My talk at Velocity San Jose, Jun 2017.
Conway’s law tells us that “organizations which design systems. . .are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.” Unhealthy organizations “ship the org chart,” producing software that reflects dysfunctional practices. When organizations are healthy and dynamic, adaptability and high-quality software result.
What if we turn Conway’s law around? Can bad software choices create new rifts? Are we selecting tech that disempowers developers and keeps operations up at night? Is our software architecture secretly encoding new divisions between our teams? Can technology choices improve an organization’s culture?
Drawing on his experience running containers in production, writing microservices, and operating all manner of infrastructure, from established favorites to the latest hipster trends, Timothy Gross explores how all the usual technological suspects (and maybe a few surprising ones) can shape the organizational culture in startups and enterprises alike and explains how to make technology choices that improve the culture of your organization. Timothy covers four principles for building software systems that have a positive influence on the culture of the organization that builds them:
Building for reliability: Reliable systems can reduce internal conflict and improve morale and retention.
Building for operability: Automated systems can lead to greater trust and autonomy.
Building for observability: Measurable systems can lead to better decision making and de-risk business choices.
Building for responsibility: The choice of technologies influences the larger culture.