Process-as-Code #c9d9

Michael Wittig – 24 Aug 2016

DevOps at scale requires predictability and consistency. Your application code is versioned. Infrastructure-as-code defines your environments. But what about the process?

On Tuesday I participated in an online panel on the subject of Process-as-Code, as part of Continuous Discussions (#c9d9), a series of community panels about Agile, Continuous Delivery and DevOps.

Watch a recording of the panel:

Continuous Discussions is a community initiative by Electric Cloud, which powers Continuous Delivery at businesses like SpaceX, Cisco, GE and E*TRADE by automating their build, test and deployment processes.

Below are a few insights from my contribution to the panel:

What is Process-as-Code

Let me use Jenkins and a software delivery pipeline as an example:

  • At the beginning, only the source code was version controlled. Jenkins contained all the information that was needed to build, test and deploy the application.
  • Then we moved the build, test, and deploy scripts into version control and Jenkins only contained the information about what scripts to execute in which order.
  • Now we put the whole pipeline under version control, and Jenkins only knows where to get the process configuration from to execute it.

So process as code is two things: a description of the process and a runtime environment that can execute that description.

Best Practices

  • Idempotent process steps that can run asynchronously and can be retried.
  • Having a descriptive language for your process and let an execution engine figures out how to execute the process description.
  • We use a lot of Amazon tooling: CloudFormation, Code Pipeline, and Lambda.

Michael Wittig

Michael Wittig

I’ve been building on AWS since 2012 together with my brother Andreas. We are sharing our insights into all things AWS on cloudonaut and have written the book AWS in Action. Besides that, we’re currently working on bucketAV and marbot.

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