Devops, distributed

As systems scale, their fractal complexity increases. How do we distribute control?

Past is prologue; this has all happened before. As systems scale, their fractal complexity increases. This sounds plausible, but what does it actually mean in practice? Devopsdays has grown from one event in 2009 to six dozen or so in 2019, and the scaling lessons of this conference series can apply to the wider world of distributed systems.

The complexity driving today’s world is far from the idealized myth of the solo techie pushing an artisanal hand-crafted hello-world app to production from their bestickered laptop. At highly functional scale, we see community-driven processes, with documentation and communication allowing a large disparate group to connect for a defined purpose. Whether in the Kubernetes release team or in your hometown devopsdays, humans are an essential component to this complex system.

Every org chart tells a story, whether of top-down control or sharing decisions across the team. While we build consistency, availability, and fault tolerance into our distributed systems, how do we build the same resilience into our teams? Let’s talk about building the systems that allow us to cede control, to enable more of us to join the conversation; let’s move from a focus on specialized tech teams to an organizational model of decentralized excellence.



Bridget Kromhout

Bridget Kromhout is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, focusing on the open source Kubernetes ecosystem. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ...