Human DevOps

The Human DevOps - 5th May 2024 - Human Software

Published 20 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 wanted to dive deeper into the lives of the characters and their families.

Therefore, I decided to write something personal and something that resonated with my experiences in software engineering and DevOps. I wanted to explore the effects on individuals, families, and friends. So, last autumn, I started writing, and last week, I reached the end of the first draft. I will celebrate briefly before launching into the second draft.

If you'd like to hear more about it you can head over to the book webpage - there's not much there but it gives you a few clues :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

-- Richard

Do you need to be a public speaker to be a great engineer?

Published on May 5, 2024

I have observed that companies use industry conferences for different purposes. Sending engineers and architects to (often far-flung) events to attend as a reward, sending them there to learn and report back, or sending them there to speak. Big conference trips are showcases for projects, talent and networking. We learn from other companies about how… Read More »Do you need to be a public speaker to be a great engineer?


People Silos: Revisiting Conway’s Law

Published on April 30, 2024

Conway’s Law is a powerful underlying philosophy that informs how modern software organisations organise. Any system you build is actually a mirror of the system you use to build it. Therefore, the corollary is that it’s possible to design an organisation that informs your target architecture. This learning should be table-stakes for any software development… Read More »People Silos: Revisiting Conway’s Law


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...

6 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...

13 days ago • 1 min read

When you turn up to work you have a choice. Your choice is to enjoy the work that's put in front of you or to fight the work. If you fight the work, then be sure you're up to the fight. Some weeks, you're just not in the shape to do the fight, so then leave it. Here's the always-interesting John Cutler talking to Hazel Weakly about software engineering. My favourite quote from Hazel: "Local choices move everything forward in the right direction. Can I give [people] the ability to make...

27 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post