Context over Control: How Netflix gives every developer access to Production

Dec 31, 2019 by DROdio

At the 2019 Spinnaker Summit, I interviewed Andy Glover, Director of Delivery Engineering at Netflix about how Netflix uses Spinnaker. Andy provided some great software development cultural takeaways in these two videos:

Context over Control + how Spinnaker works inside Netflix:

1) Netflix has a “learning culture” that believes in context over control. Netflix uses Spinnaker to provide a “safe to try” environment that creates  psychological safety inside the organization (via safety nets like canary deployments, 1-click rollbacks, chaos engineering, etc) that Production level access for developers won’t break customer trust and nuke the entire user base when developers ship code. If you’d like to dig further into this topic, I recommend:

2) Spinnaker inside of Netflix is an intelligent software delivery orchestration platform that codifies the culture of software delivery across teams. Andy also talked about how Spinnaker inside Netflix plugs into many proprietary Netflix systems, acting as an intelligent software delivery orchestration platform – and how Armory and others in the community are building a plug-in framework to reproduce this SDLC intelligence in open-source Spinnaker for Global 2,000 enterprises.

“We run open-source Spinnaker, but we’ve customized it a ton to make Netflix developers’ lives easier and more value-add. A lot of those customizations aren’t available in the wild because what we customized against [inside Netflix] itself isn’t open source.” – Andy Glover, Director, Delivery Engineering at Netflix

The Culture of Software Delivery: How every Developer has access to Production at Netflix

In this video, Kate MacAleavey, Armory’s Head of Culture and Leadership Development and I talk with Andy about the overlap between culture and software delivery:

  • How Spinnaker enables a culture of software delivery with a notion of guardrails over gates
  • How Netflix can give all of its developers access to production, and use Spinnaker create a safe to try environment of psychological safety
  • How Spinnaker enables a growth mindset inside companies
  • How Spinnaker enables Netflix to be a learning company
  • How Spinnaker scales engineering concepts like blameless retros across the company by introducing resiliency through chaos engineering to identify issues before they cause a mass-scale breakage of customer trust, and introduce guardrails instead of gates to create a golden path to production
  • How Armory is building a culture that works like Spinnaker
  • How organizations treat complex systems as if they were complicated ones

“About the fear of giving developers freedom: We have a service called API that’s the front door for Netflix for the billions of devices that run Netflix. We show new Netflix employees that ‘you can delete that’… that’s very empowering. As complexity rises, many companies create gates because they don’t trust their people… they put in more rules and rigid things to battle that fear – but what it does is just make people miserable.” – Andy Glover, Director, Delivery Engineering at Netflix

If you’d like to learn more, I recommend Isaac’s Spinnaker Summit keynote on how Spinnaker enables companies to trust their developers.

Recently Published Posts

3 Common Spinnaker Challenges (and Easy Ways to Solve Them)

Sep 27, 2022

Spinnaker is the most powerful continuous delivery tool on the market.  DevOps engineers and developers recognize this power and are looking to use Spinnaker as a foundational tool in their Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Such a powerful, expansive open source tool needs expertise within your organization to […]

Read more

Streamline Advanced Kubernetes Deployments from GitHub Actions with New Armory Service

Sep 23, 2022

Today, Armory is excited to announce the availability of the GitHub Action for Armory Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service. GitHub is where developers shape the future of software. After a developer writes and tests their code in GitHub, it must be deployed. Armory’s GitHub Action for Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service extends the best-in-class deployment capabilities to Kubernetes. CD-as-a-Service enables declarative […]

Read more

When everyone is facing the same headwind, go on the offensive

Sep 12, 2022

Call me Pollyanna, but what a great time to be a Platform or DevOps engineer. If you’re working in a public company, the S&P is off ~20% year over year, so the value of your RSUs has wilted. If you’re working in a private company, venture funding and M&A velocity are anemic, making expansion capital […]

Read more