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Zero DevOps

Quick thoughts on this whole zero DevOps movement:

If you look around in the developer tooling space right now, you’ll see a ton of companies competing with the likes of AWS, Azure, and GCP - not on performance or features, but on developer experience.

I’ll never forget how easy it was to ship my first Rails app to production with Heroku. It was freaking magic ✨ Super straightforward steps in an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand guide 💆

Contrast that with the experience of setting-up a Rails app on AWS. The absolute nightmare of figuring out IAM or even which of their diner’s menu worth of products you should be using isn’t worth it to get started 😭 If there’s a certification for using your product, as a developer, I honestly want nothing to do with it 🙅‍♀️

With Heroku being all but sunset by Salesforce, there have been other entrants into this zero/low/no DevOps category. On the full-stack and backend side of the house, you’ve got Railway, Render, Supabase,, and more. There’re the DB-centric ones with fauna, Hasura, PlanetScale, etc. And even frontend-focused companies with Netlify and Vercel leading the way.

It’s no secret that the major cloud providers have robust and clunky UI’s that are difficult to navigate and understand (unless that’s your whole job). As a developer building a side project, a technical founder building an MVP, or even a small team at a startup with limited resources, a zero DevOps stack just makes sense. You’re able to spend less time in configuration and more time building what you have yet to prove in the market.

Right now I’m building a side-product in Rails. It requires the web service itself (the Rails app), PostgreSQL (DB), a Redis service, and Sidekiq service. To be honest, I don’t even know where I would begin to set that up with AWS or the like. With Render, I was able to setup my entire architecture (and systems communicating properly with each other) in the breaks of a single work day 😮

What I’m overpaying for in infrastructure cost, I’m getting back ten-fold in time spent developing user-facing features (not to mention the reduction in stress). And I’ll gladly take that deal every single time.