What To Be Thankful For In Tech In 2020
Trying times sometimes make us take things for granted. This Thanksgiving, take a step back and be thankful for all the wonderful tech you use on a daily basis.
We are obviously in unprecedented times. Our routines are thrown off, our friendships are thrown off, our lives are thrown off.
When we’re thrown off, it can be difficult to remember the things that make us happy. The things that delight us. The things that make us….us.
With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, now is a great time to slow things down and reflect on what has gotten us through one of the hardest years in modern history.
So I’d like to share some of the things in tech that I appreciate now more than ever. Things that make me happy.
Historically, I’ve never really been one for online communities. The idea wasn’t necessarily a bad one, but it never spoke to me.
Now that I spend the majority of my social interactions over a webcam, I’ve warmed up to the concept and I have never been more thankful!
Between becoming an AWS Community Builder, being heavily involved in the Postman community, and participating in the thriving tech Twitter community, I have never felt more connected to my peers. People who go through the same problems I go through and are more than willing to share how they got through them.
People in tech communities genuinely want to help you. They realize that helping others moves technology forward and moving technology forward helps everyone. Oddly enough, it seems that by isolating we have moved closer together as a community.
Open Source Software
I do a lot of greenfield development for my day job. One of the strong core principles I’ve fostered as a result is the concept of assemble vs build.
Simply put, assemble vs build means “use it if it already exists.” There’s no need to reinvent the wheel anymore. For almost any project, all the pieces you need have already been built and are maintained as open source projects. It is your job to find the pieces and connect them together in a way that satisfies your business needs.
I have used countless open source projects this year, and because of it my projects have been developed quicker and are stronger than if I had built them all myself.
Open API Specification
I am a firm believer that APIs are our future. Honestly, I think they are our present already, but their importance is only going to grow over time.
With the convergence on a single standard for API definitions, we enable high-level experts to develop and consult with major companies — rocketing us toward innovation in the API space.
As an added bonus, OAS3.1 will fully support JSON schema leading to quicker development and a richer experience for developers.
Serverless technologies have been around for years at this point, but they continue to get better every day. 2020 alone has been a pivotal year for serverless technology. From provisioned concurrency, to enhanced step function features, to lambda destinations, AWS is giving people fewer and fewer reasons NOT to give it a try.
Building full production applications in serverless has been an eye opening experience — in a good way. Traditional issues like scalability, reliability, and disaster recovery have been more or less taken care of by AWS and replaced with different issues, mostly around distributed systems and managing state.
Despite the recent us-east-1 outage, companies continue to forge a way to serverless. A once in a decade outage from AWS is less risky than attempting to get multi-cloud to work at scale.
To continue on about how great the tech communities are, it seems like everyone actively involved online also contributes to online blogs. Whether it is on dev.to, medium, or a personal blog, there is a wealth of information on just about any topic you can imagine.
Not too long ago, if you couldn’t find an answer on stack overflow, you were going to have to solve the problem yourself. Now, many problems have been written up step-by-step with pictures and a direct line of contact to someone who has personally solved it.
Chances are you are not the first person to encounter the error you are seeing. The thousands upon thousands of tech articles, blogs, walkthroughs, twitch streams, and YouTube videos are there to help you get through it.
The future is bright for the world of tech. If the industry keeps trending the current direction, we’re not too far off from a world of serverless apps, standardized API definitions, and an even bigger repository of open source software.
Thank you to the contributors of all the OSS projects, the maintainers of specs like OAS and json-schema, and the people hard at work building managed services to take the burden off our shoulders. It’s never been easier or faster to build world-class software that is scalable, reliable, and managed.
Cheers to you all, and I look forward to what adventures 2021 has to bring. Happy Thanksgiving!