25 episodes

In The Idealcast, multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and bestselling author Gene Kim hosts technology and business leaders to explore the dangerous, shifting digital landscape. Listeners will hear insights and gain solutions to help their enterprises thrive in an evolving business world.

The Idealcast with Gene Kim by IT Revolution Gene Kim

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 34 Ratings

In The Idealcast, multiple award-winning CTO, researcher and bestselling author Gene Kim hosts technology and business leaders to explore the dangerous, shifting digital landscape. Listeners will hear insights and gain solutions to help their enterprises thrive in an evolving business world.

    Behind The State of DevOps Research, Favorite Aha Moments, and Where They Are Now: Interviews with The DevOps Handbook Coauthors (Part 2 of 2: Dr. Nicole Forsgren and Jez Humble)

    Behind The State of DevOps Research, Favorite Aha Moments, and Where They Are Now: Interviews with The DevOps Handbook Coauthors (Part 2 of 2: Dr. Nicole Forsgren and Jez Humble)

    In part two of this two-part episode on The DevOpsHandbook, Second Edition, Gene Kim speaks with coauthors Dr. Nicole Forsgren and Jez Humble about the past and current state of DevOps. Forsgren and Humble share with Kim their DevOps aha moments and what has been the most interesting thing they’ve learned since the book was released in 2016.

    Jez discusses the architectural properties of the programming language PHP and what it has in common with ASP.NET. He also talks about the anguish he felt when Mike Nygard’s book, Release It!, was published while he was working on his book, Continuous Delivery.

    Forsgren talks about how it feels to see the findings from the State of DevOps research so widely used and cited within the technology community. She explains the importance of finding the link between technology performance and organizational performance as well as what she's learned about the importance of culture and how it can make or break an organization.

    Humble, Forsgren, and Kim each share their favorite case studies in The DevOps Handbook.

     

    ABOUT THE GUEST(S)

    Dr. Nicole Forsgren and Jez Humble are two of five coauthors of The DevOps Handbook along with Gene Kim, Patrick Debois and John Willis.

    Forsgren, PhD, is a Partner at Microsoft Research. She is coauthor of the Shingo Publication Award-winning book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and The DevOps Handbook, 2nd Ed., and is best known as lead investigator on the largest DevOps studies to date. She has been a successful entrepreneur (with an exit to Google), professor, performance engineer, and sysadmin. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

    Humble is co-author of Lean Enterprise, the Jolt Award-winning Continuous Delivery, and The DevOps Handbook. He has spent his career tinkering with code, infrastructure, and product development in companies of varying sizes across three continents, most recently working for the US Federal Government at 18F. As well as serving as DORA’s CTO, Jez teaches at UC Berkeley.

     

    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    Projects Jez and Gene worked on together before The DevOps Handbook came out.
    What life is like for Jez as a site reliability engineer at Google and what he’s learned.
    The story behind his DevOps aha moment in 2004, working on a large software project involving 70 developers.
    The architectural properties of his favorite programming language PHP, what it has in common with ASP.NET, and the importance of being able to get fast feedback while building something.
    The anguish that Jez felt when Mike Nygard’s book, Release It!, came out, wondering if there was still a need for the book he was working on, which was Continuous Delivery.
    “Testing on the Toilet” and other structures for creating distributed learning across an organization and why this is important to create a genuine learning dynamic.
    What Dr. Forsgren is working on now as Partner of Microsoft Research.
    Some of Dr. Forsgren’s goals as we work together on the State of DevOps research and how it feel to have those findings so widely used and cited within the technology community.
    The importance of finding the link between technology performance and organizational performance and why it probably was so elusive for at least 40 years in the research community.
    What Dr. Forsgren has learned about the importance of culture, how it can make or break an organization, and the importance of great leadership.

     

    RESOURCES

    Personal DevOps Aha Moments, the Rise of Infrastructure, and the DevOps Enterprise Scenius: Interviews with The DevOps Handbook Coauthors (Part 1 of 2: Patrick Debois and John Willis)
    The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations, Second Edition, by Gene Kim, Patrick Debois, John Willis, Jez Humble, and Dr. Nicole Forsgren
    Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
    Nudge vs Shove: A Conversati

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Personal DevOps Aha Moments, the Rise of Infrastructure, and the DevOps Enterprise Scenius: Interviews with The DevOps Handbook Coauthors (Part 1 of 2: Patrick Debois and John Willis)

    Personal DevOps Aha Moments, the Rise of Infrastructure, and the DevOps Enterprise Scenius: Interviews with The DevOps Handbook Coauthors (Part 1 of 2: Patrick Debois and John Willis)

    In part one of this two-part episode on The DevOpsHandbook, Second Edition, Gene Kim speaks with coauthors Patrick Debois and John Willis about the past, present, and future of DevOps. By sharing their personal stories and experiences, Kim, Debois, and Willis discuss the scenius that inspired the book, and why and how the DevOps movement took hold around the world.

