Jan de Vries
Antifragility applied to DevOps. And to your life
This talk builds on the brilliant book written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It was published in 2012 and not many people realise its full potential yet. Antifragile systems gain from disorder. It is the exact opposite of fragility. Every attack makes it stronger. And therefore it operates beyond resilience and robustness. The Chaos Monkey that was developed by Netflix to help manage its IT systems, is an excellent example and because of its success it already turned into a full blown Simian Army. An important concept in the book is 'Skin in the game', which means that a person has something to lose in a given situation. DevOps itself is a good example of this. Because a team that handles both development and operations has something to lose when they deliver lousy applications. Another concept is 'Via Negativa', which means that instead of creating additional goals, you can also make your systems more antifragile when you decrease its downside. An example is technical debt. If you don't repay it, every next change will be harder to implement and will make your business vulnerable as it won't be able to adapt fast enough. Also interesting is the 'Lecturing birds to fly' - concept about overestimating formal education and minimising the intuitive experience-based knowledge. This is again something that is already adopted in DevOps as one of the Three Ways (continuous experimentation) as described in The Phoenix Project. So, there is already a lot of antifragility in DevOps. This talk is about maximizing it. And it is not only about systems. It is also about your life and the decisions that you take. You can live more antifragile than you do now.

Jan de Vries is a senior business IT Consultant and a trusted advisor in the fields of requirements engineering, business information management, application management and DevOps. He is a self-employed BiSL, ASL, ITIL, FSM, ISM and DevOps trainer and convenor of the Enterprise DevOps working group that unites members of the ASL BiSL Foundation and the Agile Consortium He founded the Blue Ocean Recon partnership to do research that focuses on the development of Blue Oceans and Lean Startups.

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