Intelligent DevOps: 8 Lessons Learned from Nature

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Product Minting

Intelligent DevOps is a powerful resilient and adaptive software development and delivery strategy powered by natural intelligence. It is an attempt to organize collaboration between developers, operators and customers based on nature’s wisdom.

Everything runs on information. Information is everywhere. It is probably the most precious resource we have after time. Information flow happens in both technological and biological systems on different levels.

Nature faces the same problems as we do and had a lot of time to run experiments and develop principles to automate, control and optimize the flow of information and ensure its quality, reliability, and safety. The same principles can be applied to the DevOps information flow.


Stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone

(Jennifer Aaker)

Science, including computer science, is full of abstract notions that we can’t perceive through five basic senses. They are quite difficult to understand and remember, because there are no clear unified pictures for them by default unless we create them. And reasoning itself happens with the help of images / mental representations [1].

Plus, images allow us to use mnemonics to remember things better.
They enable us to use metaphors and allegories that help reasoning and allow us to create stories which are much more memorable than facts alone.

People use about 5 metaphors for every 100 words of text

(Pollio et al., 1990)

This article is an attempt to create a story about the lessons we could learn from nature to organize DevOps. You are about to travel into Cyberspace with the Hedgehog.



In the article, you will find 5 riddles. You need to guess them, get one letter from each guess (the name of a plant or an animal) and combine them. As a result, you will get a link to a great resource that will provide you with a basic understanding of biomimicry and help you to get inspiration from nature:


What’s more, you can also get access to an additional resource, if you guess the riddles given in this article.

Feel free to share ideas on what lessons we could learn from nature and apply for DevOps in the comments section.


This article is a continuation of the previous ones. Initially, the Hedgehog traveled through his native village and met some animals that helped him to get rid of illusions and realize that centralization and money are the main obstacles that made science serve the interests of big corporations rather than general public. However, the rest of the villagers and neighbor villages were still under control of the illusions which have been created by evil witches.

Then, the Hedgehog traveled to the 5th dimension into DeSciLand where he learnt the principles of Resource-Based Economy and got familiar with 31 projects that helped him to turn his scientific ideas into reality and build a free energy device.


5th dimension, DeSciLand

Now, it was time for the Hedgehog to go back to the 3rd dimension, Earth. So, he went to a DeSciLand launching pad for spacecrafts, where he met the Owl. He greeted him and talked for a while about the situation on Earth.

“As you already know,” said the Owl, “two types of fog in your village and other villages represent two types of illusions (money and centralization) that have «poisoned» the consciousness of the Earth inhabitants. That is why science in your world is exploited by big corporations for profits and doesn’t serve the interests of the public. The wise animals which you met on your journey to the mountain helped you to get rid of these illusions. However, other inhabitants of your world are still under their control.

“The aforementioned fogs are created by the evil witches who hide in them, because they are afraid of direct sunlight. You can find them deep in the forests in the darkest places. They fly around in wooden mortars.

“Inhabitants of your world have an amazing potential to invent different innovations to solve all the challenges you face there. But the withes suppress the knowledge needed for this and any attempts to invent scientific solutions. You have your free energy device already, but you won’t be able to share your invention in your world unless you get rid of the witches. You need to figure out how to do this on your own. Just remember that they cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Once you manage to do this, you can share the solution with other villages to help them to get rid of the witches as well. After that, your world will have a chance to reach its highest scientific potential,” said the Owl, and provided the Hedgehog instructions on how to launch the spacecraft and get back to Earth.


