negate the objections to the adoption of DevOps in an enterprise environment. The set of presentations by large financial institutions highlighted their common challenges: legal, compliance, security requirements and the prevailing bureaucratic and siloed culture of such organizations. The approaches taken to takle those challenges also have commonalities: automated continuous delivery pipelines; lean approaches and organization alignment based on value streams; automated testing; automated compliance and security checks; close collaboration with legal and compliance departments. Some organizations are also moving away from outsourcing and into insourcing. Read more..