     

    They also examine the updated content in the book, including new case studies, updated metrics, and practices. Finally, they each share the new lessons they have learned since writing the handbook and the future challenges they think DevOps professionals need to solve for the future.

    Kim will conclude the series in Part 2, where he interviews the remaining two coauthors, Jez Humble and Dr. Nicole Forsgren. 

     

    ABOUT THE GUEST(S)

    Patrick Debois is considered to be the godfather of the DevOps movement after he coined the term DevOps accidentally in 2008. Through his work, he creates synergies projects and operations by using Agile techniques in development, project management, and system administration. He has worked in several companies such as Atlassian, Zender, and VRT Media Lab. Currently, he is a Labs Researcher at Synk and an independent IT consultant.

     

    John Willis an author and Senior Director of the Global Transformation Office at Red Hat.. He has been an active force in the IT management industry for over 35 years. Willis’ experience includes being the Director of Ecosystem Development at Docker, the VP of Solutions for Socketplane, the VP of Training and Services at Opscode. He also founded Gulf Breeze Software, an award-winning IBM business partner, which specializes in deploying Tivoli technology for the enterprise. 

     

    Patrick DeBois and John Willis are two of five coauthors of The DevOps Handbook along with Gene Kim, Jez Humble, and Nicole Forsgren, PhD.

     

    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    The DevOps origin story from coining the term, why it took off, to launching the DevOps Days conference as an offshoot of the velocity conference. 
    How people thought of DevOps when it was first presented (their reactions, their mentalities, and their willingness to adopt it).  
    What has changed in the DevOps world since the first edition of The DevOps Handbook was published.
    How the rise of SaaS companies is altering the DevOps world and participating in its evolution, and how building solid relationships with SaaS vendors and communicating comprehensive feedback to them is integral to DevOps. 
    The significance of speed in changing team dynamics.
    Why resilient companies like Google and Amazon engineer chaos, and why companies like Toyota are happy when production stoppages happen.  
    Why you can’t afford to provide a high variety of products if you also offer high product variation.

     

    RESOURCES

    Get The DevOps Handbook (Second Edition)
    Nudge vs Shove: A Conversation With Richard Thaler
    Solaris Zones wiki
    Agile Conference in Toronto 2008
    Sys Advent article: In Defense of the Modern Day JVM (Java Virtual Machine) by Gene Kim
    Mob programming
    Breaking Traditional IT Paradigms to... (San Francisco 2015)
    Crowdsourcing Technology Governance (Las Vegas 2018)
    Laying Down the Tracks for Technical Change at Comcast (Las Vegas 2020)
    10+ Deploys Per Day by John Allspaw and Paul Hammond
    10+ Deploys Per Day 
    How chaos engineering works at Vanguard
    Patrick DeBois tweet mapping out all the failure modes of an online conference. 
    Jesse Robins LinkedIn 
    Jesse Robbins on Twitter
    How A Hotel Company Ran $30B of Revenue In Containers (Las Vegas 2020) by Dwayne Holmes
    Google Cloud Certified Fellow Program 
    Operations is a competitive advantage… (Secret Sauce for Startups!)
    Love Letter To Conferences (And What Makes Some Truly Amazing) by Gene Kim
    Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother
    Profound podcast by John Willis
    Ben Rockwood on Twitter
    Luke Kanies on LinkedIn
    DevOps 2020 - The Next Decade (London 2020)

    • 2 hr 19 min
    Simplifying The Inventory Management Systems at the World’s Largest Retailer Using Functional Programming Principles with Scott Havens

    Simplifying The Inventory Management Systems at the World’s Largest Retailer Using Functional Programming Principles with Scott Havens

    In this episode of The Idealcast, Gene Kim speaks with Scott Havens, who is the Director of Engineering at Wayfair, where he leads Engineering for the Wayfair Fulfillment Network. Havens is a leading proponent of applying functional programming principles to technical and organizational design. Previously, Havens was the architect for Walmart's global omnichannel inventory system, unifying availability and replenishment for the largest company in the world by revenue.

