Here’s How Netflix-Made ‘Spinnaker’ for Continuous Delivery Can Grow Your Career

By Jenny Medeiros

Image credit: Unsplash

Most companies still organize their software development around “big bang releases”. They’re those magical moments where after six months of developing, testing, and fixing, everything is finally released. It’s truly an event, but it’s also a very tedious one where developers are stuck in a hamster wheel of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks.

In comes Continuous Delivery (CD), an agile-inspired practice that shows great promise of revamping this (very boring) aspect of software development by making releases faster, safer, and less cumbersome. Fortunately, an increasing number of companies are beginning to see the light and are shifting towards this much more reliable, automated software delivery process. This is good news for developers.

One company which has helped make CD popular is Netflix. As the world’s leading entertainment service, Netflix has one of the most dynamic infrastructures out there. So how do they manage to continuously release software updates without interrupting your series binge? They built Spinnaker, an open source, multi-cloud CD platform which they now use to deploy over 95% of all cloud-based infrastructure (without breaking anything).

Here’s how Netflix and other companies leverage Spinnaker to not only make deployment pain go away, but also to support developer growth by freeing them from uninspiring work.

Automate boring tasks so you can work on what you love

Chances are you became a software developer because you love problem solving, building solutions and watching them come to life. There’s also a big chance that instead of doing those things, you’re configuring environments, dealing with compliance, fixing old issues and last minute bugs, maintaining deployment, etc. Nothing that screams “fun”.

Spinnaker addresses this issue by enabling teams to codify software delivery and deployment into automated pipelines. This results in unoccupied hands which are free to solve more exciting problems. You can focus on building new apps, breakthrough features, or learning that new technology to further your career.

Spend less time deploying, more time innovating

You need two things to innovate: 1) Talent, and 2) Time.

Let’s say you already have talent (or enough knowledge and experience). But if you and your team are constantly occupied trying to make sure nothing breaks before/during/after each dreaded deployment, then you certainly won’t have time to put that talent to use on new things.

Spinnaker was built to relieve development teams from painful deployments. It offers two core features: cluster management to view and manage your resources in the cloud; and deployment management for CD workflows complete with advanced automated testing techniques. Thanks to these done-for-you processes, you no longer have to babysit during deployment and can use your talents to delight users with hare-brained innovations instead.

Set yourself up for bigger, better opportunities

While many companies are still stuck in the traditional software delivery life cycle, you likely don’t want to work for old-timers like them. Forward-thinkers like Google, Amazon, and, of course, Netflix are all about CD. But it’s not just them, open source platforms like Spinnaker are being adopted worldwide at a rapid rate.

By becoming familiar with the tools and practices of CD now, you’ll be well-positioned to join a modern team where you have the flexibility and freedom to develop your knowledge and skills. You can start right this minute by downloading their latest ebook and jumping into the Slack channel to chat with their passionate open source community.

If you really want to go all the way, join us in Seattle this October for the annual Spinnaker Summit. Network with the brightest minds in software delivery and management, witness keynote speakers from Google and Netflix, and get the insider’s scoop on how Spinnaker is being extended around the world. Get your pass here, and we’ll see you there!

Jenny Medeiros is an engineer by degree turned writer by trade. She spent her first years working with Virtual Reality in South America before moving onto UX-focused Web Design and Development in Washington D.C. Now as a serial remote worker, she partners with tech-savvy companies to create content that helps people and computers understand each other better. In her spare time, she hangs with Netflix and often asks Alexa how to fold a fitted sheet.