Do IT Services Live Up to Their Promises in 2023? | ✉️ #26

Promotional image for MKDEV Dispatch #26 featuring an illustrated person in a hoodie, alongside text "Do IT services live up to their promises in 2023?" and paper airplanes graphic. Promotional image for MKDEV Dispatch #26 featuring an illustrated person in a hoodie, alongside text "Do IT services live up to their promises in 2023?" and paper airplanes graphic.

Hey! 👋

While discussing work-related matters, we touched on the topic of service pricing and why hiring an mkdev expert doesn't necessarily mean it'll be cheaper than hiring an in-house DevOps engineer. At first glance, isn't that the very reason such services exist? Instead of shelling out a large amount for an annual salary plus taxes, you could hire an expert to tackle immediate issues on an hourly rate. No need to fuss with in-house paperwork and other employment complexities, right? Wrong. In reality, you hire an mkdev expert not because you want to save money, but because you can't find that level of expertise in the job market. Not least because you're hiring the cumulative experience of a dozen experts embodied in one person. But that's not the point right now.

As we debated this, it struck me how we pay for a slew of services that brand themselves as a more economical alternative to something traditional. But, upon closer inspection, it's hardly a bargain. An annual subscription to Dropbox isn't cheaper than a 5TB external hard drive. Netflix and Game Pass aren't more cost-effective than a trip to the movies or buying games, especially when you tally up the number of games you complete in a year. This year, I've completed only two games, and I've been on Elden Ring since January; over nine months with Game Pass, I've spent way more. Even Cloud providers aren't necessarily cheaper than on-premises hosting either — just consider the 37signals case we discussed in a recent podcast.

Convenience as an argument is also becoming dubious. There's nothing convenient about navigating Netflix, Prime, Disney+, HBO Max in 2023, with their confusing subscription models dangerously edging users towards the idea of downloading TV shows from torrents and plugging a USB drive into the TV is the easier route. Some even label this as broken promises.

For us at mkdev, it's a valuable lesson. Personally, I feel a certain dissatisfaction when trying to gauge my benefit from using modern IT services, be it time/money savings or comfort. This means our mission is to ensure clients understand why mkdev is the best choice for them, and to conform to their expectations. Without all that bullshit we're all tired of.

What We've Shared

Steaming ahead to the finish line of our Dockerless Course. It's Podman time!

What We've Discovered

  • Testing Graph Databases: A comprehensive comparison of 6 major graph databases.

  • Building a successfull SRE Team: Good tips on what SRE team should focus on in terms of serving the developers. Naturally, it's never about the technology. Things I personally agree on and practice as well: training devs, building the right abstractions and focusing on self-service platforms.

  • Function Calling: Integrate Your GPT Chatbot With Anything. An example of building a chat bot with Python and OpenAIs GPT with a function calling feature. Seems potentially riskyy, but as long as you isolate it well, could be great for a variety of use cases.

  • jless: A neat command line JSON viewer tool.

  • Faster container startups on AWS Fargate using Seekable OCI: It brings down startup time from around 2 minutes to 1 minute, in case of AWS ECS Fargate. Problem is that you need to do all of the work yourself, and 1 minute startup time is still insanely long.

An event announcement

This September we're sponsoring DevOpsDays London 2023! As DevOpsDays describe themselves, they are a worldwide series of community run technical conferences covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them. It is run by volunteers from community, for the benefit of the community. On 21-22 of September join us in the UK. Meet Kirill and Pablo at the mkdev table. Get a ticket here and more news to come!

The 27th mkdev dispatch will arrive on Friday, September 15th. See you next time!