When you are really invested, you worry

I watched a couple of guys help each other today. One of them wanted to test out a dory by paddling it around the harbor before selling it. The other didn’t want anything to do with the water on such a nice day.

I only began to take notice when the other pulled up to the local dock hurriedly, backing in to a double-spot closest to the water. Since we share a share a small neighborhood with him, I said hi and asked how his Thanksgiving was going. He told me fine and what his other was doing and how long it would take him to appear in the cove.

In previous years, I might have lauded how awesome it was that his elderly friend was rowing around in open water, but today I quickly and carefully responded by saying “oh” and asking him “how do you feel about that”? He sort of muttered quietly first and then said loudly “oh, it’s fine, he does things like this all the time”, and wouldn’t look me in the eye. After some chit-chat we moved off each other’s company, and in about 10 minutes, his friend’s two-person row boat peaked out from behind one of the lobster boats docked in the bay, with a guy in it, rowing slowly and steadily.

After navigating past the dock and to the rocks where the truck was parked, they carefully collected the small dory out of the water and navigated it up into the truck bed. The rower then proceeded to fasten the protruding boat to the truck with ropes and carabiners while the driver stood patiently out of the way enjoying the 50 degree holiday weather, free of anxiety and grateful for the salty harbor air.

When two people live together for the better part of their lives, like an odd couple mirroring the dynamics of other married couples, they develop a deep emotional connection to each other, the sweet bitterness of co-dependency. It is the bond formed between people who see more and more into each other, the wonders and the flaws, the longer they captivate each other’s curiosity and souls.

The best part of it is, there are dozens of examples of this fine form of relationship in my neighborhood. Men devoted to each other, women who have known from their first meeting that they were meant to live life together, and every other kind of relationship you can think of too. Single moms. Single dads. Parents of young and old. Grandparents. Young parents. Parents twice and thrice over. Kids made of the most creative and kind things in the known cosmos. Couples, singles, veterans, retirees. Humanitarians. Artists. Engineers.

It takes all kinds. It takes these guys, to make a world. We’re better for having them in it. They help us remember to follow the path of love back to each other.

Don’t Insult Technical Professionals

Some vendors look at analyst reports on API testing and all they see is dollar signs. Yes, API testing and virtualization has blown up over the past 5 years, and that’s why some companies who were first to the game have the lead. Lead position comes from sweat and tears, that’s how leaders catch the analysts attention in the first place; those who created the API testing industry, gained the community and analyst attention, and have the most comprehensive products that win. Every time.

There are snakes in the grass no matter what field you’re in

I recently had opportunity to informally socialize with a number of “competitors”, and as people are great people to eat tacos and burn airport wait time with. Unfortunately, their scrappy position in the market pushes them to do things that you can only expect from lawyers and pawn sharks. They say they’re about one thing in person, but their press releases and website copy betray their willingness to lie, cheat, and deceive actual people trying to get real things done.

In other words, some vendors proselytize about “API testing” without solid product to back up their claims.

I don’t like lying, and neither do you

One of my current job responsibilities is to make sure that the story my employer tells around its products accurately portray the capabilities of those products, because if they don’t, real people (i.e. developers, testers, engineers, “implementers”) will find out quickly and not only not become customers, but in the worst cases tell others that the story is not true. Real people doing real things is my litmus test, not analysts, not some theoretical BS meter.

Speaking of BS meter, a somewhat recent report lumped API “testing” with “virtualization” to produce a pie chart that disproportionately compares vendors market share, both by combining these two semi-related topics and by measuring share by revenue reported by the vendors. When analysts ask for things like revenue in a particular field, they generally don’t just leave the answer solely up to the vendor; they do some basic research on their own to prove that the revenue reported is an accurate reflection of the product(s) directly relating to the nature of the report. After pondering this report for months, I’m not entirely sure that the combination of the “testing” and “virtualization” markets is anything but a blatant buy-off by one or two of the vendors involved to fake dominance in both areas where there is none. Money, meet influence.

I can’t prove it, but I can easily prove when you’ve left a rotting fish in the back seat of my car simply by smelling it.

What this means for API testing

It means watch out for BS. Watch really closely. The way that some companies use “API testing” (especially in Google Ads) is unfounded in their actual product capabilities. What they mean by “testing” is not what you know as what’s necessary to ship great software. Every time I see those kinds of vendors say “we do API testing”, which is a insult to actual API testing, I seriously worry that they’re selling developers the illusion of having sufficient testing over their APIs when in reality it’s not even close.

Why your API matters to me

On the off-chance that I actually use it, I want your API to have been tested more than what a developer using a half-ass “testing” tool from a fledgling vendor can cover. I want you to write solid code, prove that it’s solid, and present me with a solid solution to my problem. I also want you to have fun doing that.

The API vendor ecosystem is not what it seems from the outside. If you have questions, I have honesty. You can’t say that about too many other players. Let’s talk if you need an accurate read on an analyst report or vendor statement.


Automating the Self: Social Media

I’m taking on the task of building an automation system for some of my online social engagement. Since I am not such a Very Important Person (yet :), the absolute worst that can happen is that one of my friend/followers shares something racist or sexist or *-ist that I wouldn’t otherwise agree with. Bad, but I can at least un-share or reply with an “I’m sorry folks, my robot and I need to talk” statement. But this leads to an interesting question:

What does it mean to imbue responsibility over my online persona to a digital system?

It’s not really that bizarre of a question to ask. We already grant immense amounts of control over our online profiles to the social primaries (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+). For most people, any trending app that wants access to “post to your timeline” is enough of a reason to grant full access to activities on behalf of your profile, though it shouldn’t. Every time you want to play Candy Crush or Farmville, you are telling King and Zynga that it’s okay for them to say whatever they want as if they were you to people in your network.

The more of a public figure you are, the more your risk goes up. Consider that Zynga is not at all incentivized to post bad or politically incorrect content to your network on your behalf. That’s not the problem. The problem is when (not if) the company behind a game gets hacked, as did Zynga in 2011. It happens all the time. It’s probably happened to you, and you stand to lose more than just face.

So what is the first thing to get right about automating social media?

Trust and security are the first priorities, even before defining how the system works. Automation rules are great except for when the activities they’re automating do not follow the rules of trust and responsibility that a human would catch in a heartbeat. There is no point to automation if it’s not working properly. And there’s no point in automation of social media if it’s not trustworthy.

For me at least in the initial phases of planning out what this system would look like, trust (not just “security”) will be a theme in all areas of design. It will be a question I ask early and often with every algorithm I design and every line of code I write. Speaking of algorithms, an early example of these rules go something like this (pseudo-code):



Quality Means Not Accepting Crap

Software. Hardware. Things. Opinions. Places. Excuses. Ideas.

Anyone can produce a cheap “affordable” solution. But details matter. How many cheap plastic things have broken in your hands unexpectedly, and were entirely disappointing in that moment?

My AirBnB is not that. I knew “quality” when I saw it. You can tell someone lived in this thing and made it convenient for them, then handed it off to you. That’s quality, making something that meets your own standards, then giving it to someone else.


I travel a lot, enough to know what matters on a trip. Leg room on the plane. Working wifi. Power plugs, everywhere. Politeness. Clean bathrooms. Details matter.

Conversely, a $300/night hotel room only to have plugs too far away from the bed, lamp toggle buttons that take so much effort to push that you push the lamp over, light switches that are harder to find than Carmen Sandiego; the annoyances all add up too. The lights in this camper that I’m staying in are easy to use and don’t cause me to cuss.


Same with software, details matter.

Quality software comes from people using their own product, living in it, fixing its flaws, and asking others how their experience with it is. In the tech industry, we call it “dogfooding” your own product. Believe me, it works.

People intrinsically know “quality” when they experience it. They pick up a phone, it’s heavy and solid, they think “that’s quality”. Conversely, they close a car door and it rattles or sounds hollow, they think “that’s cheap”. Even the sounds shipped with your mobile phone help to engineer your perception of the quality of the device.

Quality is in the details.

Oh, and BTW, I’d also rather put a constraint on myself not to over-drink and stumble into a $450/night on-premise room way too late at night to wake up on time the next morning. I have business to attend to. Knowing when to quit starts with looking at a ridiculous estimate and just saying no:


So, even at only 3 nights, this would have cost $1,350 just for a room I would be spending around 4-6 hours a night in, and not getting all the charms of an outside shower and condensation on the windows each morning. The AirBnB alternative for all three nights, just 60% as compared to JUST ONE NIGHT AT THE SHERATON!


I should have remembered to check the crime overlay though, but Uber is a cheap solution to that problem:


HackCU : An Example of Student Leadership

In an unused downstairs side room of a hotel, I listened to students from the University of Colorado express their desire to change the world, and their concerns about commercial interests moving in to poach talent from hackathons.

Alex Campbell, Alex Walling, and Nika Shafranov.

[Download as MP3]

HackCU is a Boulder-based hackathon incubator program that seeks to educate, inspire, and connect local students to technology and hands-on skills. It is at the cutting edge of technical education. It is student-led. It is well intentioned.

It is a way for students to arm themselves in the digital workforce when they can’t trust the technical market to treat them properly as employees. They teach each other how to code, design, and prove the value of their own technology.

I think this is great. These are the right people to be running this sort of thing. I’ll be keeping my eyes open about hackathon politics in the local area thanks to my conversations with these fine engineers.

My goal in engaging the two Alex’s and Nika, with help from Maria Sallis of StartupDigestCO and Lorinda Brandon‘s wise words, was to assist these students in any way a storyteller like me can: network the right people together, understand their challenges, and help them tell that story to a wider audience.

Much like the open source community (which I am far less a part of than I’d like to be), the communities of student-led hackathons are a brilliant place to hang out and listen, intellectually stimulating and ethically challenging. My own exploration of this space will take time.

Defrag 2015 == Legit

WP_20151111_007Defrag is legit. By “legit”, I go with the urban dictionary definitions in that it is “real”, “authentic”, “truthful”, generally a good thing.

Who am I? Just a guy who goes places and interacts with other real people, like this guy, Andy Rusterholtz who isn’t even on Twitter yet.

Keynotes (a.k.a. new friends)

Ramez Naam illustrated how our conscious perception of the world around us is very much a function of both sensory input and our memory of past input mixed together, never a perfect raw clear representation reality. He followed that up with proof that these squishy memories are entirely transmittable onto silicon. Want someone else’s memories? They’ll come mixed with yours, but we can do that now. He came in full Philip K. Dick style. This guy is within calling distance of Orson Scott Card via Wasteland 2 and Brin. Legit.

WP_20151112_028Mary Scotton put the whole keynote floor to rest with the depths of her compassion for considering the inequities of the industry around sexism, racism, and greed. Being inclusive is a responsibility we all share in common as humans who work for companies. Legit. She answered each of my quotes with a witty twitter mention to the original source of the quote or idea. Inclusive, ask Ben or anyone else she talked to, ever. Legit. “I don’t have to have the same kind of talk with my son that African American parents have to have with theirs…”, as she has a still photo of the Rodney King tragedy. Legit.

Bilal Zuberi. Great research. Great oration. Now that I’ve looked him up, typed hist name out, and referenced it in many conversations since yesterday, I’ll remember it well. His ideas for how much we should invest in reaching higher as a human race through technology and how the best leaders are formed; no problem remembering them now either. Are we really trying to get liquor to your door faster via mobile app, or should we maybe cure cancer first, then celebrate after? Legit.

CTpSvzmUsAAKgp8Lorinda Brandon. Mindful tech. It is socially irresponsible to let courts rule in favor of letting upskirt videos be taken, protected under “free speech” because they are recorded by a phone. What does that make a phone? Things don’t go away once you share them. Also, she put the kibosh on Google images as a way to help law enforcement crack down on illegal pools but not on illegal acts of law enforcement. Legit. She makes advocating for privacy the new gold standard for how to show which institutions and governments are leaders and which ones aren’t. Legit.

Lisa Kamm. Legit. Right after Lindy challenged Google’s propensity for privacy snarls, Lisa bounces back by showing us all that we need to get the fuck off our phones while in transit. We are not efficient at either when we do both at the same time. The only demonstration in her talk was her demonstrating how to navigate complex topics gracefully. Legit.

Kin Lane. A great mind behind honest ideas like APIware and APIs.json, a new format for how to describe the API lifecycle, something he invents in his spare time. Legit. Thinker of thoughts. Most terse person in the world if he wants to be, recently so about the OAI and about Swagger. You just gave all the students at Defrag (myself included) a map for how to build businesses around API tech. Legit.

[Transparency. I was not able to make a few of the sessions that I only heard people talking about afterwards. Duncan’s talk, for instance.]

Sam Ramji, we hope your shoulder feels better. Sad that you couldn’t come inspire us. Hello world demos aside, I will look for some time with you like I did with Phil Windley where we can talk about some stuff that is important.

Anya Stettler. Renegade developer evangelist at Avalara. What the hell is a tax company doing paying for a badass, beautiful brain such as hers to come and speak? Same thing that Capital One is doing by convincing Lorinda Brandon to join their team. It’s called financial technology, and it took over everything recently, did you know? Anya is shorter than I am, had more to drink than I did, and still kept going back and forth with Mick longer than I could. She knows who her people are. Legit.

David Nielsen. I missed his talk entirely, sat across from him a lot in two days, took no notice as he slept while sitting upright at “Indian” dinner with me and Emmanuel Paraskakis, only to wake up and lay down some serious story about working in India himself which to me at least made the already not-so-Indian food seem a less authentic. I still ate it up, his company and the food. Legit.

I could go on, but not really because I was busy having other conversations and missed all of day one and some of day two. Sad for me. Not legit. Also not legit, I missed the cloud foundry meetup last night.

The Legit Thing to Do: Say Thank You

Eric Norlin. Incubator. There were students all over this conference. A true sign of legit. I’ll post on this topic more tomorrow, better timing for them and for Maria at StartupDigestCO #GSB2015. Eric and these kids are enabling the next great thinkers and business owners to connect up and are helping them make good choices about their careers from day one. Legit.

Kim Norlin. Consummate professional host and organizer. Just being in her presence make me know I will never hold a conference myself. I’ll just ask her to either do it for a very hefty sum or a referral for someone else who can. She closed one of the bars down when there was no point in having it open anymore. Legit.

What’s Next?

I let some students speak their peace about getting poached like river trout by VCs and sponsors with dollars. I’ll post that tomorrow when I’ve had a few hours sleep between today and tomorrow, wait, no, today.

Also, I’ll be speaking at APIstrat in Austin next week, asking the question “how early is too early for childhood development around digital devices and #techlife?”

Peace to us all, especially those involved in the tragedy tonight which writing this article has acted to help me avoid breaking down about.



Defrag 2015 Beforemath

It’s interesting to see themes change year after year. At an event like Defrag or Gluecon, it’s hard to ignore the voraciousness of curiosity. Tinkering.

Of course I’m interested in pretty much all of the keynotes, especially Sam Ramji. Pivotal and all it’s incarnations has been of interest to me for for years, the foundation just caught my attention because of its focus on contribution.

Fact is, the back-half of the first day is all about APIs. That’s where I’ll be. That and the SmartBear booth between sessions. There are big differences between last year and this year, and not just my hair and shoes.


I come out here to have meaningful, real conversations. About everything, not just APIs, not just technology. I hope to elicit stories from people about their own experiences and challenges with the evolving connected landscape. As much as IoT isn’t a revenue thing right now, it is still in the forefront of my mind, on my radar and on the tip of my tounge.

Come find me.

Advocation for Open Source

Getting people to understand the true value of open source goes beyond just making easily digestible bullet points. I don’t mean the hyper-commercialized version of open source that dominates the software market today. I mean that open source software is a way in to the mind and heart of a programmer.

Programmer != “developer”

Programmers love code. They love to fix things. They love when something can be expressed in concrete terms. They love other people, though not all of them know that they express this through their code. They hate when something doesn’t work properly, just like a true engineer does. They dislike bullshit, in any form. They hate when something that should be free, isn’t.

DEF CON 22 pictures - AST_3546

The term “Developers” on the other hand is a concept that certain people invented, constructed, to create a marketplace of people that do first instead of consider first. Developers, not code, have been the new tech market for many years. Even well-meaning technical people sadly fall prey to the wholesale commoditization of humans who speak in computer languages and are easily caught up in the dark ocean of enterprise software.

I wish all the developers in the world well as I sail away and find a more honest place to keep my self and my code.

This guy worked as a developer, then he quit work

I have contributed to many open source projects over the years. Some I have taken too personally, some I have ignored, and some I squandered. Sadly, for me and this post, it cannot be verified, as I have used many faux-names and anonymous accounts to do so. I can’t even remember or trace them even if I tried. [heartache] [pause] [sigh]

In my youth, I didn’t realize how important contribution was. I thought that the concept of the ‘self’ was something to be avoided, ignored. Since that time, I understand how wasteful that viewpoint was. Contribution is a requisite now.

Open source software is the language of people who want to work together.

The problem with money

There’s something inherently wrong with a company that doesn’t regularly contribute back to the community, something very wrong and very rotten. Money is a really effective motivator. It is often also used as the only indicator of value in a marketplace. Shame on us for not looking deeper, because there are many metrics to human behavior and interest, the last of which is where people put their money. Ask anyone in sales, they’ll tell you that people’s interest is ultimately, but not initially gauged by their financial commitment. People will tell you if your thing, whatever that is, is bad or worth investing in; you just have to listen to the signs. And there’s no better way to do that than open source contributions as a metric for the veracity of your thing in the market..

I advocate for open source

One theme that emerges from my years into software is that contribution is key. Commercial, open source, whatever. Teams are made up of people, and to do something great, the more engaged and honest people you find, the better off you’ll be.

Side note: It is not enough to treat a non-profit as your contribution. The maintstream NPO mentality is that money is only necessary when it’s needed, desperately, in salaries, in budgets, and in planning. People are not created equal. We start at different places, with different perspectives, and claw our way to an egalitarian place. Some people have to work harder than others.

It is the job of those who don’t work as hard to help out those who work too much.

That is the spirit of open source to me. To help. That’s why I advocate open source now. It is help that causes people to put there money where their mouth is, in your product. To make money is to help first; the software equivalent of that is to contribute to open source, whatever way you can.

Swagger => OADF: Insider View

I still don’t get it. After multiple clarifications with a friend about the recent donation of the what-once-was-only-Swagger API description format to the OAI (Open API Initiative), I’m still confused as to why the contribution of the impartial format without what would be very one-sided contributions of tooling around the format is not the safest step to getting a long-term standard for everyone to benefit from into the public domain. I argue, it is, even if we don’t know how it will turn out.

Not at the cool kids table, what do I know?

I get that some people are feeling confusion, frustration, shock, and even disgust. I also hear people expressing relief, clarity, gratefulness, and vision. The world has far fewer thought-leaders and way more people who want standards they can build cool shit with, make some money and some good happen, and ultimately go home knowing things will generally work as designed again tomorrow.

I’m about to state some things, job whatever. I had no say in the way any of this played out, but we need someone to clarify that the insides of my corporate office is filled with good, fair, and driven people. This is not an evil empire, unlike some other soft competitors, this is where I work. Respectfulness and honesty are two of the Apache Way tenants, two that ring true for me and those I work with.

What are the facts IMO?

Fact: Certain entities owned the rights to the Swagger technology and brand, which for better or worse started as a format plus a cool name mingled together. It eventually became so useful that the format was open-sourced. Later, a company was able to navigate the financial and political mess that has been the API description format landscape for years, producing an API ecosystem standard as significant to real implementers as other open standards like HTTP, JPEG, and . Still, the brand has monetary value but the spec has much broader universal value, and so the spec was donated.

Fact: No one could “sell” the Swagger format is because it was already open source, and though the brand was still legal property, it has been managed with no misinformation or clandestine story behind it. When technology becomes part of a commons, it no longer makes sense to have one brand dominate the tooling and the vendor ecosystem. A separation of the format and the brand was necessary. To convolute the new OADF (Open API Description Format) by including tools that specific vendors donated but not including others would have been even worse an idea than not separating out the format from the brand, and persisting to do so doesn’t prevent these tools from being just as useful and successful as they were before the OAI changes.

Fact: People that truly helped the Swagger ecosystem get to where it is today deserve due credit for what they have done. Their contributions continue to be pivotal to the OADF because without a community, big companies that are already strong-arming the media with boku marketing budgets and completely horse shit press releases will take the OAI over and rule the connected world, one bad choice at a time. The community must maintain leadership in the OAI, and if there’s no room at that table for proven thought-leaders who have already spent years improving and evangelizing the importance of a format like Swagger, then shame on those who say they are leaders but are to busy making ends meet to ask for the right kind of help or spearhead truly pivotal contributions to the open web.

Fact: SPDY was a great start to fixing something, and I liken the work done at Google with the help of the whole industry to elevate much of the great ideas there into the formal HTTP 2.0 spec. Same with WebRTC, if only we could get proprietary chipset manufacturers to be adults and ship more than one optimized instruction set for video decoding on their silicon communion wafers. Much like the SPDY-to-HTTP2 evolution, the need for a standard API description format is long overdue, the OADF being a necessary leap forward which should have happened years ago.

What are we left with in the OADF?

I admire people who stand up for what they feel is right and who are vocal about what happens when things don’t go the way they expected them to. A brand is monetarily valuable, search and replace on the internet is not possible (I get that), and decision-makers usually make the decisions they are hired to make. That’s just how that works.

In the meantime, we have a standard open API description format now, frankly better than all the rest of them, and we can build on it just like all the other foundational technology that makes up the connected world we live in today. Brands are bullshit anyway. It’s the meaning of the thing behind the name that matters.

Peace, love, and internet for everyone.

Iteration, Maths, and Continuous Delivery

Recently I’ve been reading “Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid“. I also love to stare at trees, and this morning while waiting for the train, something occurred to me: “What is a tree without time?”

I’ll get to computer stuff in a bit, but follow me for a minute here.

Things take time to develop

We live in a multi-dimensional universe, and one of those dimensions we perceive as the passing of time. Strangely for its inhabitants, time appears to only go in one direction. Concurrently, iteration seems to have a “direction” as well. Just as with a single-dimensional line, you can iterate forwards and backwards. Time’s arrow shows us that’s how it works for us. The concept of “direction” in iterates is also well understood, but there seems to me to be an obvious correlation between time’s direction and iteration.

Back to the tree. My point is that the branches are just iterations of a simple instruction set. They look different, but it’s just a mixture of randomness and iteration. Like this picture of a hair.

A rendering of an iterative algorithm resulting in a shape that looks like a curly strand of human hair.

Watch the video below, but please come back and read the rest of my ramblings after you see this guy reproduce what looks like hair follicles in less than 10 lines of code:

Give me something really WILD to ponder

Warning => Conjecture: I am not a scholar, just a really interested party.

Also, this sentence is not true.

Nowhere in the universe we perceive exists an example of the opposite of iteration (let’s call that idea “statics”). We know that all physical things are part of spacetime. Quantum “jitters” show that even bodies at rest are not truly at rest. Empty space is never truly empty, virtual particles pop in and out of existence constantly. Could this just be way of spacetime alleviating itself of the need to iterate the physical dimensions to keep balance with the arrows in what we perceive to be non-physical dimensions? Or possibly how fractional geometry approaches the Euclidian sticky points in our perceptive capabilities, by iterating continuously ad infinitum? Boom.

How does a book about hair styles help me with a DevOps strategy?

“An Eternal Golden Braid” makes you think, hard. In most cases, that’s a good enough reason for me to read something. And I hate reading, but I love learning. That’s my opinion, go make your own up.

A key concept to keep in mind if you read this book is how entangled things get once you start asking very granular questions about relationships between the observable universe and mathematics (maths), maths and a definition of the self, and how far we can reduce a concept before it satisfactorily models the phenomena we uncover with math, science, and philosophy.

Iteration is present in maths, starting with the concept of zero, something it took us a long time as humans to identify. Take none, add one. Keep doing that until you reach infinity. Presto! Thanks to the simple concept of iteration, when mixed with literally nothing (zero), exposes the concept of infinity.

“DevOps” is an amalgamate term now, involved in everything from rapid iteration to deployment methodologies, distributed systems architecture to “soft” skills amongst team members. It’s all tangled up, which is not a bad thing necessarily. We need cross-disciplinary thought to help expand on how the practices we implement fit together, complement each other, and even conclude something which only causes problems and needs to be excused permanently (think M$ DCOM, Clippy, and maybe even gun control). I don’t like any of them.

How does this relate to continuous delivery?

I am a man who prefers science whenever possible, but I’ll settle for less than scientific if it has promise and until it is disproven. A few taking point came to me this week:

  • Fractional iterates lead to the concept of continuous parameters. Continuous parameters, isn’t that the software we’re building? Or is it us, the people AND the product? This sounds like some of the thinking we have around continuous delivery, loops of deployment and redesign.
  • Any time infinity walks in the room, everything goes to hell and no one likes a know-it-all at a party. Paradoxes abound. The concept of continuous delivery seems a bit like Dante’s seventh circle to me, in that nothing ever ends, it just goes on and on.
  • Like spacetime, the patterns we use and the goals we want to reach are not separable. Better practices lead to better results.
  • Like every tree, every good idea takes time, iteration, and a bit of [pseudo]randomness to develop into something great.

Use whatever processes, tools, and timeframes you need to, but exploring the philosophical underpinnings of continuous systems is kind of necessary if you want to do things better over time.

Can you give me something more practical so I can go home now?

Okay, sure. Here are a few things I’d do if I was a development or a product owner with a team of pangalactically skilled people on my team:

  • Have everyone read this book, or at least this MIT lecture video series on the book
  • Allow members of your team one day a month to play with any idea they want to, the sole purpose being that it is a test of how they manage themselves and accomplish personal goals
  • Iterate over the design of your processes, not just the design of your software; anything that’s working well, f*ck with it. Anything that’s not working well, replace it with something better.
  • Assign one person per week to be an agent of change by asking them to cross-train with other members of your team on one or two things they don’t know about. As the Joker famously said, “Introduce a little anarchy”, which I have seen work very well to upset the status quo in practice.

Good luck. Let me know how it goes.