    Havens shares his views on what makes great architecture great. He details what happened when an API call required 23 other synchronous procedures calls to return a correct answer. He discusses the challenges of managing inventory at Wal-Mart, how one implements event sourcing patterns on that scale, and the functional programming principles that it depends upon. Lastly, he talks about how much category theory you need to know to do functional programming and considerations when creating code in complex systems.

    Before listening to this interview, please listen to Episode 22, which provides Scott Havens's  2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit talk with commentary from Gene Kim.

     

    ABOUT THE GUEST(S)

    Scott Havens is a Director of Engineering at Wayfair, where he leads Engineering for the Wayfair Fulfillment Network. Scott cares deeply about scalable data-intensive software systems; he is a leading proponent of applying functional programming principles to technical and organizational design. Previously, Havens was a Director of Engineering at Jet.com and was the architect for Walmart's global omnichannel inventory system, unifying availability and replenishment for the largest company in the world by revenue.

    In his home life, Havens enjoys good food, good wine, bad movies, and asking his daughter to stop "redecorating" his Minecraft castles, pretty please.

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-havens/

    Twitter: @ScottHavens

    Email: scott@sphavens.com

     

    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    His views on what makes great architectures great
    The details on what happened when an API call requires 23 other synchronous procedures calls to return a correct answer
    How one implements event sourcing patterns on a large scale, using Wal-Mart as an example, and the functional programming principles it depends upon
    The challenges of managing inventory at Wal-Mart
    How much category theory to know to do functional programming

     

    RESOURCES

    Currying
    Function composition (computer science)
    Idempotence
    Love Letter To Clojure: And A Datomic Experience Report - Gene Kim
    Side effect (computer science)
    Functional Geekery Episode 129 – Eric Normand
    Theory of Functional Programming skill
    Ruby Conf 12 - Boundaries by Gary Bernhardt
    Functional Design in Clojure Podcast - Ep 021: Mutate the Internet
    Lean Summit 2013 - Art Byrne - What does it take to Lead a Lean Turnaround?
    Thoughts On Functional Programming Podcast - 3 Examples Of Algebraic Thinking
    CORECURSIVE #050 - Portal Abstractions with Sam Ritchie: How abstract algebra solves data engineering
    Adam Grant’s tweet about coding

     

    TIMESTAMPS

    [00:24] Intro

    [02:23] Meet Scott Havens

    [03:48] How architecture fits in functional programming

    [04:48] Event source systems at Wal-Mart 

    [19:45] The effects and behaviors

    [22:36] Duality of code and data

    [26:13] Currying

    [32:34] How the 23 service teams’s world change

    [40:56] Hallmarks of great architecture

    [51:10] How he replaced the dominant architecture at Wal-Mart

    [56:46] Configurations and speculations with couplings

    [1:03:51] How can simple systems suffer from problems like this

    [1:09:11] Idempotence, Clojure and side effect

    [1:17:01] Issues with switching to event-driven asynchronous architectures

    [1:25:15] Vast scale in which these organizations operate in

    [1:29:54] A moment that showed Scott the effects of what he helped create

    [1:33:51] Onboarding new engineers to the new system

    [1:45:11] Working in the Windows 3.1 multicast networking group

    [1:47:32] Reflectio

    • 2 hr 3 min
    (Dispatch from the Scenius) Fabulous Fortunes, Fewer Failures, and Faster Fixes from Functional Fundamentals: Scott Havens’ 2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit Talk with Commentary from Gene Kim

    (Dispatch from the Scenius) Fabulous Fortunes, Fewer Failures, and Faster Fixes from Functional Fundamentals: Scott Havens’ 2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit Talk with Commentary from Gene Kim

    In this episode of The Idealcast, Gene Kim shares and gives commentary on Scott Havens’ talk from the 2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas. Havens is a Director of Engineering at Wayfair, where he leads Engineering for the Wayfair Fulfillment Network. He is a leading proponent of applying functional programming principles to technical and organizational design. Previously, Scott was the architect for Walmart's global omnichannel inventory system, unifying availability and replenishment for the largest company in the world by revenue.

    In his 2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit talk, Havens highlights functional programming and e-commerce systems work. He also talks about what he did to massively simplify those systems while also making them more testable, reliable, cheaper to operate, and easier to change. Finally, he discusses the implications of using functional programming to change how to design systems and systems of systems on a larger scale.

     

    ABOUT THE GUEST

    Scott Havens is Director of Engineering at Wayfair, where he leads Engineering for the Wayfair Fulfillment Network. Scott cares deeply about scalable data-intensive software systems. He is a leading proponent of applying functional programming principles to technical and organizational design. Previously, Scott was Director of Engineering at Jet.com and was the architect for Walmart’s global omnichannel inventory system, unifying availability and replenishment for the largest company in the world by revenue.

