Join the DevOps Community Today!

As I’ve said in the past, if your organisation does not yet consider itself to be “doing DevOps” you should change that today.

If I was pushed to say the one thing I love most about the DevOps movement, it would be the sense of community and sharing.

I’ve never experienced anything like it previously in our industry.  It seems like everyone involved is united by being passionate about collaborating in as many ways as possible to improve:

  • the world through software
  • the rate at which we can do that
  • the lives of those working our industry.

The barrier to entry to this community is extremely low, for example you can:

You could also consider attending the DevOps Enterprise Summit London (DOES).  It’s the third DOES event and the first ever in Europe and is highly likely to be one of the most important professional development things you do this year.  Organised by Gene Kim (co-author of The Phoenix Project) and IT Revolution, the conference is highly focused on bringing together anyone interested in DevOps and providing them as much support as humanly possible in two days.  This involves presentations from some of the most advanced IT organisations in the world (aka unicorns), as well as many from those in traditional enterprises who may be on a very similar journey to you.   Already confirmed are talks from:

  • Rosalind Radcliffe talking about doing DevOps with Mainframe systems
  • Ron Van Kemenade CIO of ING Bank
  • Jason Cox about doing DevOps transformation at Disney
  • Scott Potter Head of New Engineering at News UK
  • And many more.

My recommendation is to get as many of your organisation along to the event as possible.  They won’t be disappointed.

Early bird tickets are available until 11th May 2016.

(Full disclosure – I’m a volunteer on the DOES London committee.)

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Start DevOps Today!

Last week I spent an inspiring 3 days at the DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES15) in San Francisco.  I had the pleasure of speaking but most importantly learning from everyone I heard present and chatted with.  The most interesting thing about events like this is that they can change your perspective on things you felt you knew well.  For example fundamentals such as “What is DevOps these days?”.

We all like to create taxonomies to make sense of things and I found myself grouping the practitioners I spoke to into 3 categories.

  1. People working for the DevOps poster-childs (Netflix, Google etc.)  An inspiration to us all through what they achieve both with IT and through their willingness to be open and share.
  2. People working for large enterprises who are on tremendous journeys of DevOps transformation, have fantastic stories to tell, and are still living day-to-day around many things they would like to change dramatically.
  3. People who haven’t yet built up momentum around DevOps and seemed almost overwhelmed by the stories and performance of people in categories 1 and 2.

Naturally it was category 3 that I felt most drawn to understanding and talking to them inspired me to write this post.

Home truth #1: Improving IT is not at all new to DevOps(!)

Whether you have just heard the name, or have been doing it for several years, if you are ambitious and passionate about what you do, you are without a doubt already committed to improving the IT function (and hence directly the businesses) in which you operate.

Home truth #2: writing off DevOps as just fashionable name for improving IT is a mistake.

I believe the “doing DevOps” is something every organisation must consciously start doing – today (if they haven’t already).  It doesn’t take everyone (at first), or even everyone in particular business unit, department or team.  It just takes at least two people to grit their teeth and agree that they are going to consciously make a collaborative effort to improving IT with a new level of energy, ambition, and a “new” name

So here is what will be different once you start “doing DevOps”.
  • Just the act of starting something new and exciting will hopefully immediately inspire new levels of energy, motivation, ambition, and sense of purpose (perhaps even create flow).
  • You now have a useful name for your efforts to improve IT and one you can research to tap into the wealth of blogs, podcasts, meetups, conferences, Open Source, tools, and lessons learnt out there.
  • You can now relate the things you are doing (and trying to do) to the practices demonstrated by DevOps poster children.
  • You are now part of the huge support network in the form of the DevOps community which has growing dramatically built on a solid foundation of inclusivity and sharing.
  • Your new community is filled with individuals and companies fully motivated by the opportunity to share their experiences for the greater good of our industry and the greater good for society and humanity.
  • You have a better chance than ever of getting internal investment in your cause (DevOps being in vogue has advantages).
  • By stating (especially in public) your ambition and commitment to build a lean, automated, responsive, reliable level IT organisation, you are now more likely to be able to grow an inspired workforce and more likely to attract talent from outside.
So my advice (especially to people who identify with Category 3) is as follows:
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t doing DevOps (it’s a journey).
  • If you are doing DevOps on any scale in your company don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t key to the future success of the organisation (YOU ARE!)
  • Don’t feel disheartened by where you think your organisation is today relative to some kind of DevOps utopia / companies you read about / your perceived view of your peers. It’s the rate in which you can learn to continuously improve IT within your organisation that will secure your organisation’s future and not precisely where you all are today.
  • Don’t down play your ambitions, your hard learnt lessons, or your achievements to date – celebrate and share them!
  • Watch the videos of DOES15, YOU WILL BE INSPIRED.

Apple Music versus Continuous Delivery

Last week my phone received iOS update 8.4.1,  Being into Software Release Management, naturally I read the release note.

On a slight tangent, I’m ashamed to say that when it comes to my phone, I don’t practice Continuous Deployment of app updates – even though I know it’s been possible since iOS 7. Instead, I like to also read those release notes before deploying (it’s not that bad – I don’t raise a Change Request or run a CAB!)

Anyway, the release note explained that the reason for an update was an update to Apple Music (a new music streaming software aimed to challenge Spotify.  At this point my Release Management instincts were offended:

I have to update my whole Operating System in order to update just one application?

And one application I don’t actually use.  (NB I actually don’t use it because I’m tied to Spotify through my phone contact, not because I’ve yet tried and/or rejected Apple Music.)  Even worse, this upgrade caused me downtime on my phone.

So I wonder:

How long Apple will continue to release a monolithic Operating System and Music Application build package?

Or interestingly do they have other reasons for doing this?  (I notice they did bundle security updates.)

Spotify have a standalone application (thanks to the App Store capable of Continuous Deployment of updates – for those so inclined) and they release very regular updates.  I can’t see people being happy with taking iOS Operating System updates as frequently (unless they can start happening without an outage).

In my opinion, whilst this situation continues Spotify have to posses a commercial advantage. Especially with all the great things we see and read about their agile culture.