3rd dimension, Earth

Once the Hedgehog got back to his village, he dedicated his time to build a device that would help his village to get rid of the witch. He knew that she couldn’t tolerate direct sunlight, so he wanted to expose the witch to it and destroy by throwing her up above the fogs. The Hedgehog built a special catapult for this that was powered by the free energy device he brought from the 5th dimension:


The Hedgehog found the witch and the wooden mortar deep in the forest and set up a trap with the help of the catapult:


Once the witch got into the mortar, she got catapulted above the fogs and destroyed by direct sunlight:


Riddle #1

Total number of letters: 6

The ones you need to choose: 1st and 3rd

Positions on the riddle: 1st (for the 1st letter) and 4th (for the 2nd one)


The Hedgehog shared instructions on how to build the catapult with other villages and helped them to get rid of the evil witches. The fogs disappeared, and the villages became free from the illusions. Centralization and monetary system became a thing of the past. Now, the inhabitants of the Earth had a chance to create such an environment that would allow to implement Resource-Based Economy and reach their highest scientific potential:


For that, the Hedgehog decided to create a web-platform called BioUniverse that would allow the inhabitants of the Earth to collaborate on developing innovations (mostly nature-inspired ones). This required a big team of skilled Developers, Testers, and Operators. That was not a problem. There were plenty of skilled specialists among the inhabitants. The problems was that the Hedgehog didn’t know how to organize a powerful resilient and adaptive software development and delivery strategy and collaboration of his teammates. Plus, there were plenty of PAAS (Platform-as-a-Service) providers, and he didn’t know what criteria to use to choose the best one.

This is when the Hedgehog decided to visit and consult with the wisest animal in his village, the Dragon. He lived near the oak:


The Hedgehog greeted him and explained his problems.

Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature.
And it's a new way of inventing by looking to the natural world for inspiration.
And asking, before we design anything, what would nature do here?
(Janine Benyus)

“Well, whenever you have a problem, ask nature first,” said the Dragon. “That is what biomimicry is all about. Metaphorically speaking, biomimicry is «cooking» of innovations by taking the appropriate «recipes» from nature. Nature is the greatest teacher for us, because it faces the same challenges that we do, but it had much more time to find solutions for them. Life forms managed to develop such strategies that allowed them to adapt to a changing environment and evolve.

“Everything can be powered by natural intelligence, even software development and delivery process and team collaboration. But this is the topic you will discuss with my friend from Cyberspace, the Cyber-Mouse. He has some special equipment there like a cyber-microscope that will allow you to travel into cyber-cells and learn some lessons from molecules.”

“What is a Cyberspace?” asked the Hedgehog.

“Cyberspace is a digital representation of the Internet presented like a 3D world. It is an inter-dimensional world. I would advise you to visit Cyberspace, because it provides much more opportunities than our world does. Just stay away from the energy surges that are all over the place there. Traditional laws of physics, biology, chemistry and other branches of science do not apply there. For example, molecules there are intelligent, you can talk to them and learn from them.

“Also, you can materialize anything in Cyberspace as long as you have an appropriate computer program for it. You got the idea. Almost anything is possible in Cyberspace. You will have to adapt and start thinking like a Cybernaut (cyberspace traveller). Inhabitants from different dimensions travel to Cyberspace to learn and solve their problems by taking inspiration from nature on different levels, even molecular one. Maybe you will solve yours as well.”

“That sounds fascinating,” the Hedgehog replied. “But how do I get there?”

“Well, I developed a cyber-portal years ago that will take you there. What’s more, I will provide you with a device that will allow us to communicate and a cyber-map for you to navigate in Cyberspace and find the Cyber-Mouse. Plus, I will equip you with special programs that should allow you to materialize some vehicles to travel in Cyberspace. I will stay here and serve as an operator for you. Once done with your learning in Cyberspace, I will launch a portal there for you to come back here,” said the Dragon, provided the Hedgehog with all the equipment needed, and sent him into Cyberspace:




Cyberspace was incredible, nothing the Hedgehog has ever seen before:


Cyberspace had everything what made up the Internet (internet nodes, data codes, protocols etc.). Plus, every animal, every tree or even a molecule discussed on web-resources had a digital representation here. All of them made up the digital Nature of Cyberspace. The Hedgehog himself became digital.

Riddle #2

Total number of letters: 6

The ones you need to choose: 1st and 2nd

Positions on the riddle: 11th and 13th (for the 1st letter) and 12th and 14th (for the 2nd one)


Once he got there, he materialized a cyber-vehicle and used a map to find the Cyber-Mouse:



The Hedgehog greeted him and explained the problems with BioUniverse project development, his team management, and choosing the wright PAAS provider.

