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Build vs Buy: Software Systems at Jurassic Park

Build vs Buy: Software Systems at Jurassic Park

We were so preoccupied with whether we could, we didn’t stop to think if we should. Nowhere at Jurassic Park was this more true than how we developed software. Having the wrong software and support structures was a key factor in the failures of our first park. We were entrepreneurs launching something new and architects integrating an enterprise. And our decisions had lasting consequences. Deciding which problems were worth our time was foundational to our failure.

Join us for a retrospective of software systems at Jurassic Park. We’ll dig into case studies and explore our successes and failures. We’ll uncover the options, costs, and risks inherent in deciding what software to build, what to buy, and alternatives in between. We’ll explore the opportunity cost of building systems, the sustainability of open-source, and the risks of vendor lock-in. You’ll leave equipped to make better decisions and avoid the pitfalls we made at Jurassic Park.

Todd Gardner

June 13, 2018
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  1. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park
    Todd Gardner
    @toddhgardner

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  2. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    An Uncomfortably Close Look

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  3. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures

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  4. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “We were so preoccupied with
    whether we could,
    we didn’t stop to think if we should”
    Dr. Ian Malcolm

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  5. Todd Gardner
    VP Informatics and Automation

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  6. John
    Hammond
    CEO
    Robert Muldoon
    VP Security
    Ray Arnold
    VP Operations
    Henry Wu
    Genetics
    Todd
    Gardner
    VP Informatics
    Dennis Nedry
    Sr. Software
    Developer
    Jurassic Park Division Leadership

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  7. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “Hold on to your butts…”
    Ray Arnold

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  8. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park

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  9. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Build is Unique

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  10. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Build is fun!

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  11. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Enable Ninja Developers

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  12. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Digging for the Details

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  13. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “Boot up the door locks!”
    Dr. Alan Grant

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  14. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Bus Factor

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  15. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Dilophosaurus Factor

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  16. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    You Didn’t Say the Magic Word

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  17. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Maintenance Time

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  18. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Handling Outages

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  19. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    What amazing thing could you
    have built instead?

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  20. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Costs to Build
    ! Developer Time
    ! Maintenance Time
    ! Opportunity Cost

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  21. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “We have all the problems of a
    major theme park and a major zoo”
    Ray Arnold

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  22. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Maturity is overrated.

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  23. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park

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  24. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park
    use

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  25. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buy is Fast

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  26. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buy Sucks

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  27. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Software Installation Project

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  28. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Project Manager
    with a shotgun

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  29. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    55% of Software Projects Fail
    2016 CIO.com Study

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  30. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Not-Invented-Here Syndrome

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  31. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Industry-Standard Workflow

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  32. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    System Configurability

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  33. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Vendor Lock-In

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  34. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Sticky

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  35. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “It’s a UNIX System, I Know This!”
    Lex Murphy

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  36. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    RaptR: “Securing the Unsecurable”

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  37. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Unsustainability

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  38. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Mud on our Face

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  39. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “That is one big pile of JavaScript”
    Dr. Ian Malcolm

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  40. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Hello Newman!

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  41. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    The Questions We Should Have
    Asked

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  42. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Impact of Failure

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  43. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Competitive Advantage or
    Competitive Parity

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  44. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “If you couldn’t sell it, buy it”
    Dylan Beattie

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  45. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    “If you couldn’t sell it, buy it”
    Dylan Beattie
    contribute

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  46. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Bias for Building

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  47. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Don’t Make it Policy

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  48. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Error Monitoring
    an example

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  49. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Build?
    ! Edge Cases
    ! Costs to Build

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  50. Alerting
    Anomaly Detection
    Backup
    Monitoring the
    Monitoring
    Infrastructure
    Security
    Building JavaScript Monitoring

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  51. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buy?
    ! Fast
    ! Sustainability

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  52. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Outside Money

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  53. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Opportunity Cost

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  54. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures

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  55. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park

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  56. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Questions to Ask
    ! What is our bias?
    ! What is the Impact of Failure?
    ! Could we sell it?
    ! What could we do instead?
    ! Is this sustainable?

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  57. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    HovedoyaIsland

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  58. Jurassic Park © 1993 Universal Pictures
    Todd Gardner
    @toddhgardner
    Buildvs Buy
    Software Systems at Jurassic Park

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