Programming for the Unhappy Path with Jeff Ramnani
Episode 1123rd March 2023 • Collaborative Craft • 8th Light
00:00:00 00:27:31

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Will AI take our jobs? If only software was that simple. New technologies have a way of sparking our imagination in ways that don’t match the frustrating realities of integrating complex systems. Even a tool as thrilling as ChatGPT will only ever be able to work with what you give it, and integrations are full of underlying tradeoffs and contradictions at deeper levels of a system.

Low-code and no-code solutions can be convenient ways for teams to expand their capabilities within the happy-path use cases, but what happens when it’s time to pivot, and you need to add new software to your workflow? How can you innovate without causing a drag on your organization’s broader tech ecosystem?

In this episode, Jerome talks with Jeff Ramnani, principal crafter at 8th Light, about his recent internal talk, provocatively titled: Declarative Systems are a Lie. In this, he made a case for rethinking assumptions about some popular DevOps tools and considering downstream implications when making architectural decisions. 

  • (02:50) - What the heck is a declarative system
  • (06:07) - When the system gets in the way of the solution
  • (08:58) - Relative complexity of Chef vs Ansible
  • (12:12) - Falling off the happy path
  • (14:33) - Integrating no-code/low-code solutions
  • (18:43) - How kludges are born
  • (19:17) - Mind the escape hatch
  • (23:07) - Living with legacy decisions

Jeff Ramnani is an experienced software professional who has helped uncover and resolve issues across various layers of the tech stack, with a focus on building infrastructure operations tools that enable teams to be more productive and deliver high-quality software. Throughout his career, Jeff Ramnani has helped clients of all different sizes design and develop software systems that are robust and flexible to their needs. Since joining 8th Light, he has built on his generalist, technology-agnostic skill set to become a Technical Expert in DevOps.

Jerome Goodrich leads amazing software teams to design and develop thoughtful solutions to complex problems as a principal software crafter at 8th Light. He loves pairing strenuous hikes with deep conversations and is always trying to see things clearly and with an open heart. Jerome lives much of his life off of the internet, but he occasionally writes on his website.

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