Darwinian OSS

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
Charles Darwin
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An interesting thing happened when looking up the quote for this blog. The quote I was going to use was never actually spoken/written by Charles Darwin, even though it is perhaps the quote he is most famous for. Turns out that, “It Is Not the Strongest of the Species that Survives But the Most Adaptable,” is a phrase that has undergone its own adaptation over the years.

Anyway, today I’d like to extend on one of the points from yesterday’s blog about automation. When it comes to automation, most examples are just the hard wiring of activities that were once flexible but have been locked-down based on specific process, business rules or design rules. The problem with this lockdown approach to automation is that if anything changes, such as a design rule due to a new network device type or version, then the automation needs to be re-engineered (sometimes at great cost and effort).

The challenge for us as an industry is to be able to design OSS automation frameworks that follow Darwin’s collaborative and improvising approach to allow the automations to “easily” evolve. Intent OSS is the closest model I’ve seen, abstracting the overall intent of an orchestration chain from the granular chain-link activities. It also presents the opportunity for an intent to be abstracted to a high enough level that cross-organisation collaboration can assist in its development.

Have you come across anything that appears to have more automation potential than intent OSS yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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