4–7 Nov 2019
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Free as in puppies: Toward a better build versus buy understanding

Heidi Waterhouse (LaunchDarkly)
11:3512:15 Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Location: Hall A3
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects and engineering managers




A free puppy, like a white elephant, is a gift that takes a lot of time, energy, and money. When we build an internal tool ourselves, we don’t have to justify it to the financial department the same way, but the lack of a bill doesn’t make something free.

The FLOSS community talks about freedom as an intellectual property right. The digital generation assumes that software without a charge is selling their information. Join Heidi Waterhouse to talk about the other kind of free—the kind where you’re just not clear on how much you’re paying for something because it’s an internal tool. When we make a build versus buy calculation, it’s easy to miss several important parts of the calculation, including maintenance, updating, security, availability, and finding operators. None of those are easy to articulate or value for either side.

To help argue a decision for cultural change and/or spending money on tools, Heidi walks you through several examples and how business value is more than money. You’ll leave with a set of questions to ask about quality, cost, and long-term use. Before you leave, you’ll have insights on elements of tool construction, design, construction, repair, maintenance, and snowflakiness.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience in business (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Identify questions to ask about costs, including invisible and and overhead costs
  • Learn how to calculate value and return on investment for build versus buy
Photo of Heidi Waterhouse

Heidi Waterhouse


Heidi Waterhouse is a developer advocate with LaunchDarkly. She delights in working at the intersection of usability, risk reduction, and cutting-edge technology. One of her favorite hobbies is talking to developers about things they already knew but had never thought of that way before. She sews all her conference dresses so that she’s sure there is a pocket for the mic.

  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Cloudflare
  • JFrog
  • Akamas
  • Aqua Security Software
  • Fastly
  • Google
  • Instana
  • JetBrains
  • LaunchDarkly
  • LightStep
  • OVHcloud
  • SignalFx
  • VictorOps
  • Wayfair
  • Blameless
  • Chronosphere
  • FusionReactor
  • humanitec
  • replex GmbH
  • StackState
  • Datadog
  • GitLab
  • Gremlin
  • StormForger
  • SysEleven GmgH
  • Vamp.io

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