09 July 2015

In Japan, the practice of making things is called “monozukuri”. With the rise of DevOps, and the ensuing cultural shift, one sees where DevOps has borrowed from Japanese culture heavily, specifically Japanese manufacturing techniques, and it shows. You see it in the way things are done, always with a flair for continuous self-improvement, or kaizen. Nevertheless, there are people today that have built their entire careers around such concepts as DevOps and cloud computing, and there are countless more that have only known an automated or semi-automated way of doing things regardless of what they do.

When it comes to monozukuri in technology, it’s more than just making “things”. Anyone can make a “thing”, so it’s not simply a matter of finding something to do and then doing it. Monozukuri is about not only the craft itself, but the desire and ability to improve the way things are made, both the system and the process. You have to do both, and neither can be unchanging. If the way things are made cannot change, then the things being made can never increase in quality or efficiency.

Make things, then find a better way to make better things. But don’t forget how to make things.