“Blame is a Four Letter Word”: What alt-rock band Cake has to say about DevOps

A presentation at DevOpsDays Chicago 2020 by fen aldrich

DevOps may have been a phrase only coined in 2009, but Cake has been singing about it since the 90’s. We’re Going the Distance with this one and finding all the points of advice and hidden messages we can.



The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • Blame is a Four Letter Word: (Semi)Original Sound Track

    This is the backing track for the talk. Press play when you see the first pig slide.

  • Beyond Blameless - Rein Henrichs; REdeploy 2020

    In the aftermath of John Allspaw’s influential Blameless Post-Mortems, blamelessness has become a shibboleth for modern production operations teams: Is our culture blameless? Are our incident reviews blameless? But it seems that something has been lost in translation.

    Organizations that try to implement blamelessness without understanding blame end up making behaviors and activities taboo because they can lead to blame even when they can lead to learning instead. When we throw the baby of learning out with the bathwater of blaming, we miss out on vital opportunities to become more resilient.

    Rein is a strange sort of software developer who spends more time thinking about systems made with people than systems made with computers. He believes that most technical problems are really people problems, and that people problems can be solved by listening, caring, and empowering others. Talking about himself in the third person makes him uncomfortable, but he is working on it. He also wrote a database in Haskell once, so he has that going for him, which is nice.

    To engage in the conversation on Resilience Engineering in the tech industry, tweet with the hashtag #REdeployConf.

    For more information about REdeploy, check out https://re-deploy.io