The Goat Farm – Episode 13 – Measuring Success at Capital One

We all think DevOps is a better way to work, but how can you begin to measure aspects of your DevOps transformation. In this episode we talk to Adam Auerbach and Topo Pal of Capital One, and learn more about the work they are doing. We discuss how their DevOps journey started, how it’s now a CIO mandated journey, and how they build some open source tooling to help them measure the speed at which they are moving.

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Show Notes:

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Capital One DevOps Dashboard – Hygiea

15 principles of CD (mostly binary, used to create heatmap of maturity for Capital One platforms)

  • Github (or similar) with branching strategy
  • Code Coverage (90% preferred, at business discretion)
  • Static Analysis (e.g. PMD, CPD, FindBugs)
  • Static Security
  • Open Source/third party vulnerability scan/support
  • Automated instance provisioning in each region
  • Immutable servers
  • Artifact management
  • Automated build, deploy, and testing on commit (can be by feature)
  • Automated integration testing on successful test
  • Automated performance testing
  • Automated/repeatable rollbacks (including data migrations)
  • Push button/automated deployments to production
  • Automated generation of COs
  • Blue/green (zero downtime/canary) releases
  • Feature activation (wire on/wire off)


adam_auerbachAdam Auerbach – TwitterLinkedIn

Adam Auerbach is the Sr Technology Director for Advanced Testing and Release services for Capital One Financial Corporation.  Adam is responsible for Capital One’s enterprise performance and automated testing departments as well as enterprise release management. Since joining Capital One, he has provided leadership for the agile transformation of their quality assurance group and led the enterprise adoption of DevOps and ATDD. Before joining Capital One, Adam was with Chase and other financial and insurance companies, in various leadership positions focusing on quality and agile practices.


topo_palTapabrata Pal (Topo) – TwitterLinkedIn

Tapabrata Pal has 20 years of IT experience in various technology roles (developer, operations engineer, and architect) in the retail, healthcare, and finance industries. Over the last five years, Tapabrata has served as director of Capital One’s Enterprise Architecture group, and led the company’s DevOpsSec initiatives. He is currently director and individual contributor focusing on next-generation infrastructure. Tapabrata is also the community manager and a core committer of an Open Source project “Hygieia” that won “Open Source Rookie of the Year” for 2015.
Previously, Tapabrata spent some time in academics doing doctoral and post-doctoral research in the field of solid state physics.

The Goat Farm – Episode 12 – DevOps When Startups Become Enterprises

In this episode we talk to Andy Domeier of SPS Commerce. As startups grow into larger companies, they face the same scaling challenges that larger enterprises tend to encounter. Andy gives us his 11 years of experience of watching SPS Commerce grow from a startup to an enterprise, and how they’ve handled these challenges. We also focus on some of the technology SPS using to help scale the people, and scale their technology capabilities.

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Show notes:

Andy Domeier – LinkedInTwitter

Andy has been in Technology Operations leadership with SPS Commerce for the past 11 years.  SPS grows very aggressively creating an environment of persistent growth challenges.  Andy’s focuses within the organization include:  monitoring and operating complex changing systems, priority organization and alignment, and the organization of Knowledge.

The Goat Farm – Episode 11 – DevOps at Asurion

Asurion is definitely one of those companies that you didn’t know existed until you needed to use them. Like that time you dropped your phone in the toilet by accident. In this episode, we speak to Jon Klein of Asurion to hear how they’ve started adopting DevOps principles in their work at Asurion.

Jon shares with us how they got started, how they are continuing their success, and how they’ve even gotten the attention of their CIO. Jon gives a good picture of what it takes for Operations teams to refine their work internally, to make them more effective for their internal customers.

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Show notes:


jonkleinJon Klein – TwitterLinkedIn

Jon started his career as “the” IT guy at his family’s construction supply and equipment dealership back in 2002, handling everything from desktop support to network administration. He fell in love with Open Source, playing with Linux in a friend’s basement and freelancing on the side. He eventually took a job with a contracting firm as a Linux Admin for ServiceBench, Inc in 2006. Now nearly a decade and 2 acquisitions later, Jon works for the parent company, Asurion and has been on the forefront of the DevOps movement, building cross-functional teams and breaking down org silos. He currently runs a cross-functional team of infrastructure engineers and developers dedicated to the rapid delivery of platforms and infrastructure.

The Goat Farm – Episode 10 – Vendors: Frenemies Or Friends?

In this episode we team up with Arrested DevOps to talk about our experiences working for vendors and being on the customer side of the table. We discuss how modern software sales have changed, especially with the advent of open source, and how vendors are being challenged to provide credible help not just steak dinners & golf games.

This was a special co-production with Arrested DevOps. Don’t forget to subscribe to their Enterprise DevOps podcast on iTunes or via RSS!

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Show notes:


Matt Stratton – TwitterLinkedIn

Matt Stratton is a solutions architect at Chef, where he demonstrates how Chef’s automation platform provides speed and flexibility to clients’ infrastructure. He is devoted to concepts like Continuous Delivery and Infrastructure as Code, and his license plate actually says “DevOps”. He lives in Chicago and has an unhealthy obsession with Doctor Who, Firefly, and Game of Thrones. And whiskey.

Trevor Hess – Twitter

Adding his bio late enough for it to be a cutout stuffed in the playbill, Trevor Hess is a Software Consultant at 10th Magnitude. Usually writing .NET applications on Azure, he always appreciates new challenges. Between exceedingly nerdy anecdotes and useless facts lay some opinions and thoughts about how we build software and teams. Trevor has been seen previously in such shows as “The Fantasticks” and “Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Computer Screen”.

