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Charity Majors, CEO, Honeycomb (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

The enormous impact that containers have had on modern software development is starting to produce new ways of thinking about application development, as developers start to see new openings for faster and more reliable development. Two different (yet related) concepts that have emerged are microservices, or dividing an app into independent parts that can be deployed anywhere, and serverless computing, which involves transforming application components into functions that are triggered by events, such as spikes in demand.

During the serverless and microservices technical track at our GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit last month, we invited several experts in these topics — Charity Majors, CEO of Honeycomb; Nancy Gohring, senior analyst at 451 Research; and Bob Wise, CTO of Samsung’s Cloud Native Computing Team — to explain how these concepts are put into place inside development organizations, and where they might be headed. Rahul Singh, CEO of Distelli, also spoke during this track but technical difficulties hampered the production of the video of this talk; you can read more about Rahul and Distelli here.

Nancy Gohring, 451 Research

Gohring set the stage for the serverless track with a few real-world stats, pointing out that all of this technology is very new when it comes to production usage. Containers are the gateway drug for serverless and microservices technologies, but only about a quarter of respondents to a 451 Research survey are using containers in production, while 22 percent of respondents were using serverless technologies.

Bob Wise, Samsung

Like cloud computing in general, organizations tend to dip their toes into microservices architectures as they develop new applications, Wise said. But if you’re interested in adapting your applications to take advantage of microservices, “make sure your fundamentals are ready,” he said, referring to the principles of agile software development.

Charity Majors, Honeycomb

Majors presented a strong case why the metrics you’re using to evaluate your software development efficiency just don’t work anymore as you switch into microservices architectures. She also pointed out that monitoring is everybody’s job these days in a DevOps world, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to be paged if something minor gets slightly out of line.

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