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Legacy in a box

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Working with legacy code, especially large monoliths, is one of the most unsatisfying, high-friction experiences for developers. Although we caution against extending and actively maintaining legacy monoliths, they continue to be dependencies in our environments, and developers often underestimate the cost and time required to develop against these dependencies. To help reduce the friction, developers have used virtualized machine images or container images with Docker containers to create immutable images of legacy systems and their configurations. The intent is to contain the legacy in a box for developers to run locally and remove the need for rebuilding, reconfiguring or sharing environments. In an ideal scenario, teams that own legacy systems generate the corresponding boxed legacy images through their build pipelines, and developers can then run and orchestrate these images in their allocated sandbox more reliably. Although this approach has reduced the overall time spent by each developer, it has had limited success when the teams owning the downstream dependencies have been reluctant to create container images for others to use.

History for Legacy in a box

Mar 2017
Trial?

Working with legacy code, especially large monoliths, is one of the most unsatisfying, high-friction experiences for developers. Although we caution against extending and actively maintaining legacy monoliths, they continue to be dependencies in our environments, and developers often underestimate the cost and time required to develop against these dependencies. To help reduce the friction, developers have used virtualized machine images or container images with Docker containers to create immutable images of legacy systems and their configurations. The intent is to contain the legacy in a box for developers to run locally and remove the need for rebuilding, reconfiguring or sharing environments. In an ideal scenario, teams that own legacy systems generate the corresponding boxed legacy images through their build pipelines, and developers can then run and orchestrate these images in their allocated sandbox more reliably. Although this approach has reduced the overall time spent by each developer, it has had limited success when the teams owning the downstream dependencies have been reluctant to create container images for others to use.

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