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Robert Douglass - Speaker at Laracon EU 2018

Robert Douglass

VP of Customer Success,

About Robert

Robert Douglass has been deeply involved with PHP and open source software since 2004. He was the author of the first book published about Drupal, "Building Online Communities in Drupal, Wordpress, PhpBB" (Apress, 2005), is a core code contributor to 4 different Drupal versions, and the original author of the Memcache and Solr modules for Drupal. Robert has also served as a member of the Drupal Association, a founding member of the German Drupal Association, and a member of the Drupal Security team. As a cloud hosting specialist he designed the server architecture for 100s of high profile sites as the VP of Customer Success for, the Idea-to-Cloud Application Platform. Beyond technology, Robert works as a record producer to create classical music releases, and is frequently a speaker advocating for free software and free culture ideals in the music industry.


DevOps and the Rebirth of Childhood Innocence

Remember when the internet was pure and unspoiled? In our innocence we saw the promise of renewal of the world through connecting, sharing, and creating online. We became developers and hackers because we wanted to understand how things work, to take them apart, and build quirky (and sometimes useful) things just for the pleasure of it. In the earliest decades of the Internet Epoch the Internet was a playground. We happily coded directly on production systems. And it was fine, as many Great Things were created. But the Internet has matured, and has now become Big Business. Developers have matured too, and good thing they did! So many people now rely on what we’ve built, for security, for privacy, for the paycheck at the end of the month. We matter. Maturity has come at a price, though, and deploying well tested code into complex applications with polyglot teams working with heterogeneous stacks, all while maintaining compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, etc. has taken all of the childhood innocence out of the web. Now even the simplest website seems like Hard Work. In this talk I will show how we can, and should, regain our joyful demeanor, how we can use the maturity of the most innovative tools around us to start hacking like crazy again. Without regressing on agility, testing, compliance, scalability or robustness. I use the metaphor of childhood innocence to explain how the complexity of modern cloud computing, in combination with increasing quality expectations and compliancy, has curtailed the creative freedom of developers, and as a whole, organisational motivation. Together with a lack of resources and idea time, this leads to lower and slower product innovation. We are, however, at the brink of a paradigm shift in cloud computing that will give developers and hackers their mojo again. This talk will zoom into the key elements of this paradigm shift, and provide an overview of the basic concepts and operational practices of the new age of developer innocence.

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