Pure//Accelerate 2018 – Thursday General Session – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Pure//Accelerate 2018.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Pure Storage via the Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from Thursday’s General Session at Pure//Accelerate 2018.

 

Dave Hatfield

Dave Hatfield takes the stage, reports that there have been over 10000+ viewers and participants for the show. Cast your minds back to the “Summer of love” in 1968. This was also the time of the first big tech demo – “The Mother of All Demos” by Doug Engelbart – and it included the introduction of the mouse, network computing, hypertext linking, collaboration, multiple windows. You can see the clip here.

Pure is about embracing the tools of transformation.

 

Dr Kate Darling

Dr Kate Darling (MIT Media Lab) then takes the stage. She is a researcher with expertise in AI and robotics. She just flew in from Hong Kong. She mentions she had a baby 6 months ago. People say to her “Kate, it must be so interesting to watch your baby develop and compare it to AI development”. She says “[m]y baby is a million times more interesting than anything we’ve developed”.

AI is going to shape the world her baby’s growing up in. Like electricity, we don’t know how it will shape things yet. Some of the applications are really cool. A lot of it is happening behind the scenes. E.g. They took a Lyft to the airport and the driver was using Waze (which uses AI). There’s a bit of hype that goes on, and fear that AI might self-evolve and kill us all. This distracts from the benefits. And the actual problems we face right now (privacy, security, etc). Leads people to over-estimate where we are right now in terms of development.

She works in robotics. We’ve been doing this for centuries. We’re a long way from them taking over the world and killing us all. If you search for AI (via google images) you see human brain / robots pictures. Constantly comparing AI to human intelligence. This image is heavily influenced by sci-fi and pop culture. Automation will have an impact on labour markets. But AI is not like human intelligence. We’ve developed AI that is much smarter than people. But the AI is also a lot dumber. E.g. Siri, I’m bleeding, call me an ambulance. Ok, I’ll call you “an ambulance” from now on.

[image source http://www.derppicz.com/siri-call-me-an-ambulance/]

We’ve been using animals for 1000s of years, and we still use them. E.g., Dolphins for echo-location. Autonomous and unpredictable agents. Their skills are different to ours, and they can partner with us and extend our abilities. We should be thinking outside of the “human replacement” box.

Examples:

  • Japan looks to AI to simplify patent screening
  • Recognise patterns in peoples’ energy consumption
  • Spam filters

Work in human – robot interaction. People’s psychological reactions to physical robots. Treat them like they’re alive, even though they’re machines. Perceive movement in our personal space as intent. The Roomba is really dumb. Military robots – soldiers become attached to bomb disposal robots. Paro Robotics – seal used in nursing homes. A lot of people don’t like the idea of robots for them. But this replaces animal therapy, not human care.

AI can shape how we relate to our tools, and how we relate to each other. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re interested in AI. It’s kind of a “hypey buzzword” thrown around at conferences. It’s not a method and more of a goal. Most of what we do is machine learning. eg. Hot dog example from Silicon Valley. If you’re into AI, you’ll need data scientists. They’re in high demand. If you want to use AI in your business, it’s important to educate yourself.

Need to be aware of some of the pitfalls, check out “Weapons of Math Destruction” by Cathy O’Neill.

There are so many amazing new tools being developed. OSS machine learning libraries. There’s a lot to worry about as a parent, but there’s a lot to look forward to as well. eg. AI that sorts LEGO. Horses replaced by cars. Cars now being replaced by a better version of an autonomous horse.

 

Dave Hatfield

Dave Hatfield takes the stage again. How can you speed up tasks that are mundane so you can do things that are more impactful? You need a framework and a way to ask the questions about the pitfalls. DevOps – institutionalised knowledge of how to become software businesses. Introduces Jez Humble.

 

Jez Humble

Why does DevOps matter? 

