JAX DevOps, 3-6 April 2017
The Conference for Continuous Delivery, Microservices, Docker & Clouds

What makes you and your colleagues being fragile?

Agile is no longer a hype, most companies heard about it and do understand they have to do something with agile. In this post, JAX DevOps Speaker Peter Lie invites you to think out of your comfort zone and re-use the theory from Nassim Taleb in your own working environment.

The Source

By now you may have heard or even read about Antifragile. Actually the book ‘Antifragile, things that gain from disorder’ is written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. When I bought the book, I realized it was only 544 pages. I could hardly wait to get started reading. The introduction and the first chapter was quite though to get thru. My colleague Jan De Baere (agile coach at Cegeka Belgium) warned me in advance it may be a challenge to read. So what to do now? Keep on struggling with the paperback or find a workaround? I choose to buy the audiobook on Audible as well. The audiobook is only 16h14. If you drive a lot like me crossing European countries, you have time enough to listen.

At JAX DevOps Jan and I will be presenting an extraction from this book. It is sheer impossible to present a summary. Instead we picked out the relevant subjects we think you can use in day to day operations as well.

Let’s step back 25 years in IT history

Perhaps a bit of introduction about ourselves. Jan and I are into Information Technology for over 20+ years. For me it all started in the late 80’s. Those who still remember mainframe technology, monochrome monitors, Cobol, snail-mail, Plain Old Telephone Service and so on. All nostalgia. After 10 year working in the mainframe world I switched to Oracle Corporation, famous of SQL and 4GL database. 4GL was the step stone to the future.

At that time the classical career path was from being a programmer moving on to analyst, designer and finally the ultimate dream … becoming a Project manager. Once I was working as Project Manager I truly believed in bringing individuals together building a (super) team. Focus on delivery and deliverables, fun and own responsibilities. Well I think it did start that way but very soon I discovered and realized reality was a bit different. Day to day operations showed me decisions made by influencers such as cutting on budgets, decreasing timelines and resources being pulled away. This made me think. Being a Project manager for the rest of my life was not an option.

Back to the present

After the wakeup call I needed something new-ish but fitting in my skill set. Luckily within the company there were projects done differently. Their approach was based on agile and no longer a Project manager around telling you what needs to be done. These teams had Scrum Masters. That was very exciting, so different from the classic project management approach. So I had to become a Scrum Master. This is how I got into agile.

Nowadays Agile is no longer a hype, most companies heard about it and do understand they have to do something with agile. This is fantastic news as we share a great topic to talk about. For me this is where Antifragile finds its place as well. Why? Antifragile is where you limit the known losses but unlimited the unknown gains. Just imagine the potential you can gain but you have get out of your comfort zone to try.

At the JAX conference we want to invite you to think out of your comfort zone but not that uncomfortable. It is thinking in a different way. Can you re-use the theory from Nassim Taleb in your own working environment?

JAX DevOps talks by Mr Peter Lie:

Behind the Tracks

the process of becoming fully agile
Cloud-based & native apps
Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos & Co
Build, test and deploy agile
Maximize development productivity