Deploying software across regions and keeping apps running smoothly: Why DevOps needs Kubernetes

We checked in with Computing instructor Prabhjot Lalli on his new course COMP 4016: Applied DevOps with Kubernetes. He told us how technology is making software run more smoothly, and how it can help IT staff avoid those dreaded 3am calls!

“Students will be equipped with the right tools to hit the ground running, and be a force multiplier, in modern software teams.” -Prabhjot Lalli

Q: What can you tell us about the new course you’re teaching?

Applied DevOps with Kubernetes is for web application developers who want to, or are currently running, a successful software service. It focuses on making the on-call experience easier for developers by using Kubernetes to orchestrate our services for us.

Q: Who will be most interested in Applied DevOps with Kubernetes?

If you have ever wondered why your bank apps always say they’ll be down for maintenance, but you never notice Instagram being down, then this class is for you.

We’ll look at techniques that help us keep our services up at all times, and techniques for updating our code without taking down the whole app.

Q: How do organizations benefit from professionals with these skills?

Companies and organizations are making a big move to being on the cloud. Part of this migration includes containerization of services. Containerization is more efficient in releasing new software versions, and has less overhead when deploying many software applications, as well as the reduced downtime already noted.

Q: What do you think are some of the most important applications of these technologies?

Consistent deployments – so there are no differences deploying to multiple regions – is a lot easier. We can use clusters and not worry about differences in regions. So our application can be snappy and fast in different countries, while also easily following data laws of multiple regions.

Developer operations are also standardized: we can have a smooth on-call experience to mitigate issues that might result in a developer being called at 3AM because a website won’t load. Nobody wants that call!

Q: What is exciting about where your students are headed?

Students will be equipped with the right tools to hit the ground running, and be a force multiplier, in modern software teams. Large companies and organizations need to transform their legacy systems, and modern technology companies are already following these processes. So the opportunities are plentiful.

Q: What made you decide to teach in this area?

I have seen firsthand how using Kubernetes helped the release process for new versions of software. I’m also a big believer in “if you code it, you run it” so learning DevOps techniques and principles to make a developer’s life easier is what I do at work. So why not teach what I do all day?

“So why not teach what I do all day?” -Prabhjot Lalli; Learn more about teaching for BCIT Computing

Q: How do you keep up with a changing industry?

I think it’s important to see what tools are on the bleeding edge, but also be pragmatic in what tools to learn and use. Checking what new tools make old problems easier is a good way of “having an excuse” to learn new technologies.

Reading blogs by good developers, and companies that write up how they solved problems, can be a great source of inspiration too. Lastly, try to read all the architecture documents written at your company, your peers are a treasure trove of information.

About Computing Flexible Learning

Kevin Cudihee, Program Head for Computing Flexible Leaning and Industry Training:

“We parallel many of the full-time BCIT Computing diploma offerings with the latest in-demand technologies and tools. Listening to students, instructors, and our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) provides valuable input on current skills required for our graduates. I continually scan the market to fill needs with new courses, and then I recruit local IT industry experts to teach at night and on weekends.”

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