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Six tips for devops success from DevOps Enterprise Summit 2016

Tamlin Magee | July 8, 2016
Devops chiefs offer advice for your organisation's devops journey at DOES16

A loose definition of 'devops' - short for development and operations - is a cultural shift that brings together previously siloed teams under one umbrella, collaborating with a mutual goal in mind, and aided by technology such as automation.

The consumerisation of IT means both consumers and businesses expect software products as soon as possible - red tape-laden testing phases that take weeks or months to deliver are out of the question.

How can businesses use devops to speed up their deployment and testing? According to major players in finance, on the high street, and in software, there are plenty of things your organisation can do to help. Read on for some of them.

Seek forgiveness

According to Mark Howell, digital devops lead at Lloyds Banking Group, sometimes it's just easier to seek forgiveness once you've begun the project and started to see results. "I can draw the pipeline of what devops is, before devops arrives," he said, speaking at the sponsor track. "Breaking it into chunks and small pieces that I can influence, and then build up the picture. In our large organisation we've got hundreds of developers and we don't transform them overnight - so pick the small bits of what would be the old, manual pipeline and start transforming pieces and bringing them together gradually."

"We sought forgiveness over the sort of things we were doing - we're a large corporate, we have very strict rules about the types of kit we can use, the types of software we can use," Howell said. "Sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to show people what good looks like. And that's when you build momentum: I have support from our senior leaders within the bank and they're good technologists as well, so they're great people to go and show - and say, this is what good could really look like."

Change your name

Director of systems strategy at Disney Jason Cox found that when his department changed their official titles, they started to notice a difference in how other teams approached them.

Suddenly the other teams didn't view them just as operators, but as fellow engineers.

"The profound impact was how we viewed ourselves," he said. "As systems engineers, we were no longer those who were operating the train, we were builders: building the track, the bridges, the locomotive, becoming part of the factory itself, along with the development teams."

Prepare form organisational change

Ticketmaster's Justin Dean, SVP of platform and technical operations, noted that there will be "substantial organisational change" for any business that's taking devops seriously. "We got serious enough to make pretty substantial org changes - it's going to be a sensitive topic, but in my opinion, if you're going to do this for real, there's going to be organisational changes coming," he said.


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