”You need to get familiar with DevOps methodology,” said the Cyber-Mouse. “It teaches how to organize software development and delivery process and collaboration in your team (developers, testers, operators).

“When it comes to software development, learning from nature, specifically cells and molecules, makes sense, because cells function similar to a development project. A cell has a nucleus with DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) (source code of the web-project), DNA and RNA polymerases (developers) that enable the synthesis of DNA and RNA from a DNA template and can also proofread the code (testers). Also, a cell has plasma with organelles and different molecules (operators) that along with the ones in the nucleus support and regulate DNA and RNA synthesis according to the signals they got from other cells (customers):


“These molecules form different signaling pathways that help to organize information flow between different cells, tissues and organs in biological systems. Similar information flows happen in technological systems. Everything runs on information. Basically, signaling pathway is a «team» of molecules which serve a common purpose. For example, activation of some signaling pathways leads to cell proliferation, while others enable cell growth and differentiation. Just like that, there are different processes happening in development projects like testing, server and storage administration, provision of information security etc.

“Nature has developed a lot of strategies to survive, adapt and evolve in changing conditions. That’s what DevOps team could learn. Just like development projects constantly have to adapt to a changing market, cells need to adapt to changing environmental conditions. And MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling pathway is one of the main molecular devices that cells have for this. There are three main types of this pathway: JNK and p38 kinase, ERK5, and Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signal transduction cascade (aka classical MAP kinase pathway). They regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and death in eukaryotes (including mammals) [3].

“Activation of each pathway happens by specific signaling molecules and leads to specific outcomes [4]. The last pathway (classical MAP kinase pathway) is the one that you will get familiar with and will be learning the lessons from. This pathway responds to signaling molecules called GPs (growth factors). Its activation leads to some specific changes in gene expression and corresponding outcomes (cell proliferation or differentiation). It gets deactivated by different internal and external regulatory factors. For example, activation of the classical MAP kinase pathway upregulates the expression of MKPs/DUSPs (MAPK phosphatases)/(dual-specificity phosphatases). They target MAPKs, which leads to deactivation of the pathway [4]. As a result of all these events, cells start either proliferate or differentiate:


“You came here to learn from nature. And here’s your chance,” said the Cyber-Mouse, and pointed at the cyber-microscope. “Just spit a little bit of your saliva on a microscope slide, cover it with a cover slip, put it under the cyber-microscope, and you should see some epithelial cells from your mouth".

The Hedgehog did that and saw some cells under the cyber-microscope:


“What’s more, you can choose the signaling pathway or organelle that you would like to travel into and set the appropriate coordinates with the help of the interactive display, then press the «Into cyber-cell» button and actually travel into a cyber-cell,” said the Cyber-Mouse and pointed at the display and the button on the cyber-microscope.

Riddle #3

Total number of letters: 8

The ones you need to choose: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th

Positions on the riddle: 5th and 8th (for the 1st letter), 2nd, 3rd and 10th (for the 2nd one), 15th (for the 3rd one), and 9th (for the 4th one)


“Okay, here goes nothing,” said the Hedgehog, specified the required coordinates, pressed the «Into cyber-cell» button, and found himself in his own cyber-cell travelling on the signaling molecule called TGFa (transforming growth factor alpha) moving towards EGFR/ (epidermal growth factor receptor), an entry point of the classical MAP kinase pathway.



Molecules in the cyber-cell were intelligent and could communicate.


Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.

(Lao Tzu)


Once the Hedgehog reached the EGFR, he greeted the molecule and explained why he came there.

“Well, in order to survive in a changing environment, we need to react to the changes as fast as possible and adapt accordingly,” the EGFR molecule explained. “To minimize the time, biological systems have to maximize the information exchange rate with the environment. The same applies to technological systems and methodologies, including DevOps. We can achieve this in several ways: by making our work visible, dealing with small batches of work, limiting WIP (work in progress), reducing the number of handoffs, eliminating / minimizing waste in the technology value stream [2]. All these principles and all the lessons that you will learn in the cyber-cell in general are based on the laws that biological systems (especially our nervous system) operate according to.“

“What is the value stream?” asked the Hedgehog.

