Laying Down the Tracks for Technical Change at Comcast (Las Vegas 2020)

In the 19th century, the big technology buzzword wasn't Kubernetes--it was railroads. Across the United States, regional railroads built by entrepreneurs sprung up around major cities. These were decoupled (literally!) from one another and often had incompatible tracks and equipment. When the railroads began to try to interconnect, it didn't run so smoothly at first. If we fast forward to the modern day, many companies have seen a similar boom in promoting independent, Agile, DevOps teams. In a big enough company, "choose the right tool for the job" can often end up meaning "we've chosen every possible tool for the job" taken in aggregate. This leads to lost opportunities and friction when the technology organization is viewed as a whole and not solely through the lens of individual teams. In this talk, we'll learn how the railroads eventually landed on standardized track widths and interconnectivity that led to greater overall commerce and prosperity. We'll draw parallels to initiatives we've undertaken at Comcast to drive more commonality in technology stacks to gain greater business leverage--initiatives you can bring back to try in your own companies.


Michael Winslow

Senior Director, Software Development & Engineering, Comcast


Jon Moore

Chief Software Architect & Senior Fellow, Comcast Cable

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