Platform as a Product talk

Here’s a recording of one of my talks. It’s on what the operations team does when running in a platform, DevOps-y, whatever style:

Developers don’t need “services” from ops, they need products: continuously innovated platforms that evolve weekly. Once ops toil is removed, ops can focus on their customers’ – development – needs. Using stories & tactics from the real-world, this talk helps launch a platform-as-a-product strategy.


Most ops groups can’t give developers what they need. Ops is limited by traditional service delivery mindset and tools. Stability & reliability are now table-stakes when you’re releasing software daily. What developers need now from ops is innovation. Operations has rarely takes this innovation-driven, product approach to providing services, & instead focuses on delivering to specification & limiting SLAs. As with development, ops creates value with continuous operations, product managing their platforms and releasing frequently.

This talk covers how ops groups are transforming from a service delivery mindset a platform-as-a-product approach. With examples from Discover Financial Services, Rabobank, the US Air Force, & others the talk covers the concept, technologies & tools commonly used, & ops tactics needed to kick-off a platform-as-a-product strategy.


Link: America is turning against facial-recognition software

Sometimes scepticism about technology comes from the cops. Earlier this year the Washington Post reported that many small police departments were abandoning body-worn-camera programmes because of the cost. Although the cameras are cheap, officers can generate 15 gigabytes of video per shift; storage costs mount. Police unions often oppose body-worn cameras, fearing they imperil their members by giving superior officers licence to search them for punishable behaviour. Other officers complain about the amount of time required to review and redact footage in response to public-information requests. They also seem not to work. A study from George Mason University released in March found that body-worn cameras had no “statistically significant or consistent effects” on people’s views on police, or on police or civilian behaviour.

Source: America is turning against facial-recognition software

Better than reality

The problem with binge-watching is the same problem with wanting it to be a holiday all the time. The more we consider a show serious, the more it feels permissible to drown oneself in episode after episode of it, to use it as an excuse to stay home sick from the world. It is logical that a show about dragons and swords would feel more escapist than most other things, and that viewers would want some larger permission to dive into that warm bath. It is not that we are all nerds so much as it is that we are all rightly scared of what is waiting outside our windows, out there where the television can’t reach, where everyone knows both that dragons are not real and that they rarely can be defeated.


Link: What’s Hot In Insurance Tech In 2019?

The business backbone, the core systems, burden digital transformation strategies. Insurers spend about two-thirds of finite tech budgets on these run-the-business systems. More nimble competitors are spending more on digital tech. And this run-the-business spend is growing. Tech leaders need to demonstrate business value of these maintenance and ops investments. Benjamin Clarke, the CTO of Bold Penguin, argued that “the project mentality of insurance companies leads to them not building anything interesting but just replatforming again, delivering the exact same experience.”

Source: What’s Hot In Insurance Tech In 2019?

Link: It’s Time To Transform Insurance Claims

Protecting customers in times of duress is the basic purpose of insurance, and yet only 57% of US online adults feel confident that their insurance company will treat them fairly when they have a claim.[1] Poor claims experiences have immediate business effect. In the UK, 71% of property & casualty insurance customers would consider switching providers if they had a bad claims experience.[2]

Source: It’s Time To Transform Insurance Claims

Doing the ‪@bobbrindley. (I asked for extra pickles. The clerk was confused. I asked again, even, “can I pay for them?” And the assistant manager type looked over his shoulder and said a firm “no.” I mean, I don’t want to fuck with McDonald’s global supply chain and bring down their whole ERP system, causing some kind of “unanticipated gherkin headwinds” on their quarterly call [“we took a q3 hit due to unexpected demands for extra toppings in the Netherlands. We can’t really blame the Benelux managers, they can always be trusted. We’ve hired PwC to investigate and we believe it’s the deliberate work of a rogue Texan. This person of interest ordered something they (we’re not sure how this individual self-identifies yet and I’d like to take this chance to remind you that we are committed to diversity!) termed ‘extra pickles.’ Due to our dedication to customer service, the staff on hand gave the individual five extra pickles. Rolled up to our EMEA and then global revenue for this quarter, this unexpected – and, frankly, bizarre – fulfillment of pickle satisfactuals has required us to adjust guidance for the quarter, sadly, downwards. We’ve notified local authorities and are cracking all US passports until this is solved. Now we’ll take the first question from Goldman…”] or anything…but…pickles?) From instagram

Link: Ignore the hysteria, Cloud Foundry is just fine

Sure you can do a lot of things with Kubernetes. It’s great, but Cloud Foundry is designed to make “Happy developers,” as Comcast open-source senior director Nithya Ruff put it at the Cloud Foundry Summit.

Cloud Foundry’s audience, as Karl Isenberg, one of its developers, explained on StackOverflow, is “enterprise application devs who want to deploy 12-factor stateless apps using Heroku-style buildpacks.”

Source: Ignore the hysteria, Cloud Foundry is just fine

Link: Strong Opinions Loosely Held Might be the Worst Idea in Tech

On a certain kind of team, where everyone shares that ethos, and there is very little power differential, this can work well. I’ve had the pleasure of working on teams like that, and it is all kinds of fun. When you have a handful of solid engineers that understand each other, and all of them feel free to say “you are wrong about X, that is absolutely insane, and I question your entire family structure if you believe that, clearly Y is the way to go”, and then you all happily grab lunch together (at Linguini’s), that’s a great feeling of camaraderie.

Unfortunately, that ideal is seldom achieved.

Source: Strong Opinions Loosely Held Might be the Worst Idea in Tech

Monolithic Transformation, the webinar

I’ve got a newly recorded webinar, covering my Monolithic Transformation book:

The cliché we all recite is that technology isn’t the problem, culture is. Put another way: if the hardware and software are fine and fresh, it must be the meatware that smells. Come hear several de-funking recipes from the world’s largest companies whose meat now smells proper.

I answered a few attendee questions in the webinar, and answered the rest in a Twitter thread afterwards.

Check out the webinar!