We got an invitation to give a lecture about the “state of play” on Web2 and Web3 technologies. The crowd were students at Algebra University College and the topics discussed could be a small eye-opener on our industry future.
DevOps Practices: A New Standard for Students
Interestingly, the first talking point that piqued the students’ interest was the realm of DevOps practices. Questions flew about blue/green deployments, a strategy that reduces downtime and risk by running two identical production environments. Only one of the environments is live at any given time, where the ‘blue’ environment represents the current release and the ‘green’ stands for the new release.
Equally intriguing for the future tech professionals was the discussion around maintaining web uptime. It’s not just about ensuring that a website is accessible; it’s about the intricate dance of load balancing, real-time monitoring, and incident response that keeps the digital heartbeat of a company steady.
And when it comes to Service Level Agreements (SLAs), the conversation turned to our commitment to customers—how do we quantify, guarantee, and uphold the promises of service reliability and performance?
Project Management: More Than Just Buzzwords
Our second focal point shifted to project management methodologies. The students were keen to understand the structured approach of Waterfall, with its sequential design process, versus the flexibility of Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban.
Scrum, with its sprints, backlogs, and scrum roles, offers a framework that fosters quick pivots and iterative development. Kanban, in contrast, visualizes workflow and emphasizes work in progress (WIP) limits to improve flow and efficiency.
This led us to the billing models: Time and Materials versus Fixed Price. We discussed how Time and Materials allow for flexibility and adaptation to changing project scopes, while Fixed Price contracts set a clear budget but can be restrictive when project paths diverge from the initial plan.
Business Ethics: The Heart of the Matter
The third and most profound point of discussion was business ethics. Can we, as a company, decline a project on ethical grounds? The answer is as complex as the question. We delved into the reality that businesses do have the power to choose and that sometimes, the moral compass must guide the ship.
Moreover, what happens when an individual’s personal values are at odds with a project? For instance, if a vegan developer at Neuralab is assigned to a meat industry eCommerce project, do they have the right to step back? The discussion opened up a nuanced conversation about workplace ethics, individual rights, and company culture. TLDR: Neuralab hosts a lot of internal workshops on how we approach these topics and while this is not hard-science, we try to give our employees a choice of whether they will be included in a project or not.
Conclusion: A Reflection on Our Shared Future
As the lecture concluded, it was clear that these topics struck a chord with the students. They are not just learning about technology; they are grappling with the societal implications and ethical dimensions of their future roles. As we move forward, bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3, between robust management methodologies and ethical practices, we are indeed shaping an industry that is as much about human values as it is about surprising technological advancement. Students were, for instance, surprised that one of the killer Web3 applications are not transfers of BTC or ETH, but stablecoins 🙂
This lecture was not just an eye-opener for the students but also a reflective mirror for us at Neuralab, reminding us of the continuous evolution of the tech landscape and our place within it.