Donuts or Bagels?

This was originally posted on Linkedin but wanted to post here also to test cross-posting to Medium plug-in.

Donuts and bagels usually start off their lives very similar but quickly they take very different development paths to their final delivery.

Operations like Dunkin and Einstein’s have different approaches to delivering their products and it comes through in their Brands.

Their brands can be tied back to an important concept when approaching a company’s Technology or DevOps philosophy and that’s is:

Conway’s Law.

Conway’s law comes from Melvin Conway’s approach to programming systems. A system’s design should produce a structure that mimics the communication structure of the organization. This law has been interpreted as “If the parts of an organization (e.g. teams, departments, or subdivisions) should closely reflect the essential parts of the product..”

Actually, I believe that Conway and others were observing Hebbian theory or the neuroscience notion of “neurons that fire together …wire together.” The structure of the brain becomes a reflection of the communication structure/design used.

Building a donut factory looks very different to that of a bagel factory while each start off with very similar beginnings. However, very early on in the development process the original code needs to be “forked” to allow for “slicing” and “sprinkles”.

The important ingredient to determine before you start is: The Brand.

Let’s look inside.

Dunkin Donuts – Optimized for looks/display and visual enhancements. Much more form over function.

Einstein’s – Optimized for customizing (baskets) with slicing, toasting, cream cheese and possibly adding an egg. Much more functional prioritization over form.

It’s these brand differences are critical when designing any technology or DevOps infrastructure since the delivery pipeline alignment is critical to the “wiring together” of the company’s neurons and the work they produce.

While Donuts and Bagels can start off the same, their final delivery is much different and the organizations/cultures that created them. Hence, build to your brand!

BYB – Build to Your Brand.

For you and your organization, is it a Donuts or Bagels?