The enterprise is comprised of business, engineering, and operations. The idea for a project occurs, it’s budgeted, delivered and thrown over the wall to ops. Who’s practicing Agile? All about more collaboration. Business people don’t really like that. Now delivering into production all the time and Operations aren’t super happy about that. Operations then create a barrier (through change management), ensuring nothing ever changes.

How does DevOps help?

No real definition. The DevOps Movement is “a cross-functional community of practice dedicated to the study of building, evolving and operating rapidly changing, secure, resilient systems at scale”. There’s some useful reading (Puppet’s State of DevOps Reports) here, here, and here.

Software delivery as a competitive advantage

High performers were more than twice as likely to achieve or exceed the following objectives

  • Quantity of products or services
  • Operating efficiency
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Quality of products or services provided
  • Achieving organisational and mission goals
  • Measures that demonstrate to external parties whether or not the organisation is achieving intended results

IT Performance

  • Lead time for changes
  • Release frequency
  • Time to restore service
  • Change fail rate

We’re used to thinking about throughput and stability and a trade-off – that’s not really the case. High performers do both.

2016 IT performance by Cluster 

(From the 2016 report)

  High IT Performers Medium IT Performers Low IT Performers
Deployment Frequency

For the primary application or service you work on, how often does your organisation deploy code?

On demand (multiple deploys per day) Between once per week and once per month Between once per month and every 6 months
Lead time for changes

For the primary application or service you work on, what is your lead time for changes (i.e. how long does it take to go from code commit to code successfully running in production)?

Less than an hour Between one week and one month Between one month and 6 months
Mean time to recover (MTTR)

For the primary application or service you work on,how long does it generally take to restore service when a service incident occurs (e.g. unplanned outage, service impairment)?

Less than an hour Less than one day Less than one day
Change failure rate

For the primary application or service you work on, what percentage of the changes either result in degraded service or subsequently require remediation (e.g. lead to service impairment, service outage, require a hotfix, rollback, fix forward, patch)?

0-15% 31-45% 16-30%

 

“It’s about culture and architecture”. DevOps isn’t about hiring “DevOps experts”. Go solve the boring problems that no-one wants to do. Help your people grow. Grow your own DevOps experts. Re-orgs sucks the energy out of company. They often don’t produce better outcomes. Have people who need to work together, sit together. The cloud’s great, but you can do continuous delivery with mainframes. Tools are great, but buying “DevOps tools” doesn’t change the outcomes. “Please don’t give developers access to Prod”. DevOps is learning to work in in small batches (product dev and org change). You can’t move fast with water / scrum / fall.

Architectural Outcomes

Can my team …

  • Make large-scale changes to the design of its system without the permission of somebody outside the team or depending on other teams?
  • Complete its work without needing fine-grained communication and coordination with people outside the team?
  • Deploy and release its product or service on demand, independently of other services the product or service depends on?
  • Do most of its testing on demand, without requiring an integrated test environment?
  • Perform deployments during normal business hours with negligible downtime?

Deploying on weekends? We should be able to deploy during the day with negligible downtime

  • DevOps is learning to build quality in. “Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Improve the process and build quality into the product in the first place”. W. Edwards Deming.
  • DevOps is enabling cross-functional collaboration through value streams
  • DevOps is developing a culture of experimentation
  • DevOps is continually working to get better

Check out the Accelerate book from Jez.

The Journey

  • Agree and communicate measurable business goals
  • Give teams support and resources to experiment
  • Talk to other teams
  • Achieve quick wins and share learnings
  • Never be satisfied, always keep going

 

Dave Hatfield

Dave Hatfield takes the stage again. Don’t do re-orgs? We had 4 different groups of data scientists pop up in a company of 2300. All doing different things. All the data was in different piggy banks. We got them all to sit together and that made a huge difference. “We need to be the ambassadors of change and transformation. If you don’t do this, one of your competitors will”.

Please buy our stuff. Thanks for your time. Next year the conference will be in September. We’re negotiating the contracts right now and we’ll let you know soon.

Solid session. 4.5 stars.