“It's a set of actions we need to perform to convert a business hypothesis into features that bring value to the customer,” replied the EGFR.

Make the work visible

“Visualizing our work is important, because according to a mental model theory, reasoning itself is a visuo-spatial process. We use logical terms of our language like “if”, “or”, “and” and space manipulations to create and find different scenarios/models to solve problems [5]. It is easier to hold an image than describe it with words. The visual process is highly efficient, because visual system evolved over millions of years [6].

“Here is a map of the classical MAPK signaling to help you with your journey here,” said the EGFR molecule and gave the Hedgehog the following map:


“Similarly, visualizing work with the help of visual work boards should help DevOps teams with their «journey» as well.

Reduce batch sizes of work and limit WIP

“This is needed because our brain itself has limitations. Prefrontal cortex of the brain is responsible for reasoning. It serves as a small «theatre stage» where we can generate and hold our thoughts («actors»). The number of «actors» we can hold there simultaneously is limited and equals 7, or 4 (according to more recent studies). This prefrontal cortex tires very quickly and requires to rest [6, 7, 8].

“What’s more, there are three minds in our brain. Reflex mind works based on reflexes and doesn’t need to rest. It is fast, unconscious, and autonomic. Reflecting mind works based on logic. It is slow, conscious, and rational. It enables us to invent things and find creative solutions to different problems. It needs to rest, as it requires a lot of energy to function. It can deal with one thought/task at a time, and is not designed for multitasking. Archiving mind serves as a «librarian» that receives information via sense organs and the aforementioned mind and stores the most important bites of it in the long-term memory. It helps to build a framework of knowledge that shapes the way we reason [9].

“These three minds correspond to two modes that our brain operates according to: active mode/central executive network and passive/default mode. The last one needs rest and enables us to build our value system, understand who we are, and set long-term goals, which is of great importance for a development project [10, 11].

“So, both reflecting and archiving minds have limitations and require rest. That’s why DevOps teams need to deal with small bathes of work and limit WIP [2].

“As for the cyber-cell, it deals with small batches of work. For example, there are about 8 main proteins involved in the classical MAPK signaling. So, the pathway distributes responsibilities between them. For example, some proteins stay in plasma, while ERK2 can go into nucleus and transmit the information flow there. Having multiple sites for regulation helps to increase its flexibility and accuracy [4].

“RNA polymerase works similarly. It produces and immediately proofreads small pieces of RNA and doesn’t transcribe the whole DNA at once.

“Each enzyme of the aforementioned pathway catalyzes only specific types of reactions (there are hydrolases, oxidoreductases, lyases, ligases, transferases and some others types of enzymes in general). For example, ERK2 is a kinase that belongs to transferases, specifically phosphotransferases [12].

“Plus, enzymes have specific binding and regulatory sites, deal only with certain substrates and get regulated by specific regulatory molecules, thus limiting the WIP:


“So, as you can see, in order to succeed, nature functions according to the same principles on different levels, including molecular one.

Reduce the number of handoffs

“The members of the classical MAPK pathway have certain level of autonomy. They have specific binding sites that allow them to recognize and bind to their substrates and don’t rely on any centralized authority in the cell to make their decisions [15]. For example, they don’t need to visit and «consult» p53 protein (one of the main molecules that regulate cell cycle / cell death). Classical MAPK pathway itself doesn’t need to «consult» with other MAPK pathways to function.

“The aforementioned enzymes also have specific regulatory sites, which brings even more autonomy and flexibility to their work. This way they don’t overload any molecule or mechanism in the cell with excess communication.

