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What the Military Taught Me About DevOps

What the Military Taught Me About DevOps

Before DevOps was coined an entire branch of the US military was living by its core fundamentals. Visualizing work, flow, diversity, failing fast are all things that I practiced in the Air Force from 1999 to 2010. I’d like to share my lessons learned serving during this time. This talk will broaden people’s view of how DevOps can be implemented, why diversity matters in DevOps, and how fortunate we all are to have the problems we have today.

Chris Short

May 30, 2018

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  1. What the Military Taught Me About DevOps Chris Short SJ

    Technologies DevOpsDays Toronto 2018
  2. Join the US Air Force, See the World Lackland AFB,

    San Antonio, Texas Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida Camp As Saliyah, Doha, Qatar Avon Park Bombing Range, Florida* Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama Naval Support Activity Panama City, Florida Soto Cano AB, Honduras Camp Roberts, San Luis Obispo, California Buckley AFB, Aurora, Colorado Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio NRO Headquarters, Chantilly, Virginia Aerospace Data Facility-West, Denver, Colorado Aerospace Data Facility-East, Fort Belvoir, Virginia Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, New Mexico White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico McConnell AFB, Wichita, KS Pope AFB, Fayetteville, NC Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  3. Life Before DevOps DevOps, Agile, and Lean principles were in

    us before I joined in 1999 ➔ Kanban Visualization of Work ➔ Documentation Docs on Docs on Docs ➔ Configuration Management Without Git ➔ Failing Fast Or else (in some cases) @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  4. Much Whiteboard, Very Kanban Whiteboards for each division of responsibilities

    or career specialties Status updates on everything, all the time Clearly visualized blockers Going from red to green was like spiking a football and was usually celebrated @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  5. Everything a Resource Allowed diagraming or visualization of a workflow

    at any given moment "The Struggle" encouraged people to break up silos and share knowledge Teaching people how to fish helped you increase the bus factor @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  6. Docs on Docs on Docs We had documentation on how

    to do documentation All military equipment came with guides or manuals Bookshelves full of Technical Orders for non-commercial equipment We made every effort to document all requirements for mission completion @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  7. What's The Fix?!? Confused pandas were bad pandas Solutions to

    those odd or every once in a while problems Wiki based documentation was not common (late 2000s) @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  8. Making Sense of it All Military regulations are explicit Technology

    outpaced regulations Formal training was a foundation Common sense is not common @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  9. Version Control??? You kids and your git. Back in my

    day… Everything was done manually No testing environments CTRL+C, CTRL+V could crash networks Disaster Recovery plans were based off little more than hope it seemed @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  10. @ChrisShort devopsish.com Testing? Dev? Test? Stage? No budget. There was

    once a world without Ansible, Puppet, Chef, cfengine, etc. Lucky to have spare equipment for tests Find lowest impact users and deploy
  11. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive,

    nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Charles Darwin @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  12. Military Failures Are Bad Little Big Horn 1961 Goldsboro B-52

    Crash* Operation Eagle Claw (Iran Hostage Rescue) Black Hawk Down Disbanding the Iraqi Army (2003) @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  13. Goldsboro B-52 Crash In 1961, B-52 broke up in mid-air

    over North Carolina Carried two Mk-39 thermonuclear bombs (3-4 Megatons Each) One bomb deployed a parachute (only one step away from detonation) The other bomb plummeted to earth One high-voltage switch prevented that bomb from detonating @ChrisShort devopsish.com Photo: Mark Mauno/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  14. Bay of North Carolina Core safely recovered Full recovery impossible

    due to swampy conditions "Fail Fast" did not go as intended Military leaders opposed more safeties Weapons developers and scientists wanted improved safeties An amazing postmortem followed @ChrisShort devopsish.com Photo: NUKEMAP
  15. @ChrisShort devopsish.com Lowest Bidder = Built In Chaos Monkey We

    frequently practiced for failures How you respond to failure matters Build "muscle memory" Austere environments were normal Always have a "Plan Z"
  16. DevOps Intangibles There are intangibles the military taught me that

    have helped me on my DevOps journey ➔ Diversity Real human diversity and the diversity of ideas that came along with it ➔ Conflict Resolution Aggressive decision making ➔ Can Do Attitude Anything is possible. Physics is the only limit @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  17. Diversity was Everywhere Ethnic Diversity Religious Diversity Gender Diversity Socioeconomic

    Diversity Amazing force multipliers @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  18. #NotOkay I did not spend 11 years in the military

    so ignorant assholes can harass people I often do not know how to help though I make supportive comments out loud; it's small and easy but has an impact So many "supporters" are silent If you're an ally, act like one @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  19. Figure It Out Diversity in ideas is a wonderful thing

    Different perspectives are amazing If I can teach a colorblind person to build network cables… If someone is willing to learn you must be willing to teach @ChrisShort devopsish.com Photo: wocintechchat.com #WOCinTech
  20. Conflict Resolution: Dumb Ideas I admit the military has dumb

    ideas "Good Idea Fairy" In tech, rank flew in the face of knowledge and innovation Senior leadership decisions accepted (macro) Engineers allowed to engineer (micro) @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  21. Aggressive Negotiations Heated arguments about ideas and philosophies Almost religious

    discussions Room full of leaders, best ideas rose up Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good If you pulled rank, you sucked @ChrisShort devopsish.com
  22. Conclusion They won't let me talk forever Military service taught

    me A LOT about what DevOps is today Visualize, Document, Manage Configuration, Fail Fast, Diversity, Conflict Resolution Veterans have unique perspectives on life that add value Hire Veterans! @ChrisShort devopsish.com