This is the second in a series of posts from the technical staff that GE Software had on the ground at Cloud Foundry Summit. Check out the first post and read on to find out Rik’s thoughts on the summit and what GE Software announced there.
Cloud Foundry is a cloud-computing platform as a service (PaaS) originally developed by VMware and now owned by Pivotal Software - a joint venture by EMC, VMware and GE. Cloud Foundry is available as open source software and the commercial variant called Pivotal Cloud Foundry provides additional tooling and support. Cloud Foundry (CF) is getting play in retail, automotive, financial, industrial, healthcare, and government sectors. And now Cloud Foundry is the PaaS layer for GE Software’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet.
The new era of industry is demanding new approaches to software development. GE is ushering in the future by embracing open source software, building on Cloud Foundry, and contributing to the community in new ways.
If a turbine speaks and no one hears it, did it make a sound?
Applications within Cloud Foundry have been limited to using the HTTP protocol, which is insufficient for industrial needs. Up to this point, Cloud Foundry apps have not been able to work directly with other communication protocols so the apps needed to live outside or make use of communication helpers.
These external apps have to be managed and scaled outside the PaaS, but now GE Software is making “TCP Router” available to the community. The TCP Router enables non-HTTP communication protocols that are common in industrial settings such as MQTT, CoAP, and DDS. Now when that turbine speaks, Cloud Foundry will be able to hear it directly.
Wake me up before you dojo
GE Software also recently announced the creation of the Industrial Dojo. Patterned after the Pivotal Labs Dojo Program, this dojo allows developers to master their domain by working shoulder to shoulder with experienced engineers. Dojo programs typically run from six to twelve weeks. In order to be accepted into a Dojo program, developers are interviewed for their ability to learn and their capacity for empathy. This is strikingly different from traditional job interviews where mastery of skills is usually the focus.
As Zach Auerbach, a Cloud Foundry engineer at Pivotal explained it, “When you are working as part of a pair, you can become more than the sum of two people. And the key to achieving that enhanced productivity is the ability to pick up on non-verbal and other cues that signal your pair’s mental state.” In person, you can pick up on when someone is lost in thought on the verge of a breakthrough. In this case, you just need to give your pair a moment to figure something out, but when they are confused, you need to slow down and help them.
Agile is table stakes in the DevOps world
At this point in the world of enterprise software companies, agile is simply the expected way to build software. The days of working with customers to get a bunch of requirements and then disappearing for a few months before showing a POC are over. By building on Cloud Foundry, our developers are leveraging a modern DevOps infrastructure to push Predix solutions to a wide variety of global cloud infrastructures, optimizing the physical infrastructure that makes our lives possible in the process.