Going into 2022, the surge in microservice adoption shows no signs of slowing down. Whether you've already embraced microservices at your organization or you’re preparing for an infrastructure migration, it's only getting more critical that your team be able to understand the quality, observability, and reliability of its services. As you sketch out your quarterly goals for the new year, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you're setting yourself up for success.
Start off on the right foot
If you're planning to accelerate your team's adoption of microservices in 2022, building a solid infrastructural foundation for your software will save you countless hours of frustration. Before you start spinning services into the wild, be sure to set up a CI/CD pipeline and basic automation for deployments — even a few GitHub Actions can eliminate whole categories of bugs in production.
Going forward, after developing a good understanding of your organization’s contextual needs, you can start defining standards for your services around essential components like test coverage and security protocol. With these standards, and custom templates that let your engineers quickly scaffold services to match, you'll always have confidence in the quality of the code your team ships.
Invest in reliability early and often
Earlier this December, AWS' us-east-1 region went down for most of a day, capping off a big year for outages in the tech world. Poor reliability doesn't just cost you potential customers and revenue — the high-stress, often late-night work it requires to resolve outages takes a heavy toll on your developers' energy and morale.
If you don’t have visibility into your current services, building a single source of truth to monitor the four golden signals for each of your services should be a top priority for next year. With standardized insight and knowledge communally shared across your whole organization, you can make 2022 a big year for reliability instead.
Identify your team’s pain points
The end of the year is always a great opportunity to reflect on your long-term progress. In our newly remote world, it can be tough to know how your engineers are feeling on a day-to-day basis — and with tech bearing the brunt of the Great Resignation, a drop in morale could be disastrous.
Take the time to hold a retrospective with your team and talk about the concrete issues that caused pain for your team in 2021. Encourage a broad discussion — could it be that struggles with remote onboarding or knowledge transfer contributed to bugs and outages? If 2021 was the year your team committed to being remote for the foreseeable future, 2022 can be the year you invest in tools to replicate the nuances of in-person onboarding and offboarding — and gain a huge leg up on the competition.
Technical or cultural, if your pain points aren't already being tracked by quantifiable metrics, turn them into data you can measure, standardize, and enforce. That way, next year you'll be sure you’re consistently addressing the problems that matter most to your engineers and celebrating tangible progress you’ve made.
Don’t rush the process
Transitioning to new infrastructure can create major bottlenecks, especially if you’ve built up a backlog of tech debt from shipping in 2021. Without a plan, teams can easily get stuck, finding themselves restoring critical systems they accidentally took offline or tackling bugs in code they’re planning to replace wholesale.
While your business won’t want to spend too much time on a migration, it’s important to give your team the space necessary to familiarize themselves with best practices around the pieces of the puzzle they’re building. Defining agreed-upon, data-driven milestones for your migration and tracking your progress from the beginning is the best way to balance these needs — your whole organization will be able to understand what’s working and quickly fix what isn’t.
And don’t be afraid to adjust your timeline — as Hofstadter's Law says, it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. With a stable target to aim at and a method to measure the quality of services you’re building, you’ll still be following a clear path out of infrastructural limbo.
After so many disruptions in the last two years, the end of 2021 is a great time for your team to take a pause, congratulate yourselves on what you've built through the turbulence, and plan to make next year even better. Whether you need insight into your current services or a roadmap for a full migration to microservices, Cortex’s suite of tools will make sure your team hits its goals of quality and reliability in 2022. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org — we’ll take it from there.