profile

Human DevOps

Human DevOps - Sunday 21st April - Staying Relevant and Respectful

Published about 1 month ago • 1 min read

Is it just me, or is April turning out to be a complete stinker? The rain hasn't stopped, it's cold, and it feels more like October or November than it does at the start of spring. This feeling appears to be pervading work at the moment, too—I sense frustration bubbling under at every turn. We need some warm sunshine and a few days off before heading back to the grind.

I have a short trip coming up and a few things to look forward to not least the just-announced Fast Flow Conference in London in September.

As you might know, I'm not a big fan of conferences in general. I tend to love the idea more than I enjoy the outcomes. Last year, I spoke at a few, and I planned to speak at a lot more this year but I realised that the thought of speaking gave me a creeping dread. I did the "Would you do it tomorrow?" test on my speaking engagements. In other words, ask yourself if you would do the 'thing' tomorrow and gauge your body's reaction to thought. My stomach did a flip which led me to cancel all the engagements. The only emotion I felt at that decision was relief.

On top of that, conferences are difficult to get right. In a white, middle-class, male-dominated industry, if I speak I'm just adding to the problem. We need to champion diversity and inclusion within our industry events in order for our growing communities to stay welcoming, neurologically diverse, and, most importantly, relevant. The cornerstone of humane software development has to be inclusivity, and this should be evident from the daily scrum right up to the conference level.

Conferences are important opportunities to test our beliefs. Therefore whether you're attending or speaking, make sure you check out the DEI policies of the event and ensure that your talk is going to contribute to a discussion.

One thing I've learned in the last few weeks, months and years is that sometimes it's better to spend a little longer thinking about something before opening your mouth. Have a great Sunday.

-- Richard


Missing The Social Cues – When The Tools Do The Talking 

Published on April 20, 2024

Tech people have a superpower. They can communicate without speaking, without being in the same room, or even via email or teams. They can communicate purely through their actions. But this is not telepathy, this is no telekenesis. I’m talking about PRs, infrastructure (as code) and tool configurations. Tools and processes have become silent battlegrounds… Read More »Missing The Social Cues – When The Tools Do The Talking 

Read more...

Human DevOps

by Richard Bown

DevOps at is the heart of modern software systems. In my regular newsletter, I dive into the human factors that make successful engineering organizations where teams and platforms thrive at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From leadership to team setup, maximizing performance, tools and techniques.

Read more from Human DevOps

Software development is mentally and emotionally challenging work. Studies reveal that around 50% of developer time is spent on maintenance or wasted in workplace inefficiency. How can we, as individuals, enjoy our work and stay productive and healthy while positively influencing efficiency, quality and customer value? This question has bothered me throughout my career, and I'm finally on a path to finding some practical answers. As I delve into this topic, I'm struck by the profound...

5 days ago • 1 min read

Sometimes you need to give a little to get a little. Sometimes you need to ask a lot more from your employer than you might think is fair. But what's the alternative? Staying in a job just because you are scared of what's next? Staying in a job that is making you miserable? While we might fear our jobs will be taken over by AI, or we'll be left behind, or we'll never get enough experience to be taken seriously, just remember, everyone else is doubting as much as you are. Keep balanced, keep...

12 days ago • 1 min read

It's the start of the party season in the Netherlands. Last weekend started with King's Day and it's Bevrijding's Dag today: liberation day. This marks the start of the summer period and it also marks the start of an important personal milestone. I've been writing a novel about software development and humans since the end of last year, and May 1st marked the end of the first draft. I was truly inspired after reading the Unicorn Project, and while I loved the Five Ideals it presented, I...

19 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post