My question that I want to share in this article is whether the public cloud is truly an instrument of liberation from technological annoyances, or an instrument of caging our professional freedom within technical enclosures that the professional elites has designed for all. Who says that a company cannot develop following new and innovative approaches, opening to the latest technological challenges, without being forced to use what others force us to use?
I perfectly know that the public cloud has opened up new and unexplored possibilities, until now, for transforming the creation and management of complex software infrastructures in a faster and more flexible way.
The ability to create and deploy automatically and fastly has also improved, for the developers and the administrators of networks and systems, the capacity to release better software life cycle management with less implementation costs and timing for the management of complex software and network. The benefits seem obvious and are now unanimously accepted and not questioned.
But, as an IT systems engineer, I wonder if all this has a price to pay, perhaps hidden, for our professional creativity and freedom of expression. Do We truly feel free and fulfilled to use tools that others have thought of for us, convincing us or perhaps deluding us, behind the benefits of an economy of scale not replicated? Does it allow to us to be able to fully exploit our ideas and creativity? What will the social costs have in terms of inspiration and creativity for the new IT enginers?
The freedom to create new systems models, according to our needs, that respect requirements of robustness, high availability, scalability, security, without using the famous managed services provided by public cloud- GKE, EKS, ALB, S3, Dynamo DB, RDS, Datastore, Bigquery, Reedshift, etc. – can be reached satisfying a sense of greater fulfillment and satisfaction to the IT staff which translates into greater enthusiasm and availability to the business cause?
Why should I use a coster Application Load balancer when it’s possible to make more and better with a simple nginx o haproxy? The public answer says that it was created to be the top from all points of view, but does this, that someone outside of us thought and implemented, life fills us with with meaning and enthusiasm? Does it to contribute to create technicians who will truly realize themselves in their work?
It’s difficolt to answers to this questions, even if a first approach could be to only consider the benefits, actually true, and a avoid going to the bottom of the ethical and professional implications, but We have the responsability to think to these impacts of a IT world completely public cloud based.
In this perspective, We have the duty to think of the young engineers who will grow up under the shadow of the cloud, completely skipping that path of efforts and experiences that securely gave to us so much imagination and creativity, which was the basis of those who thought and created all this. Will the society of technicians be, in this way, truly free to explore solutions with critical and constructive spirit?
Moreover, We never forget the social role of job, which is the basis of worker’s dignity that is enhanced and realized when. by working, everyone is truly able to express creativity, autonomy and free way.
Basically the will of a few engineers, paid for fees by large global corporations, has built a fence where all the others can wag their tails under the illusion of being free instead they are free, at best, to go from one fence to another without wondering if there is an alternative to all this. Does all this is so inevitable?
Dont’ worry because I too am one of those little dogs that now wags its tail inside these enclosures but I start to wonder if it is not worth doing just like Jonathan Livingston who, in the name of freedom, decided to go and explore unknown and ineplored worlds. but if that makes sense, which half to go? Honestly I do not know.
It will be sentimental and utopian, but if we do not try to imagine new spaces and worlds to the public cloud, it will end up being the only possible way and, especially for the new engineers generation, the risk to become a limit to our imagination and creativity could be real.
Here is what we risk: a IT world without freedom, imagination and courage to risk.