Conway's Law: The Skeleton of Devops

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    08-Sep-2014
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Devops is about communication. In order to make better software, we seek out diverse viewpoints, use a common vocabulary, and encourage transparency. But despite all this focus on communication, we don't have much of a framework to guide our decisions. "Should we do continuous integration?" "Why not? People seem to like that." "What about ChatOps?" "Sure, yeah; it works for GitHub." Well, there's a half-forgotten rule -- first stated 46 years ago -- that can guide us through these decisions. It's called Conway's Law: Organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. I'll show how Conway's Law is derived, how it's been empirically tested, and how it informs so much of what we do in devops. I want my audience to walk away with a new tool for spreading devops, shaping cross-team communication, and moving forward with confidence.

Transcript of Conway's Law: The Skeleton of Devops

  • the skeleton of devops conways law
  • hello i am dan slimmon danslimmon.com dan@danslimmon.com github.com/danslimmon twitter.com/danslimmon danslimmon.wordpress.com
  • hello i am dan slimmon im in ops exosite blue state digital
  • what works in devops LETS DO CHATOPS! k
  • what works in devops
  • what works in devops LETS DO CHEF! k
  • what works in devops
  • what works in devops
  • what works in devops
  • theory theory gets a bad rap
  • theory a theory is a set of rules that generates predictions about the behavior of a system
  • theory experiments weed out false theories theories tell us what experiments to do
  • theory hydrogen emission lines
  • theory rydberg formula derived in 1888
  • theory 1888 - 1913 in atomic physics:
  • theory
  • theory
  • whoa oh mans HOLY SHIT Z O M G
  • theory theories can be tested theories allow us to share understanding theories point the way to innovation
  • devops theory devops is a system
  • devops theory silo destruction infrastructure as code continuous integration empathy blameless post- mortems measure all the things chatops
  • devops theory silo destruction infrastructure as code continuous integration empathy blameless post- mortems measuring everything chatops communication
  • conways law How Do Committees Invent? Melvin Conway, 1968 http://tinyurl.com/conwayslaw
  • conways law organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations
  • conways law to the extent that an organization is not completely flexible in its communication structure, that organization will stamp out an image of itself in every design it produces
  • conways law if you have 4 groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler eric s. raymond
  • conways law proof
  • conways law proof
  • conways law consider some system and the organization which designed it
  • conways law system: organization:
  • conways law system: organization:
  • conways law system: organization: ?
  • conways law system: organization:
  • conways law new system: organization: um...
  • conways law new system: organization:
  • conways law your org structure isn't solving your problem. it's an artifact of how you've solved it before. adam jacob
  • conways law architectural innovations destroy the usefulness of the architectural knowledge of established firms architectural innovation: the reconfiguration of existing product technologies and the failure of established firms. henderson, r. & clark, k. 1990.
  • conways law in devops whats this got to do with devops?
  • conways law in devops we continuously redesign our systems to make them better and to adjust to changing stimuli so we must do the same for our team structures
  • conways law in devops chatops
  • chatops system: organization: ?
  • chatops system: organization:
  • chatops system: organization:
  • conways law in devops infrastructure as code
  • infrastructure as code rubby rubby rubby #!/bin/bash
  • infrastructure as code
  • conways law in devops devops is a special case of conways law we mold our communication structure into the shape we want for our system
  • theory is a conversation agree with me or, even better, disagree with me
  • theory is a conversation organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations