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LESSONS ABOUT DEVOPS 
FROM SCIENCE FICTION 
Dawn M. Foster 
Puppet Labs 
! 
Director 
of 
Community 
@geekygirldawn 
dawn@...
WHOAMI 
• Geek, traveler, reader 
• Recovered sys admin, 
community & open source 
• Read 73 books last year, 
mostly sci-...
OVERVIEW 
• Culture: people, process 
• Automation: tools, growth, risk 
• Measurement: monitor & improve 
• Sharing: cont...
ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE 
The Doctor and 
companions work 
together like Ops & Devs
ONE STEP AT A TIME 
Understand changes, 
take one step at a time, and 
have solid processes.
AUTOMATE ALL THE 
THINGS 
Automate the tedious 
tasks and have time 
for the fun stuff
DELEGATE TO MINIONS 
Delegate the grunt work 
to automation tools, 
not minions 
Thanks to Dave Zwieback aka @mindweather ...
LAWS OF ROBOTICS 
Use config management 
systems with rules to control 
infrastructure behavior
GROWTH & AUTOMATION 
Use automation and 
configuration management tools to 
spin up large numbers of systems
REDSHIRTS ARE 
EXPENDABLE 
Treat your servers 
like redshirts 
! 
Side note: read John Scalzi’s ‘Redshirts’
“EVERYTHING WE DO OUT 
HERE IS A RISK!” 
Automate tasks to 
reduce risk
MONITOR AND MEASURE 
Monitor and measure as much as 
possible to track progress for 
performance, processes & people
CONTINUOUS 
IMPROVEMENT 
Improve by assimilating 
useful technologies into 
your collective
SHARE AND IMPROVE 
Share new ideas, information, 
problems, and stories with a 
focus on continuous improvement.
CONTROL ISSUES 
Work together as equals, 
give up control and 
share responsibility
INCIDENT RESPONSE 
More people with more access 
means that you may need to 
adjust how you respond to incidents
DON’T CREATE MONSTERS 
Create a culture where 
developers & ops 
avoid short cuts that create 
new infrastructure monsters
MENTORING 
Train the next generation 
and help others succeed
STRONG WOMEN 
Encourage women in 
our field and get them 
speaking at our events 
www.usenix.org/blog/my-daughters-high-sc...
DON’T PANIC 
Things will go wrong 
keep things in perspective 
calmly recover
THANK YOU 
Dawn Foster 
Puppet Labs 
! 
@geekygirldawn 
dawn@puppetlabs.com 
fastwonderblog.com
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Lessons about DevOps from Science Fiction

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You can watch the video of this talk: http://vimeo.com/album/3093746/video/109820344

One of the important ideas behind DevOps is that people from development and operations should work together, just like the Doctor (a Time Lord) and his human companions work together to solve the problems of the universe. We're moving away from a model where control was centralized in the hands of a few, like the way the spice was tightly controlled in Dune, and we're sharing more of the responsibilities, like how the Stargate SG-1 team collaborates with the Tok'ra, the Asgard and others. We also work to automate processes and manage configurations, not unlike how Asimov created his 3 laws to make sure that robots, like our servers, were well-behaved and performing according to some standard rules. This is a fun session, but it focuses on real lessons from DevOps as told through science fiction.

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Lessons about DevOps from Science Fiction

  1. 1. LESSONS ABOUT DEVOPS FROM SCIENCE FICTION Dawn M. Foster Puppet Labs ! Director of Community @geekygirldawn dawn@puppetlabs.com Presenta(on available at h0p://fastwonderblog.com/speaking/
  2. 2. WHOAMI • Geek, traveler, reader • Recovered sys admin, community & open source • Read 73 books last year, mostly sci-fi / fantasy • I keep a list: http://fastwonderblog.com/about/ reading/ Photos by Josh Bancroft, Don Park
  3. 3. OVERVIEW • Culture: people, process • Automation: tools, growth, risk • Measurement: monitor & improve • Sharing: control, mentoring
  4. 4. ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE The Doctor and companions work together like Ops & Devs
  5. 5. ONE STEP AT A TIME Understand changes, take one step at a time, and have solid processes.
  6. 6. AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS Automate the tedious tasks and have time for the fun stuff
  7. 7. DELEGATE TO MINIONS Delegate the grunt work to automation tools, not minions Thanks to Dave Zwieback aka @mindweather for suggesting a Gru and the minions reference.
  8. 8. LAWS OF ROBOTICS Use config management systems with rules to control infrastructure behavior
  9. 9. GROWTH & AUTOMATION Use automation and configuration management tools to spin up large numbers of systems
  10. 10. REDSHIRTS ARE EXPENDABLE Treat your servers like redshirts ! Side note: read John Scalzi’s ‘Redshirts’
  11. 11. “EVERYTHING WE DO OUT HERE IS A RISK!” Automate tasks to reduce risk
  12. 12. MONITOR AND MEASURE Monitor and measure as much as possible to track progress for performance, processes & people
  13. 13. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Improve by assimilating useful technologies into your collective
  14. 14. SHARE AND IMPROVE Share new ideas, information, problems, and stories with a focus on continuous improvement.
  15. 15. CONTROL ISSUES Work together as equals, give up control and share responsibility
  16. 16. INCIDENT RESPONSE More people with more access means that you may need to adjust how you respond to incidents
  17. 17. DON’T CREATE MONSTERS Create a culture where developers & ops avoid short cuts that create new infrastructure monsters
  18. 18. MENTORING Train the next generation and help others succeed
  19. 19. STRONG WOMEN Encourage women in our field and get them speaking at our events www.usenix.org/blog/my-daughters-high-school-programming-teacher
  20. 20. DON’T PANIC Things will go wrong keep things in perspective calmly recover
  21. 21. THANK YOU Dawn Foster Puppet Labs ! @geekygirldawn dawn@puppetlabs.com fastwonderblog.com

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