Introducing: Zen and the Art of Microservices

Dennis Schmidt wrote a book called “Way-farer”, which plays in some distant future (as envisioned back in 1978) where men have come to the planet of Kensho. In it, a young man called Jerome starts on his road to enlightenment through the Way of the Sword. In the mountains it is rumored that a Master lives, who might teach him, if he manages to convince the Master to do so. He eventually finds the master, and, when confronting him with his request, is denied. He perseveres however, and eventually the master confronts him about his motives. This confrontation is perfectly reusable for the quest of many into the “Way of Microservices”. So here is my adaptation:

The Master squatted, peering into his eyes, his face only a few inches from Jerome’s.
“Who are you?” Abrupt. Harsh.
“What are you?”
“A Seeker.”
“What do you seek?”
“The Way of the Microservice.”

The question reverberated through Jerome’s entire being. Why, why, why, why, why, why……? Because microservices had shattered his market. Because microservices would bring high performance and instant scalability. Because microservices would allow him to quickly adapt to the changing world. Because microservices would allow him to use the latest cool technology and gain him the respect of his colleagues. But also because microservices were actually proving to bring the exact opposite, crashing in the most inopportune moments and losing him customers. Because his operations department said they could not guarantee stability if developers constantly changed their platforms and tools. Because Gartner was saying microservices were essential, but at the same time fiendishly complex to get right. Because microservices…. why, why, why, why, why? Why? A million “Becauses.”
The Master waited. Jerome must answer, something, anything.
And Jerome knew the answer was crucial. He knew his whole future hung on it. He knew the Master would accept or reject him on the basis of it.
He had no answer.
“I don’t know.”

With a grunt, the Master rose and stood looking down on him. “Well, at least you are honest. You don’t know the reason you want to study the Way. Or rather, you know too many reasons. Your mind is like a flock of birds, each bird a reason, each seeking to roost on a single limb. As soon as one settles, another lands and jostles the first off the limb.”
Confused, Jerome blurted, “What must I do? Must I allow only one bird to land? Must I get rid of the others?”
“Rid yourself of all the birds. And the limb.”

The search for the Way of the Microservice is the search for quality. Microservices are a way of achieving that, but not because they are Microservices. It is because of what they stand for.

Welcome to “Zen and the Art of Microservices.”

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