How Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Went from Months to Minutes with Infrastructure Delivery

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 11:45 am12:30 pm

Robert Allen


By leveraging Apache Mesos and Apache Aurora they were able to deliver those applications while cutting annual costs by six figures and begin the process of empowering engineers to focus on innovative products and not the infrastructure. Embracing common open source practices, agile methods and open source technologies HMH began a journey of transforming how innovation occurs in its engineering organizations. This conversation focuses attention on the journey and provides candid examples of the mistakes and successes along the way as well as the practical insights of changing the hearts and minds of engineers, product owners and management. Ultimately leading to a more productive, creative, agile and happier organization.

The odyssey from "Lift and Shift" operations to a Apache Mesos centric self-service platform that establishes the technology foundations which enables engineers to go from idea to delivery in a matter of minutes has lead to a remarkable evolution in ideas and customer satisfaction. This technology exists for everyone, there is no "secret sauce". The challenges that are often less known is the "people problem" which merits understanding, preparation and sharing at all levels of an organization.

Robert Allen[node:field-speakers-institution]

An automotive technician, cabinet maker, cellist, bassist, cook, software engineer, systems admin and, most recently, Director of Engineering for platform strategy at the global education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Robert leads the team at HMHCo known as the Bedrock Technical Services group. His team is responsible for designing, developing and supporting the systems that serve as the current and future of educational services, a unique platform that allows engineers to focus on the things that matter most to students and educators worldwide.

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@conference {221849,
author = {Robert Allen},
title = {How Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Went from Months to Minutes with Infrastructure Delivery},
year = {2018},
address = {Nashville, TN},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

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