If you work in DevOps, what does the metaverse mean for you?
It's a bit early to say, of course. The metaverse is still very much a work in progress.
But it's never too early to speculate. So, let's take a look at five ways the metaverse may impact DevOps teams and whether they are up for metaverse challenges.
Continuous Delivery Becomes More Important Than Ever
As other folks have already observed, the ability to deliver continuous updates using DevOps processes will be critical to running a dynamic metaverse environment.
Continuous updates are valuable for virtually any application, of course, not just for the metaverse. But in general, the metaverse is likely to force organizations to double-down on their investment in continuous delivery pipelines, in part to meet the unprecedented demand for rapid change and innovation that the metaverse will demand.
Metaverse Gives New Meaning to Digital Experience Monitoring
When we talk about observability and digital experience monitoring today, we usually mean optimizing the ways that digital systems impact the overall end-user experience of human users.
But in the metaverse, the meaning of "human" user will change because users will exist in fully virtual environments that mimic actual human environments. As a result, we may see DevOps teams start to think in new ways about what it means to optimize the user experience.
For example, how should DevOps teams handle a disruption where a human user can't connect to an avatar? Should the avatar remain active in the virtual metaverse world, continuing to interact with other virtual characters? Or should avatars become inactive until the human-avatar connection can be restored?
These are questions that don't even really make sense in other contexts, but that will be important for the way DevOps teams manage the metaverse.
Design Assumes Newfound Importance for DevOps
At its core, DevOps is about enabling collaboration between developers and IT operations teams.
But in a metaverse-centric world, we may see closer connections between designers and DevOps teams, too. The reason why is simple: In the metaverse, sophisticated, dynamic UI will be critical to delivering a delightful end-user experience — arguably much more so than in the world of traditional applications, where interfaces are simpler and interface design mistakes are more forgivable.
So, if you're a DevOps engineer accustomed to thinking in terms of code alone, the metaverse may require you to start to think like — and associate with — designers, too.
The Metaverse Extends New DevOps Tools and Platforms
For DevOps engineers who already feel overwhelmed by the number of tools and platforms they need to master, the metaverse may be bad news, in the sense that it will introduce yet more stacks for DevOps teams to learn and support.
In addition to new metaverse platforms from companies like Microsoft and Nvidia, the metaverse is likely to spawn new types of observability, deployment, and possibly even software engineering tools. There could be development frameworks and cloud services tailored to the metaverse, too.
Thus, DevOps teams that support metaverse environments will have to expand their tool sets — and skill sets — that much further.
The Metaverse Means More Integrations
Almost by definition, the metaverse is not a single platform or tool. Instead, it's a complex combination of tools, platforms, and services that are loosely linked together to build virtual, 3D environments.
What this means for DevOps teams is that managing integrations between disparate platforms and services will become even more important in the age of the metaverse. There will be even more APIs to handle; more integrations to configure, test, and deploy; and more variables to worry about when troubleshooting performance and availability issues.
Conclusion: DevOps Teams Are Up for Metaverse Challenges
In some ways, the shift to the metaverse may sound intimidating for DevOps teams. It adds complexity and new challenges to their workdays.
The good news, however, is that DevOps engineers have seen this show before. In many respects, the coming of the metaverse is not unlike the coming of the cloud, which also created all sorts of new challenges in areas such as observability, tooling, and continuous delivery. DevOps teams met those challenges, and they can handle metaverse challenges with aplomb, too — but only if they adapt some of their most basic tools and practices to fit a metaverse-centric world.