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To Better Understand Developer Challenges, Read This

By Hayden Smith

Developers will be the first to tell you that their job is often misunderstood. All the wacky names, abstract concepts and technical complexities can make it hard for others to understand what they do all day, much less what causes on-the-job frustration. This is especially true in organizations where leaders may not have any background or experience in computer science, yet software and application development has become part of the mission.

To give you some insight, I’ve curated four articles that describe problems your developers (and really all developers!) must tackle. Click through and gain a new appreciation for these important colleagues.

  1. While you commute or eat lunch, listen to this podcast interview with Kelsey Hightower, one of the most recognized names in the Kubernetes space. He describes the role of Kubernetes clusters in managing applications. This is a great way to understand (or solidify) the basics of Kubernetes as well as common challenges.
  2. With a foundation of Kubernetes in mind, you’ll want to read this next article about Kubernetes costs. It will convince you that with tight government budgets, managing cloud service costs is never as easy as it sounds.
  3. Here’s a case study that lays out exactly what went wrong with the SolarWinds breach, laying out the necessary changes in software security. The details will have you empathizing with breach victims and considering your own ability to be a target or victim. This is a great warm-up read before you dive deeper into newer security requirements that aim to solve known vulnerabilities.
  4. Dinos and dogs explain zero trust identity security in this quick read. You’ll also get the top benefits of zero trust as software supply chain security continues to rise in frequency and importance.

Having a deeper understanding of the challenges your developers face on a daily basis can help you with expectations, communication, and appreciation for their role. It also might give you new insight into their changing budget requests and workforce needs. Few other aspects of operations have as many constraints and complexity.

Hayden Smith is a senior engineer with Anchore, a software container security company. Currently, Smith leads developer projects across the Defense Department (DoD) and numerous federal agencies to help government organizations adopt DevSecOps best practices. His work includes building and automating Platform One, a collection of hardened and approved containers for use across agencies.

Smith’s dedication to advancing safe cloud-native development practices has been able to guide, empower, equip and accelerate DoD programs through their DevSecOps journeys. Prior to joining Anchore, Smith was a DevOps and infosecurity technologist with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked extensively on FedRAMP compliance. You can connect with Anchore on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Interested in becoming a Featured Contributor? Email topics you’re interested in covering for GovLoop to [email protected]. And to read more from our summer/fall 2021 Cohort, here is a full list of every Featured Contributor during this cohort and a link to their stories.

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