“DevOps teams might apply these principles and make their members self-sufficient enough to be able to deal with builds, testing and deployments by themselves. This way it gets possible to react to changes faster and mitigate the loss of information, which helps to increase the information flow speed [2]:


Riddle #4

Total number of letters: 10

The ones you need to choose: 8th and 10th

Positions on the riddle: 16th (for the 1st letter) and 17th (for the 2nd one)


Eliminate waste in the technology value stream

“Our bodies are made of cells. They get nutrients from blood, and eliminate waste via lymph. Lymph stagnation leads to acidosis which manifests itself as different diseases. Just like that, DevOps teams need to remove waste from their projects in due time. Otherwise, they may get «sick», which manifests as a delay for the customer. Anything that leads to this is considered as waste: extra processes (actions that don’t add any value to the project), waiting, defects (incorrect or missing information), unnecessary manual work (due to lack of automation) etc. [2].

“As for biological systems, RNA polymerases make about one error per RNA strand created during transcription [14]. They can add and remove nucleotides from RNA strands. And they proofread RNA transcripts to improve accuracy. RNA strands are used to create proteins during translation with the help of ribosomes. Sometimes things go wrong, and proteins get damaged. Cells get rid of these aberrant and unneeded proteins via proteolysis with the help of proteasomes [13]:


Optimize your work for customers (external and internal)

“It is important to help our teammates and optimize the output of our work for them (internal customers). It has to meet certain requirements (stability, testability, security, configurability etc.). This helps to speed up information flow [2]. This is what happens in the classical MAPK pathway: each member activates the next one for downstream components.

“These lessons should help you to speed up information flow in your DevOps team. Remember, flow stagnation leads to swarm formation. And you don’t want your project to turn into a swarm. You want it to be a fast-moving river,” said the EGFR molecule.

“Yeah, all this makes perfect sense,” replied the Hedgehog, said goodbye and moved forward to the next molecule.


Feedback is the breakfast of champions

(Ken Blanchard)


This time the Hedgehog met RGB2 molecule, greeted it and explained his problems with BioUniverse project.

Negative and positive feedback loops

“Now that you know how to optimize the flow,” the RGB2 started, “let’s talk about its regulation. There must some regulatory mechanisms for biological and technological systems to adapt and survive in a changing environment. This regulation mostly happens with the help of the positive and negative feedback loops. The feedback is coming from external (customers and users / molecules outside of a cell) and internal (other members of the team / molecules inside a cell) sources.

“As for classical MAPK pathway, its activation may upregulate the expression of TGFa, which, in its turn, leads to the pathway overactivity. This is an example of a positive feedback loop. ERK2 activity is regulated by MKPs like DUSP3 that can inactivate it preventing overactivity of the pathway [15]. DUSP3 activity, in its turn, is regulated by proteasomes that may degrade unneeded or damaged proteins via proteolysis [13]. All this happens with the help of the negative feedback loops:


Deal with problems as they occur and near the source

“Solving the problems as fast as possible and where they occur is important, because the sooner we react to them, the less harm they cause to our project and DevOps team. Our team members must have enough autonomy / self-sufficiency, so that they could find and fix problems themselves in their area of control, rather than relying on decisions made by a separate department. This way everyone is responsible for the quality of the project [2].

“This is what happens in the classical MAPK pathway. RNA polymerase proofreads («tests») RNA strands during transcription. Testing itself is one sort of feedback. ERK2 activation problem get solved directly by MKPs like DUSP3, rather than via consultation with any centralized «department». MKPs activity, in its turn, is regulated directly by proteasomes via proteolysis. So, these members solve their problems themselves as they occur and near the source”:


“Yeah, this sounds reasonable,” said the Hedgehog, thanked the RGB2 molecule and went forward to the next molecule.

Continual learning

Experiment, experiment, experiment – until it finally flows from within you. It is a hard road. But the result is also a deep inner satisfaction

(Jack Dickerson)


Once the Hedgehog reached the Ras molecule, he greeted it and explained why he came there.

The Ras molecule replied, “Well, constantly changing environment requires biological system to come up with new ideas all the time for adaptation, which can be achieved via continual learning including experimentation. The same is also the case for DevOps teams and development projects. There must be an appropriate environment created for this. Fear of punishment for failures is one of the main obstacles in this case. Failures are just one kind of feedback. They show that something is wrong with the system. So, instead of punishing team members, it would be much more rational to redesign the system to prevent the same problem from happening [2].