Bridget Kromhout – Twitter

Bridget Kromhout is a Principal Technologist for Cloud Foundry at Pivotal. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ‘cloud’ can be considered tangible). After years in site reliability operations (most recently at DramaFever), she traded in oncall for more travel. A frequent speaker at tech conferences, she helps organize the AWS and devops meetups at home in Minneapolis, serves on the program committee for Velocity, and acts as a global core organizer for devopsdays. She podcasts at Arrested DevOps, occasionally blogs at, and is active in a Twitterverse near you.

DevOps at IBM – The Goat Farm – Episode 9

How does IBM manage to run web sites for some the World’s largest sporting and television events? With the practices of DevOps of course! In this episode, Ross and Michael talk to Brian O’Connell of IBM.

Brian tells us of his journey to DevOps practices through stumbling onto the ideas of Chef and Infrastructure as Code. We talk about the cultural shift required when it comes to who owns delivery of changes and ownership of those changes. Brian also tells us how they leverage the “build, measure, learn” product development loop.

The sites Brian and team help run are some of the more high profile, and highly visited sites in the world. Brian talks about the challenges when trying to introduce DevOps to such high profile sites, and mistakes that were made along the way. We also talk about some of the tooling Brian and team use, and how they effectively deploy enterprise software packages.

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Show notes:

Brian O’Connell – TwitterLinkedInBrian O'Connell

Brian O’Connell is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM that leads a team focused on DevOps, predictive analytics, big data, and cloud technologies.

Brian joined IBM in 2001, starting as a software engineer. He built many software systems to support the continuous availability and events infrastructure.  His expertise includes architecting and developing scalable server applications, concurrency, advanced visualizations, and big data.

From 2007 until 2011 Brian was the lead infrastructure technology advocate and designer for the World Wide Sponsorship Marketing (WWSM) client. His role included strategic technical direction, evaluating technology pilots and the end to end delivery of highly visible web events. In that role, he successfully delivered all IBM sponsorship web sites including The Masters, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), US Open Tennis, US Open Golf, Australian Open, and The Tony Awards. Brian designed systems to manage the infrastructure and applications used by the client including a focus on defining plans, strategies and architectures for the installation, operation, migration and management of complex information systems.
Brian has had more than 250 patents issued, is an IBM designated Master Inventor and a Franz Edelman laureate.

Adrian Cockcroft of Battery Ventures – The Goat Farm – Episode 8

In this episode we talk to the famous (or infamous) Adrian Cockcroft of Battery Ventures. Adrian is known for his work at Netflix and his work to migrate them to a Cloud first strategy, then before that for his book on Sun performance tuning.

Adrian has been doing a lot of work talking to CIOs of large enterprises and helping them understand where ideas such as DevOps, microservices, Cloud are taking the industry. He allows tells us how he is helping CIOs realize how their IT organizations must transform to adopt these new ideas. This episode is all about how the horses are growing horns to become the unicorns.

(Editor’s note: We are really sorry about the audio on this episode. Adrian was in Portland, Michael was in Amsterdam, and Ross was in Minneapolis. While we could have cut a bunch of the bad audio, the content was so good we didn’t want to drop anything. Apologies.)

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Show Notes

Adrian Cockcroft – LinkedInTwitter

Adrian Cockcroft has had a long career working at the leading edge of technology. He’s always been fascinated by what comes next, and he writes and speaks extensively on a range of subjects. At Battery, he advises the firm and its portfolio companies about technology issues and also assists with deal sourcing and due diligence.

Before joining Battery, Adrian helped lead Netflix’s migration to a large scale, highly available public-cloud architecture and the open sourcing of the cloud-native NetflixOSS platform. Prior to that at Netflix he managed a team working on personalization algorithms and service-oriented refactoring.

Adrian was a founding member of eBay Research Labs, developing advanced mobile applications and even building his own homebrew phone, years before iPhone and Android launched. As a distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems he wrote the best-selling “Sun Performance and Tuning” book and was chief architect for High Performance Technical Computing.

The Goat Farm – Episode 7 – Continuous Improvement at Nordstrom

We are back with a great episode. Ross and I talk to Courtney Kissler and Jason Josephy about Nordstrom’s Continuous Improvements practices. We touch on ideas such as DevOps and Mainframes, Lean principles, the envelope game, and incremental vs disruptive change.

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Links from the show:

Guest Info:

kisslerCourtney Kissler – @ladyhock – Courtney has been with Nordstrom since 2002, when she joined the company as a security engineer. By 2004, she had moved into a leadership role supporting the direct operations team, and went on to additional leadership positions in infrastructure/operations, supporting the integration competency center, corporate center delivery teams, and e-commerce program management. In 2012, Courtney assumed her current role supporting program management, delivery, and support for the store and digital technology teams, and continuous improvement program. Courtney graduated with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Washington University. Post graduation, Courtney worked for two startup companies, CyberSafe and WorldStream Communications, in helpdesk, sysadmin, and networking positions.

Jason Josephy – @jjosephy – I have been working in software for the jjosephylast 18 years. While still attending the University of Washington, where I was studying Computer Science, I started doing web development building web pages and light weight ASP applications. right after college I joined Microsoft where I stayed for 16 years. While there I was exposed to many different Software Engineering Methodologies, primarily agile, and worked on a number of Products and Services from Web to Desktop and built a broad base of experience across stacks. In 2005, I began my evolution with agile, receiving my certification as a Scrum Master and went on to run and facilitate a number of agile Teams. My passions are in Services and Distributed Systems as well as Mathematics.

I have lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life, growing up in Idaho and moving to Seattle in 1993 where I have been ever since. I love the outdoors and really enjoy skiing and fly fishing. Most of my time these days is spent with my two young boys Aven and Micah who are 4 and 2 respectively.