Jenny Fong

Don’t Pick an Ops Platform Your Devs Won’t Use

Jenny Fong

In all of the excitement and buzz around Kubernetes, one important factor in the conversation that seems to be glossed over is how and where containerized applications are built. Going back to Docker’s roots, it was developers who were the first ones to adopt Docker containers. It solved their own local development issues and made it easier and faster to get applications out the door.

Fast forward 5 years, and developers are more important than ever. They build modern apps and modernize existing apps that are the backbone of organizations. If you’re in IT operations and selecting application platforms, one of the  biggest mistakes you can make is making this decision in isolation, without development buy-in. 

Avoiding Shadow IT, Round 2

In the early days of public cloud, developers started going around IT to get fast access to computing resources, creating the first round of “Shadow IT”.  Today, most large enterprises have embraced cloud applications and infrastructure, and work collaboratively across application development and operations teams to serve their needs.

But there’s a risk we’ll invite the same thing to happen again by making a container platform decision that doesn’t involve your developers. Here are 3 reasons to include developers in your platform decisions.

1. Intuitive Tooling = Developer Productivity

Developers are resourceful, but they want tools and solutions that are simple and “just work”; it makes their job easier. They want familiar tools, where they can invoke commands they know well. This translates into greater productivity and more energy being put towards innovation. Some enterprises even measure developer onboarding time as a performance indicator. 

Millions of developers use Docker Desktop already because it works with standard Docker and Kubernetes CLIs, without new commands to learn or workflows to master. They can integrate directly with their IDE and CI tools without having to relearn how to build apps. 

With Docker Desktop Enterprise, developers can create a local, certified Kubernetes environment with a single click. We make it even simpler to build containerized applications for those without prior Docker knowledge with the new Application Designer GUI and customizable application templates.

Ensuring your application platform works consistently with your developers’ tools will ensure tighter integration between the groups. 

2. Platform for Today & Tomorrow

For many enterprises, the technology stacks of yesterday are not the ones in use today; and the technology stacks of tomorrow will likely be different than what is being used today. In the search to improve developer productivity, development teams also explore new application stacks that make their job easier – new languages, new frameworks and architectures, new operating systems. New platforms enter the mix this way. 

Put another way, your development teams want to pick and choose the right tools for the job and not be forced into using a single operating system or language. If you can give them choice and flexibility to use the platforms that best suit their need, you can avoid the second wave of “shadow IT.”  This will also help operations teams who wish to have flexibility in where applications are deployed – whether that is on-premises, virtual or bare metal, or in one or more public clouds.

The Docker Platform provides a fully agnostic approach to containerization – supporting any language or framework and any infrastructure. With the new Docker Application packaging framework, we also look to extend beyond containers and support applications that may include cloud-based services and serverless functions down the road. 

3. Intrinsic Security

Everyone knows security is important, but it’s often seen as a hindrance to developer productivity. Operations teams can help developers build secure applications by providing guardrails and governance models that are built into the development lifecycle.

One of the best ways to do this is by providing pre-approved application templates to your developers. These are the scaffolding of modern applications that have security intrinsically built-in. They leverage approved technology stacks that are pre-screened for known vulnerabilities, ensuring that all patches are in place. Docker Desktop Enterprise and Docker Trusted Registry combine to provide these capabilities so that your developers can ship production-ready code faster. 

The Proof is in the Results

Application platform investments can often stall or just don’t see much adoption. Working closely with your application architects and development teams ensures that your investments in Kubernetes and a container platform will not go to waste. Our experience with over 800 enterprise organizations who rely on Docker Enterprise demonstrates how organizations that can bring Dev and Ops together improve collaboration and drive more value than those that do not.

To learn more about building, sharing, and running modern applications: