I finally had time to listen to the episode.
I really liked the workbench metaphor. I try to recapitulate as I understood it:
- a couple of workbenches each with a set of tools (modules)
- on them binders with some sheets of paper (functions)
- little pixies running from bench to bench (processes)
- carrying blocks of wood (data)
The pixie’s duty is to transform the block of wood into something useful, say she wants to create a shiny wooden ball. I think she needs some instructions how to do that.
She gets those from a gremlin (coordinator) sitting on a shiny throne at the boundary of the workshop.
# instructions for pixie 4711 issued by gremlin 0815
That’s easy, we can have thousands of pixies doing that in parallel (not really, but they are so fast, that it seems like it) and we can have the fairies of the QA division follow the same instructions. And we know, if they are happy with their result, we’ll be happy with what the pixies do in production.
So everything is good. Until the ogres at management decide, that revenue has to be increased. The orks at marketing have the solution: Lets sell not just shiny balls, but red shiny balls.
The gremlins add
to the instructions. Everything still works well and revenue increases as the customers are enthusiastic about the red shiny balls. But not for long. The paint peels of from the balls and customers are furious and demand refunds. So we need a quick solution. Its easy. We just have to add a primer.
But wait, the fairies at QA notice that the shininess has decreased. Someone reads the instructions of the primer. It has to dry for an hour! So now the pixies have to grow some gremlin ears: after they applied the primer they tell another gremlin to wake them after an hour, so that they then can apply the paint. First tests with this approach in
:dev are promising, but the QA division is not happy. They are not allowed such long running jobs. The ogres decide to increase revenue even more by reorganizing (dissipate) QA. The product is perfect and shiny, no complaining fairies anymore, so they lived happily ever after with ever growing revenue … NOT (some fatal flaw creeped in and the whole workshop got bankrupt.)