    In his home life, Scott enjoys good food, good wine, bad movies, and asking his daughter to stop “redecorating” his Minecraft castles, pretty please.

     

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-havens/

    Twitter: @ScottHavens

    Email: scott@sphavens.com

     

    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    Functional programming and what it is.
    How e-commerce systems work.
    What Havens did to massively simplify those systems while also making them more testable, reliable, cheaper to operate, and easier to change.
    The implications of using functional programming to change how to design systems and systems of systems on a larger scale.

     

    RESOURCES

    Fabulous Fortunes, Fewer Failures, and Faster Fixes from Functional Fundamentals: Scott Havens’ 2019 DevOps Enterprise Summit Talk 
    Slidedeck for the Havens’ 2019 DOES talk
    Clojure
    Pass by reference (C++ only)
    John Carmack
    John Carmack Keynote - Quakecon 2013
    Panther Systems

     

    TIMESTAMPS

    [00:24] Intro

    [02:52] Functional programming

    [07:59] Gene introduces Scott

    [09:13] Working at Wal-Mart

    [11:13] Disaster struck

    [14:10] One common piece of e-commerce website functionality

    [17:07] The implications of functional programming for system design

    [21:05] Changing how to design systems and systems of systems

    [28:55] Using Panther

    [33:11] How this affects the hot path and cost

    [36:43] One bite a time

    [37:52] Contacting Scott

    [38:13] Outro

    • 38 min
    Open Source Software as a Triumph of Information Hiding, Modularity, and Creating Optionality with Dr. Gail Murphy

    Open Source Software as a Triumph of Information Hiding, Modularity, and Creating Optionality with Dr. Gail Murphy

    In this newest episode of The Idealcast, Gene Kim speaks with Dr. Gail Murphy, Professor of Computer Science and Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of British Columbia. She is also the co-founder, board member, and former Chief Scientist at Tasktop. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage, and coordinate the information that matters most for their work.

     

    During the episode, Kim and Dr. Murphy explore the properties of modularity and information hiding, and how one designs architectures that create them. They also discuss how open source libraries create the incredible software supply chains that developers benefit from everyday, and the surprising new risks they can create.

     

    They discuss the ramifications of system design considerations and decisions made by software developers and why defining software developers’ productivity remains elusive. They further consider open-source software as a triumph of information hiding and how it has created a massively interdependent set of libraries while also enabling incredible co-evolution, which is only made possible by modularity. Listen as Kim and Dr. Murphy discuss how technologists have both succeeded and fallen short on the dream of software being like building blocks, how software development is a subset of knowledge work, and the implications of that insight.

     

    ABOUT THE GUEST

     

    Gail C. Murphy is a Professor of Computer Science and Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of British Columbia. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as co-founder, board member, and former Chief Scientist at Tasktop.

     

    After completing her BS at the University of Alberta in 1987, she worked for five years as a software engineer in the Lower Mainland. She later pursued graduate studies in computer science at the University of Washington, earning first a MS (1994) and then a PhD (1996) before joining University of British Columbia.

     

    Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage, and coordinate the information that matters most for their work. She also maintains an active research group with post-doctoral and graduate students.





    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    Why defining software developers’ productivity remains elusive and how developers talk about what factors make them feel productive.
    The value of modularity and how one can achieve it.
    Ways to decompose software that can have surprising outcomes for even small systems.
    How open-source software is a triumph of information hiding, creating a massively interdependent set of libraries that also enable incredible co-evolution, which is only made possible by modularity.
    How we have exceeded and fallen short of the 1980s dream of software being like building blocks, where we can quickly create software by assembling modules, and what we have learned from the infamous leftpad and mime-magic incidents in the last two years.
    Why and how, in very specific areas, the entire software industry has standardized on a set of modules versus in other areas, where we continue to seemingly go in the opposite direction.
    A summary of some of the relevant work of Dr. Carliss Baldwin, the William L. White Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Baldwin studies the process of design and its impact of design architecture on firm strategy, platforms, and business ecosystems.
    How software development is a subset of knowledge work and the implications of that insight.





