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Bridget Kromhout - Containers will not fix your broken culture (and other hard truths)

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Published on May 29, 2016

Containers will not fix your broken culture. Microservices won’t prevent your two-pizza teams from needing to have conversations with one another over that pizza. No amount of industrial-strength job scheduling makes your organization immune to Conway’s Law.

Does this mean that devops has failed? Not in the slightest. It means that while the unscrupulous might try to sell us devops, we can’t buy it. We have to live it; change is a choice we make every day, through our actions of listening empathetically and acting compassionately.

Making thoughtful decisions about tools and architecture can help. Containers prove to be a useful boundary object, and deconstructing systems to human-scale allows us to comprehend their complexity. We succeed when we share responsibility and have agency, when we move past learned helplessness to active listening. But there is no flowchart, no checklist, no shopping list of ticky boxes that will make everything better. “Anyone who says differently is selling something”, as The Princess Bride teaches us.

Part rant, part devops therapy, this talk will explain in the nerdiest of terms why CAP theorem applies to human interactions too, how oral tradition is like never writing state to disk, and what we can do to avoid sadness as a service.

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