Learning from Wildland Firefighters

DevOps practitioners can learn valuable lessons from the wildland firefighting community. This talk will provide background on wildland firefighters and the application of some of their techniques to DevOps. I’ll discuss adaptation, socio-technical systems and complex adaptive systems. I’ll talk about wildland firefighting accident investigation and its relevance to blameless postmortems in a DevOps context. I’ll cover what we can learn about leadership training and the learning organization from the wildland firefighting community. I’ll discuss the concept of margin and how it could benefit DevOps practitioners; and conclude with research into the transformation of culture in the wildland firefighting community and its relevance to DevOps. This talk will provide a good starting point for open spaces discussions on blameless postmortems (learning reviews), learning organizations and systems thinking, complex adaptive systems, and cultural transformation. Links to sources for those interested in learning more about wildland firefighting and DevOps will be provided in the slide deck.



Alan Kraft

After an early career in UNIX and Linux system administration, I’m now working on hybrid cloud computing, containerization, Lean IT, and DevOps at USPTO. My current interests include infrastructure as ...