Containers: What Did We Learn?
2017-10-21, 13:45–14:00 (UTC), Event Loft

Containers: love 'em or hate 'em -- whether you think they're the hottest new thing or yesteryear's same ideas in new clothing -- the both rapid and sustained rate of adoption of recent container technologies says one thing clearly: We Were Missing Something. But what, exactly? And have we found "it"? Or are we just beginning to uncover something new about the way we all, in our deepest hearts, wish computers would be? In this talk, we'll survey where containers came from, and question where they’re going: a discussion that crosses package management, releasing, deployment, immutability, reproducibility, and questions how meanings of all these things are now changing.

Containers have brought a lot of new patterns and behaviors into focus. For example, atomic deploys have become part of everyday conversation; fully captured dependencies and snapshots are now the norm; and the very concept of "releasing" software is beginning to morph.

But many of these concepts -- at least, as implemented in popular container systems today -- seem to be somewhere between poorly integrated or outright in conflict with our present understanding of "package managers" and "config management".

What do containers need to learn from the decades of package management before today? And what hints do the package managers we all know and love need to take from the explosion of containers? Containers are an exciting opportunity to revisit many of our oldest assumptions about how to design systems: let's take this opportunity to think carefully and ask tough questions.