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An Incident Post-Mortem

285e2691517b3ecd122e587c65e9d9ad?s=47 Paul Adams
November 17, 2017

An Incident Post-Mortem

Welcome to the incident post-mortem. Don't worry; there will not be any finger pointing, there will not be any blaming. Let's all work together to work out what went wrong and plan to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Sadly, this incident has been user-facing for decades, with potentially devastating consequences. It's never too late to do better, though. So let's take this hour to work out "why has Open Source been so unnecessarily code-focused?" and get things right next time, yeah?

In this light-hearted talk we will explore the very nature of Open Source and evaluate if there are systemic failings which cause problems for our communities and, worse, our users. This post-mortem will be a fun exercise and hopefully we should all learn something from it.


Paul Adams

November 17, 2017



    I D E N T POST-M ORTE M 1 7 - 11 -2 0 1 7 D R . PA U L J . A D A M S
  2. paul.adams@zalando.de @therealpadams D R . PA U L J .

    A D A M S Search & Personalisation Engineering Lead 1 7 - 11 -2 0 1 7
  3. Who is this dude? Short Summary Timeline Impact Root Cause

    Analysis Lessons Learned Resolution TA B LE OF 
 C O N T E N T S https://flic.kr/p/Sq9Pkm
  4. WHO IS THIS DUDE? GOTO Berlin, 2017

  5. • Engineering Lead • Zalando: Search & Personalisation • Crate.io

    • KDAB • Kolab Systems… • Open Source Lifer • Zope / Plone / KDE / Kolab / CrateDB / Habitat • FSFE / KDE eV / OpenForum Academy Photo credit: Bhuvana A L I T T L E A B O U T M E
  6. GOTO Berlin, 2017 PAUL’S LAW OF DEVOPS


  8. • Since the 1980s the world of Free Software /

    Open Source has produced some of the world’s most respected software. • Especially products for engineers! • Otherwise limited success with some examples for hope (Android). Given the vast quantities of Open Source software available, the overall lack of success points to a potential systematic failing. Is Open Source community culture unnecessarily focused on code? GOTO Berlin, 2017 S H O RT SU M M ARY
  9. TIMELINE https://flic.kr/p/fFXKMu

  10. GOTO Berlin, 2017 INCIDENT TIMELINE 0 2 . 1 9

    8 6 0 7 . 2 0 1 5 11 . 2 0 1 7 WTD 2015 4 Freedoms goto; A C K S TAR T A S S I G N
  11. August, 2017 GOTO Berlin, 2017 A C K N O

    W L E D G E D ?
  12. IMPACT https://flic.kr/p/oEKBiM

  13. C U S TO M E R I M PA

    C T https://flic.kr/p/ayWfHr
  14. B U S I N E S S I M

    PA C T https://flic.kr/p/z1zk53
  15. INTERNAL IMPACT https://flic.kr/p/e4RpLs

  16. R O O T C A U S E A

    N A LY S I S https://flic.kr/p/7vUSFh
  17. • Why is Open Source so unnecessarily focused on code?

    • Because the entire ecosystem is dominated by coders. • Why is the ecosystem dominated by coders? • Because we are not very good at welcoming anyone else. Observation bias convinces us we don’t need anyone else. • Why are we convinced we don’t need anyone beyond coders? • Because we kinda misunderstood the system that we built! GOTO Berlin, 2017 WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY…?
  18. LESSONS LEARNED https://flic.kr/p/gj5E9q

  19. WHAT WENT WRONG? https://flic.kr/p/UfHvLb

  20. • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for

    any purpose. • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish. • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbor. • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits. GOTO Berlin, 2017 THE SYSTEM FAILED BY DESIGN: THE FOUR FREEDOMS
  21. WHAT WENT WELL? https://flic.kr/p/x8Ao2b

  22. WHERE DID WE GET LUCKY? https://flic.kr/p/ehgZSm

  23. R E S O L U T I O N