I only give one talk a year, but I give it many times

Relative to your interests


  • “Unhappiness with air travel took a new turn when maggots rained down on passengers on a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday.” Here.

  • The only reason I get away with all this shit is that I just started trying to get away with it.

  • I’m not procrastinating, I’m thinking.

  • [jerkoff motion]

  • “FUD-pedition”

  • “Goblins: The Unsung Heroes of Humanity’s Defense Against Sentient Toasters.” Gemini.

  • I don’t know anything about this topic, but I’m a professional public speaker, so I’m happy to talk about it for 45 minutes.

Speaking of Goblins

I’ve been working on a conference talk that pulls together D&D, generative AI (whatever you want to call it - can we just start saying “AIs” without having to expend the energy to roll our eyes at the nerds who correct us?), and boring ass enterprise software shit. Here is the talk I just submitted to DevOpsDays London and will start submitted elsewhere.

Are goblins the only thing holding back the AI Takeover? Benchmarking generative AI with Dungeons & Dragons

They say AIs will wreak havoc on human lives, from jobs to sapping and impurifying all of our precious bodily fluids1 to feed its insatiable need for energy. But is AI really a substitute for humans? What better way to answer that question than having the AIs play a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master? D&D follows an intricate, yet ambiguous set of rules, requires constant creativity and unexpected imagination, empathy, and playfulness. Being a good DM requires skill at almost all the parts of being human. I’ve developed a sort of Turing test that uses a handful of D&D scenarios to test AIs: how it DMs a goblin ambush, role plays generic tavern encounters, and creates interesting open-ended adventures and world-building. More than benchmarking, this is an excellent way to learn how to create prompts, to understand what AIs are, and pretend like you’re working which you’re having fun playing games. This talk will cover my method, the results, and observations. (This talk proposal was NOT written by an AI…yet.)


Every time I pitch this idea to someone you can see their interest slowly light up. At first they’re like, “yeah, yeah, D&D - since I know what you’re talking about, thanks for reminding me how much of a nerd I am. I finally got mainstream society to accept me.” And then I go over it more, they’e very silent. Then they say, “holy shit!” and we talk for an hour more.

It’s not that far from playing D&D with an AI to figuring out customer service chatbots, think through brainstorming with an AI to figure out supply chain issues, or the “game” of ISO 9001 certification (you know, 9001, 9002, whatever it takes).

Really try'n' feel that cool linoleum vibe around here. I mean: but, they have stars on them, you know?

Conferences, Events, etc.

Talks I’m giving, places I’ll be, and other plans.

Executive dinner on Java Security, March 13th, Dallas; DevOpsDays LA, March 15th, Pasadena “We Fear Change” talk; KubeCon EU, March 19th, Paris; Tanzu (Re)defined, April 11th, Palo Alto.

If you’re going to KubeCon EU and haven’t registered yet, you can get 20% off with the code KCEU24VMWBC20.


I struggle to get the “software is what runs your business, not some enterprise side-hustle you keep reducing the budget for” idea across, and I really like this phrasing:

digital native business often sees technology as a central part to their business strategy, not just an enabler of strategy. They don't really separate business strategy from technology strategy. They look at technology investments different.

Good toast.


Wow, everything about that clip is perfect. The lighting. The angle. The wardrobe. And most of all, the acting. That film is amazing, I need to watch it again soon.,, @cote,,