    RESOURCES

    Dr. Mik Kersten on The Idealcast
    Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework by Mik Kersten
    Tasktop
    The Unicorn Project: A Novel ab

    • 2 hr 11 min
    Exploring COVID-19 and Just-in-Time Supply Chains, Chaos Engineering, and the Soviet Centrally Planned Economy with Dr. Steve Spear

    Exploring COVID-19 and Just-in-Time Supply Chains, Chaos Engineering, and the Soviet Centrally Planned Economy with Dr. Steve Spear

    In this episode of The Idealcast, Gene Kim speaks with Dr. Steven Spear on his critiques of several articles from the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, and their characterization of the impact of Just-in-Time (JIT) supply chains and the widespread shortages caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the unprecedented health crisis created a widespread shortage of almost everything—from toilet paper to semiconductor chips to raw materials vital for medical materials—with results that impacted everyday life on a global scale, Dr. Spear makes the claim that JIT lessened the severity of shortages, as opposed to causing them.

    The discussion is informed by Spear’s work on accelerating learning dynamics within organizations and the Toyota Production System, and from his time observing and working directly with a tier-one Toyota supplier. Kim and Spear dive deep into supply chain dynamics and why they are important to society. The discussion delves into how JIT manufacturing not only revolutionized manufacturing but also the entire manufacturing supply chain and how it increased (not decreased) resilience, productivity, efficiency, and prosperity. 

    They also explore the structure and dynamics of these JIT supply chains, as well as the similarities of the famous Netflix Chaos Monkey, famous for helping Netflix build resilient services that can survive even widespread cloud outages and the larger, emerging field of Chaos Engineers (arguably, a subset of resilience engineering).

    Additionally, they explore Toyota’s manufacturing and how its history helped it become one of the least impacted by the semiconductor shortages. They follow that with an examination of the JIT’s antithesis and how it’s similar to the dynamics found in the Soviet’s centrally planned economy, particularly with its IT structure and dynamic results. Kim and Spear tie these things into the three basic tools of finance: net present value, option theory, and portfolio diversification.


     

    ABOUT THE GUESTS

    Dr. Steve Spear (DBA MS MS) is principal for HVE LLC, the award-winning author of The High-Velocity Edge, and patent holder for the See to Solve Real Time Alert System. A Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School and a Senior Fellow at the Institute, Dr. Spear’s work focuses on accelerating learning dynamics within organizations so that they know better and faster what to do and how to do it. This has been informed and tested in practice in multiple industries including heavy industry, high tech design, biopharm R&D, healthcare delivery and other social services, US Army rapid equipping, and US Navy readiness.  

    Visit Steve Spear's Website

     

    YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT

    What are supply chains, why they’re so vast and complex, and why they are important to society
    How Just-in-Time (JIT) manufacturing revolutionize manufacturing, the entire manufacturing supply chain, and the supply chain for basically everything
    How JIT increased, not deceased, the resilience of the supply chain
    Why Toyota is one of the auto manufacturers least impacted by the semiconductor shortages, partially as a result of what they learned during the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011
    How the structure and dynamics of the Toyota supply chain are almost exactly the same as the structure and dynamics of great systems discussed in previous episodes, such as the COVID mass vaccination clinic with Trent Green and Team of Teams
    How Toyota has the ability to reconfigure themselves with a low cost of change
    How these principles are very similar to Netflix chaos monkey and the entire field of what is now called chaos engineering
    How the antithesis of  JIT is similar to the dynamics found in the Soviet’s centrally planned economy, particularly with its IT structure and results in dynamics
    How inventory is a substitute for knowledge
    How this all ties into the three basic tools of finance: net present value, option theory, and portfolio diversification

     

    RESOURCES

    An

    • 2 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Carl from chicago ,

A great podcast about technology

I listen to many podcasts about technology and business and this is one of the best ones.

Gene Kim goes deep in his interviews and also incorporates voice overs into the material in case a subtle point was made or if it wasn’t emphasized enough.

These are usually much longer podcasts and they require focus to listen to. Often they take very long discussions and break them into 2-3 podcasts. This is not just a “quick take” on a complex topic, they go deep into the back story and the “why”.

I also highly recommend the books that they refer to in the podcast they are universally excellent.

But if you have no context on development or dev ops likely these podcasts will be a steep slog for you.

JerDoug ,

Thanks for this podcast!

I continue to learn so much from Gene and Mik, and for the last 10+ years they’ve shown how economic value is actually created in organizations today. But how they unpack key business ideals and transformation with Peter Moore, a business strategist, is amazing. Thank you for this podcast and for the vision ahead!

Aletics ,

More from the author of The Phoenix Project

Loved all the books from Gene Kim, and now I'm looking forward to more episodes of his podcast after listening to the first one.

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