“As for biological systems, let’s take a look at RNA polymerase. If it makes errors, nature doesn’t punish and get rid of it. Nature tries to modify RNA polymerase and improve transcription accuracy.

“As you already learnt, it is a good idea to deal with problems as they occur and near their source. Team members must be autonomous enough to find and fix problems in their area of control to maximize the information flow speed. Then, acquired knowledge must be shared with the whole DevOps team to improve resiliency and adaptability of the system [2].

“Behavior of DevOps teams in a changing environment depends on their world view. More realistic world view (the one that is closer to reality) makes their decisions and behavior more rational. Scientific world view is probably the most realistic one currently. So, DevOps teams must widely use scientific knowledge and scientific method. As for fear, according to Dr. Robert Young, FEAR stands for the False Evidence Appearing Real. False evidence distorts our world view and makes it less realistic. So, there must be no reasons for fear in DevOps teams for them to succeed. In regard to biological systems, molecules of MAPK pathway are not afraid of punishment, they just do their job according to their structure.

“As for MAPK pathways, they play a critical role in all eukaryotes, but different kingdoms (plants, animals, fungi etc.) have different amount and types of members. The latter is also the case for RNA polymerases. So, nature is constantly running experiments to adjust biological mechanisms to corresponding environment. For example, there are three MAPK pathways in mammals that get activated by different signaling molecules and have different members with different catalytic and regulatory sites:


“As soon as it finds a successful solution, it tries to preserve it and make available for the rest of the system. For example, all members of MAPKs have CD domain (a specific region of the molecule) which is evolutionarily conserved among different kingdoms [15].

“Remember, that all three lessons you learnt so far are tightly interconnected and must be applied simultaneously.”

The Hedgehog thanked for the lesson and moved forward to the next molecule.


Speed, agility and responsiveness are the keys to future success

(Anita Roddick)


This time the Hedgehog met Raf1 molecule, greeted it and explained the problems with his project.

“Well,” said the Raf1, “nature uses specific principles that ensure stability and adaptability of biological systems and strategies. Aside from the ones you have learnt so far, there are also such principles as resPonsiveness, heteROgeneity, decenTralization, rEdundancy, and CooperaTION, which form the PROTECTION framework [16]. We can also use this framework to ensure resiliency and adaptability of a DevOps strategy.

“The next five molecules on your journey here will tech you the lessons about the principles. My lesson is about responsiveness.

“There must be an interface in both biological and technological systems that allows them to respond and adapt to a changing environment. This interface has to enable cells to react to as external (outside the system), as internal (inside the system) stimuli. In regard to the classical MAPK pathway, it can respond to both external and internal changes with the help of signaling molecules. For this, cell membranes have receptors (like EGFR), and the MAPK pathway members have specific regulatory sites [15].

“This is what we could learn and use in DevOps. We need to be able to respond to the requests and feedback coming from both external and internal customers [2].

“Yeah, this makes sense,” said the Hedgehog, thanked the Raf1 molecule and moved forward to the next molecule.

Riddle #5

Here you need to solve a maze and choose the animal that touches the path.

The letter you need to choose: 2nd and 3rd

Positions on the riddle: 6th (for the 1st letter) and 7th (for the 2nd one)



I think anything which promotes heterogeneity on the Internet promotes stability. Diversity in services, service providers, and separating the layers of the networking stack are all important.

(David Ulevitch)


Once the Hedgehog reached the MEK2 molecule, he greeted it and explained why he came there.

“You see,” the MEK2 started, “to ensure resiliency and adaptability of the system in a changing environment, it must be heterogeneous [16]. Heterogeneity is a result of experiments run by nature. It allows to choose the best way to react to environmental changes from a broad range of options. Plus, it helps the system to be prepared to a variety of scenarios.

“As for your journey here, you already know that there are three MAPK pathways. They have different members, react to a broad range of changes, and lead to different outcomes.

