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Great Turns of Phrase

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This industry is full of really clever people saying really clever things. Here’s a roundup of a few wise and smart takes I’ve enjoyed lately.

statue of the Yoda from Star Wars, from Kyiv Ukraine

“The less alignment, the bigger the stack of cash”

Wesley Faulkner did a lovely thread of bite-sized videos about how companies can build a developer influencer program.

The second video talks about two forms of currency with influencers. There is the regular economic system where you can buy access to an influencer through money. The second (and more powerful) currency comes from building relationships with someone you’re aligned with.

If your mission overlaps with the values and needs of the influencer, your relationship will be easier to build. If there’s a gap in your alignment, you have to make that up with cash.

As in most of life, Faulkner argues lasting relationships generally don’t come through cash. (This is a concept that might be an interesting segue to some of the discussion currently happening around open source maintenance, but that’s for another day.)

“Teams are immutable” vs. “a ‘Ship of Theseus’ aspect to teams”

I loved this thread from Benji Weber about how teams are composed not just of individuals, but of all the relationships between those individuals. Replacing a team member means not only replacing a single person but also rebuilding all the connectivity and context between people.

In the comments, there was the following exchange:

I really enjoy the contrast between these two ideas as there is truth to both of them. A defined set of relationships may be immutable, but an underlying team culture is very difficult to change once established.

“cgroups and namespaces do not seem to work to configure human behavior”

Speaking of culture, I think this tweet from Bridget Kromhout about how containerization and microservices won’t fix your broken culture is tremendous.

Our industry frequently tries to throw technological solutions at people problems. This is a good reminder that this approach rarely (if ever) fixes the underlying culture issues.

“No software ever runs on the same machine twice.”

I did a DevOps panel with The New Stack last year, and during the Q&A an audience member challenged the panel whether there was a DevOps team that could rebuild their infrastructure from 6 months ago without any modifications.

My response centered around questioning the premise of the challenge, and that due to the dynamism of infrastructure, having static point-in-time builds from half a year ago is generally not the goal of a DevOps team.

What I wish I had said was this.

Kelsey Hightower is just so unbelievably wise.

Image credit: Licensed from misu –

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