🎧 Event-Driven Systems and Agile Operations

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How do the principles of chaotic, agile operations in the military apply to software development and event-driven systems? As a former Royal Marine, Ben Ford (Founder and CEO, Commando Development) is also a software developer, with many years of experience building event streaming architectures across financial services and startups. He shares principles that the military employs in chaotic conditions as well as how these can be applied to event-streaming and agile development.

According to Ben, the operational side of the military is very emergent and reactive based on situations, like real-time, event-driven systems. Having spent the last five years researching, adapting, and applying these principles to technology leadership, he identifies a parallel in these concepts and operations ranging from DevOps to organizational architecture, and even when developing data streaming applications.

One of the concepts Ben and Kris talk through is Colonel John Boyd’s OODA loop, which includes four cycles:

  1. Observe: the observation of the incoming events and information
  2. Orient: the orientation stage involves reflecting on the events and how they are applied to your current situation
  3. Decide: the decision on what is the expected path to take. Then test and identify the potential outcomes
  4. Act: the action based on the decision, while also involves testing in generating further observations

This concept of feedback loop helps to put in context and quickly make the most appropriate decision while understanding that changes can be made as more data becomes available.

Ben and Kris also chat through their experience of building an event system together during the early days before the release of Apache Kafka® and more.


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