There Are & Never Will Be Any Magic Solutions

I have just left Germany where in 2013 a whopping 25% of its energy was produced from renewable sources. There was nothing magical about this, it seems to me, just a dedication of the people there to align policy with ambition. It was this alignment that led to what looks like every other building being covered in solar panels.

What, you may be thinking, has this got to do with Mesos and Docker? Fair question. Listen to what William Barnes and Nils Gilman say about ‘magical thinking’.

Vast economic incentives exist to invent pills that would cure alcoholism or drug addiction, and much snake oil gets peddled claiming to provide such benefits. Yet substance abuse has not disappeared from society. Given the addiction of modern civilisation to cheap energy, the parallel ought to be unnerving to anyone who believes technology alone will pull the rabbit out of the fossil fuel hat...

What we are learning, as if we didn’t know already, is that as we help more and more teams skill up with Mesos and Docker, the hard work of management, communications, decomposition of work and understanding our tools is as important as it ever was. These things cannot be avoided. And yet some companies who are looking at Mesos and Docker are the same companies who have repeatedly failed in the past not because of any deficiencies in the tools they used but because they put their absolute faith in the tools they used. This addiction to the magic of tooling is what fuels the hope that each new tool will pull the rabbit out of the software development hat.

I was talking with Pini about this. We both think, down here in the trenches of software development, where we are all a bit battered and bruised, that our struggle isn’t really against the machines we use. The struggle is actually against the part of the human psyche that believes in diet pills, believe that ‘someone else’ will fix the climate problems and that tools are key to fixing organisational problems. We thus don’t fight the machines but rather human nature, and therefore ourselves.

Leave your Comment