“The members of the MAPK pathways have some basic common properties (they are proteins), but, at the same time, they have unique features, what makes them heterogeneous. Heterogeneity allows to distribute functions and regulation of the MAPK pathways among their different members, which makes the biological system more reliable and flexible.

“Just like that, we need to make our DevOps strategy heterogeneous enough to withstand environmental changes.”

The Hedgehog thanked for the lesson and moved forward to the next molecule.


I believe the role of the government is too big. Society must be more decentralized

Pavel Durov


This time the Hedgehog met ERK2 molecule, greeted it and explained his problems with BioUniverse project.

“Well, in order to increase adaptability and resiliency of the systems and strategies, they must be decentralized,” explained the ERK2 [16]. “Functions and regulation of the system have to be distributed among different components. That’s why there are several MAPK pathways that have a lot of different members.

“The same needs to be the case for technological systems. Everyone must be responsible for the quality, security, stability and adaptability of the system [2].”

“Yeah, that sounds reasonable,” said the Hedgehog, thanked the ERK2 molecule and went forward to the next molecule.


Redundancy is expensive but indispensable

Jane Jacobs


Once the Hedgehog reached the c-Myc molecule, he greeted it and explained why he came there.

“Well,” started the c-Myc, “for a system to be stable, resilient and adaptive, it also must have redundant strategies to deal with environmental changes [16]. There must be plan A, as well as plan B, at least. For example, the same result (cell proliferation or differentiation) may be achieved with the help of all three MAPK pathways:


“Also, some of the MAPK pathways members may phosphorylate several amino-acid residues of their substrates. Plus, several molecules may serve as scaffold proteins for multiple MAPK pathways. This helps a cell to save resources and energy, which makes it more resilient [15, 17]. What’s more, MAPK pathways have a lot of members with different regulatory sites, which brings more resiliency to their work.”

The Hedgehog thanked for the lesson and moved forward to the next molecule.


Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results

Enoch Onuoha


This time the Hedgehog met c-fos molecule, greeted it and explained his problems with his project.

“Collaboration is important, because a group of components is much more powerful than them individually,” the c-fos molecule explained. “It allows the group to reach goals that cannot be achieved by its components separately.

“As for MAPK pathways, they may collaborate with each other. Plus, the pathways themselves are the result of their members collaboration that is achieved mostly with the help of special scaffold proteins [15]. Different enzymes like RNA polymerase are often made of several subunits and may require cofactors (non-protein components) to function.

“Collaboration should help to increase adaptability and resiliency of both biological and technological systems [16].

“Remember, that all the lessons you have learnt on your journey are tightly interconnected and must be used simultaneously.”

The Hedgehog thanked for the lesson and moved to the portal that opened in the nucleus of the cell. It was opened by the Dragon and helped the Hedgehog to return to his village on Earth.

Now he knew what principles he should use to organize his DevOps team work and develop appropriate DevOps strategy. Plus, he knew the criteria that should have helped him to choose the right PAAS platform. Among all of the platforms he explored, the most promising one was Aptible.


An interactive version of the MAPK map and lessons can be found here:




Using nature’s wisdom enables us to develop solutions powered by natural intelligence.

Intelligent DevOps is a powerful resilient and adaptive software development and delivery strategy that should help DevOps team and development project to adapt to and evolve in a changing environment. It is an attempt to organize collaboration between developers, operators and customers based on the wisdom of nature.

The lessons presented in this article are not just for DevOps only. You can also use them for your life strategy. It also needs to be adaptive and intelligent.


This article was inspired by "The Adventures of Sinbad" television series (1996-1998) and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated television series (2003-2009).

The headline image was composed by me with the help of thehedgehog, mouse, dragon, witch's house, and chest images.
Other images sourced from Pixabay or were composed by me with the help of the images sourced from Pixabay.
Images of molecules sourced from RCSB PDB (
Riddles sourced from Logiclike web-site.
Scheme for MAPK pathways sourced from Wikipedia.
The divider was created by me.
Screenshots sourced from "The Adventures of Sinbad" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series. All screenshots are used under the doctrine known in USA as “Fair Use“ (similar doctrines are used in other countries).



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