Factorion Screenshot

Welcome to our Lessons in Factorio blog series! I wanted to start writing this series so that others could follow along in my journey both in Factorio and real life IT/Network Engineering.

To help you follow along in this series if you haven’t played this game before, you only need to know three things:

  • The end goal is to launch the rocket. The entire game revolves fulfilling a series of prerequisites to accomplish this.
  • Each area has a finite amount of raw resources.
  • There are aliens that regularly attack your factory and defend their own territory if you attempt to expand.
    I wanted to write this series so that others could follow along in my journey and be able to use it to assist in their lives.

DevOps and Agile Didn’t Work

My specialization is IT network engineering. We had all the same problems every other IT field was having. Unfortunately, after a lot of reading and going to DevOpsDays, I learned the solutions to our problems were very different. Before digging into the history of different philosophies like Lean, the solutions being advertised (such as Infrastructure as Code [IoC]) didn’t seem to work for networking. They could be used in places, but as a whole they were ineffective because we had to build the very infrastructure needed to support it.

Manufacturing Principals Made More Sense

Once I learned that agile used to be lean software, and that lean originated from Toyota, I became obsessed with Toyota and The Toyota Way and later Deming. Since we’re closer to the metal, manufacturing practices were easier translated to network engineering than software practices. They also had focused more teaching principles so that others could create their own practices.

…but There Were Some Gaps

I was able to take some principals and translate them right away, but since I didn’t actually have any experience in manufacturing, some of them seemed very counterintuitive to me and I didn’t quite understand them.

Practicing MFG Principals in Factorio to Take Back to Network Engineering

This happened to be around the time I started playing Factorio. What’s interesting about this game is that it takes on a lot of aspects of engineering. If you have any engineering, IT, or software background, a lot of the games problems, solutions, and workflows you naturally adopt will feel vaguely like your work.

Factorio also happens to be a game where you manage and grow an automated factory. With it feeling vaguely like working in IT, I was able to take principals I learned from Toyota and apply them in Factorio. I could experience the problems and benefits firsthand to gain a true understanding of those lean principals, then translate those principles into the networking and other IT practices we follow today.

Lessons in Factorio Related Blog Posts:

If you liked this blog post and are interested in this series, please check out my other blog posts in this Lessons in Factorio series that are all related to networking and Factorio and all take place in this same playthrough. These posts will also have IT/Network Engineering examples to tie it all together.
This list will continue to grow so be sure to check back constantly for more blog posts!


Shipping the MVP in Networking

Only Shipping the MVP in Factorio

The Five Whys and Root Cause

Systems Thinking; Thinking in a Different Way

Shifting Constraints and Systems Thinking

Trusting Your Intuition

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Technical Financing Series:

Intro to Technical Financing

Story Time: Leveraging Technical Financing

Technical Capital

Technical Interest Rates and Technical Loans

For those interested in playing Factorio, here is a link to their website where you can purchase a copy. https://www.factorio.com/

Also, please give a look into what e-Mayhem offers, we may be able to help you with your IT ventures.
We can provide you help with hardware refreshes, process consulting, wireless design, hardware redundancies, data backups, proactive monitoring, and much more. Reach out to us and let us know what you need at Sales@e-mayhem.com and we’d be happy to help give your systems the help they need!

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