Path to Tech Success: Sexy or Boring?

What makes people interested in new tech versus the stable, boring, things that keep the lights on work?

It feels to me as if we’re in the phase of development where we start saying, I need to make sure this all works. I’ve followed all the cool stuff, now I need to make sure everything’s working and get my ROI out.

This conversation questions that assumption, talks about why we care, what we’re really trying to accomplish, and digs into what is boring and what is sexy? And what makes them different.


Defending Against Complexity With Exercise

How do you manage complexity? Something we talk about a lot in Cloud2030 is how challenging it is to understand complexity, measure it and cope with it.

Richard Cooke wrote a paper called “How Complex Systems Fail,” ( and in it he talks about complex systems having strong defense mechanisms against failure. That’s what we talked about today. How do we build defense mechanisms for complex systems, not by making them simpler, but by exercising them and testing them?

We discuss the importance of testing, validation, and layer of abstraction and testing the layers in this conversation. If you deal with complex systems, this discussion will be fascinating and actionable.


Why Jenkins in DevOps?

What kind of orchestration systems does the industry use for infrastructure, automation and controlling day to day operations?

In today’s episode, we talk about infrastructure pipelines at the tooling level, and specifically the use of Jenkins and other CI pipelining tools for ops and orchestration. We dig into why and how you would do this, and what pieces are missing from the system. That conversation leads us into larger day to day challenges.

If you are doing infrastructure ops and DevOps automation, you will get a lot out of this session.


OSS, Promotions, and Lava Lamps

How can promotion boards be hostile or hurtful to open source technology? We talk about the dynamics of corporate support in open source technology, and if being rewarded for internal work at companies translates into challenges for open source technology.

This discussion starts to peel apart what makes open source technology sustainable, and what it works for. We bring up an analogy of a lava lamp where things heat up and then cool down as part of a natural cycle, which can be a normal cycle for all software, and that led us back to how promotion boards work.

We covered a lot of ground through the dynamics of corporate software governance and open source and interweaving those together.


Everything As Code !

What makes Everything as Code and Infrastructure as Code interesting? In today’s episode, we discuss what makes something code-like and the idea of Everything as Code, based on Patrick Dubois’ article “In depth research and trends analyzed from 50+ different concepts as code.”


Some of our conclusions were practical, like if a concept is a process that is reproducible and auditable, that’s what makes it code-like. And some other possible conclusions were that it’s just marketing because it makes everything programmable. The reality is somewhere in the middle.


Goldilocks Platforms [w James Urquhart]

A Goldilocks’ balance challenges us to trade off prescriptive and flexible platforms. James Urquhart shares his experiences with Cloud Foundry, VMware, and Amazon about trying to find the right balance between building it yourself versus a prescriptive service approach.

We’ve decided that there needs to be a middle zone with enough opportunity for customization, as well as enough pre-set, prescriptive methods to create sustainability.

In this episode, we talk about that balance and how different processes have done it in industry.


Complexity vs Value [& Okta hack]

The Okta hack highlights the value versus complexity trade off. In today’s episode, we ask if the complexity of using single sign on is the right move in this context. We also think about how to deal with these interconnected systems that have high degrees of complexity.

We also discussed API design, and whether or not we should have more rigid or flexible APIs. You can’t remove complexity from the system, but you can hide it. The structure of APIs will push complexity into either the users’ realm or the operators’ realm.


Improving Automation Safety

Making automation safe is essential to making it usable at scale. How do we make automation safe? We found a lot of great insights drawing from space craft design, aircraft, aircraft design and other systems where safety is super important.

Automation is a force multiplier. If we don’t factor in safety when we build it,then we could create a lot of harm in systems from wasteful spending to actual injury. These designs have very real implications.


Expanding GitOps Beyond K8s

GitOps is a really important way of collaborating and communicating about infrastructure.

But can GitOps escape from Kubernetes? While we did talk about Kubernetes too, we mainly talked about what it takes to implement GitOps outside of Kubernetes. We considered building a GitOps architecture and then having people understand and use it. We also cover the fundamental parts of GitOps like having a reconciler and a bunch of tools that drive clusters.


Migrating Long Term Applications

How should we think about migrating legacy workloads to new infrastructure and modernize them?

The group addresses this question methodically incuding how databases get linked, how they get used, how they get migrated, how important it is to maintain languages and what it would take to migrate in language. In the end, we look back on that conversation apply lessons learned to what we are building today,

This is absolutely essential because new designs will become tomorrow’s legacy! We’ll be struggling to migrate those in 10 or 15 years too. So everything we can learn helps prevent that cycle.