DevOps at Standard Bank – The Goat Farm – Episode 6

It’s been awhile since the last episode, but we are back with a bang! In this episode we talk to Standard Bank, the largest bank in Africa, about the challenges they faced in taking a DevOps approach in their organization.

Compliance at Velocity was one of the tracks at this year’s ChefConf. Our guest Josef Langerman discusses corporate compliance and the scale of how broad and wide regulations can affect an enterprise’s approach to DevOps, leveraging Agile, and delivering the right solutions for customers/guests.
Listen to Josef’s recount of Standard Bank’s journey – including discovery of change
champions, driving a new, DevOps culture, and establishing a set of themes to
continuously improve and advocate for new ways to satisfy the company’s needs.

We recorded this episode at ChefConf 2015 and we were happy to have Jason Walker of Target as our guest host. If you want to find out more about the topics we discussed, check out the links below.

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

Guest Info:

Josef Langerman – LinkedIn – Twitter

Information Technology executive with experience across the Airline, Retail and Investment Banking Industries. My focus is on maximizing development throughput and large scale software development using DevOps and Agile approaches. I am also passionate about higher education and IT research. My teaching and research focus is on Project Management and Software Development.

 

Show Notes:

Jason Walker at ChefConf:

Rachel Chalmers at ChefConf:

 

Running Internal Events – The Goat Farm – Episode 5

A guy in Belgium inspires a bank in the Netherlands to hold an internal DevOps Days. A weekly newsletter in the UK picks up a presentation from that internal event, and a team in Minneapolis, MN is inspired to hold their own event.

Internal events are becoming more and more popular in Enterprise IT. Cloud Symposiums, Automation Symposiums, DevOps Leadership Summits, and DevOps Days are all internal events I have participated in this year alone. Ross and I talk to Heather Mickman (Target), Brent Nelson (Target), and Mark Heistek (ING Bank) about the events they have run in their organizations, how they got started, what challenges they faced, and any tips for people wanting to run their own events.

If you’d like to see some of the tweets and activities from Target’s last two DevOps events, you can search twitter for the hashtag #dotgt.

We also talk briefly about “The Prince of DevOps“, and reviews we’ve gotten about the podcast (sorry for the heavy breathing last time).

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

Guest Info:

Heather Mickman – LinkedInTwitter

Heather Mickman is the leader for the API and Integration team at Target and a DevOps enthusiast.  Throughout her career, Heather has continuously embraced hard technology challenges from consulting large Fortune 50 companies on Supply Chain approach, implementing warehouse automation technologies, running large Ops & Support organizations, and establishing enterprise security approaches.  She has a passion for technology, building high performing teams, driving a culture of innovation, and having fun along the way.  Heather lives in Minneapolis with her 2 sons and 2 dachshunds.


Brent Nelson – LinkedInTwitter2014-ProfilePic

Husband, father and life-long resident of Minnesota. I’ve been with Target for 26+ years and for the last year have been an internal DevOps collaboration and social media evangelist involved in hosting internal DevOpsDays events, creating/delivering internal educational materials, co-curating the #make_awesome_happen Flipboard ezine and much more.


fotoMarkHeistekMark Heistek – LinkedInTwitter

Father of two children, sport fanatic, having fun in life and working at ING Bank Netherlands since 2008. Currently in a continuous delivery team to facilitate in an enterprise continuous delivery pipeline. Furthermore a Continuous Delivery and DevOps evangelist in and outside ING.

Taylorism, Hating Agile, and DevOps at CSG – The Goat Farm – Epsiode 4

It’s time for another episode of The Goat Farm. On this episode Ross and I talk about: Why do Managers Hate Agile?Taylorism, hiring and the problems with specialization, and we chat with Scott Prugh about his experiences with DevOps at CSG.

We also touch on the idea of running internal conferences to help spread the word of new technologies within the company, and Ross shares his excitement over the wildly successful DevOps Days at Target. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode where we will talk more about running your own events.

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

Guest Info:

Scott Prugh, Chief Architect – TwitterLinkedIn

Scott is responsible for the overall Platform Architecture and Development in North American Cable. Scott led the architecture teams in developing many of CSG’s next generation assets including Product Configurator and Order Capture.  Scott has been instrumental in leading change at CSG implementing Lean, Agile and DevOps practices.  These changes have resulted in 90% reductions in release impact. Scott is a Lean Practitioner and certified as a Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant. Previously, Scott was CTO of Telution and built the core runtime and billing architecture for the COMx product suite.

Here is Scott’s talk at the DevOps Enterprise Summit 2014

 

Jonny Wooldridge on Enterprises vs Startups – The Goat Farm – Episode 3

In this episode Ross and I talk to Jonny Wooldridge, formerly of Marks & Spencer and currently at The Cambridge Satchel Company. We ask Jonny his thoughts on what DevOps is like in an Enterprise vs a Startup, how to jumpstart adoption, how to handle “legacy systems”, and get his thoughts on concepts such as “Pace Layering” and “Bimodal IT”.

Ross and I also talk about why the language we use is important when talking about DevOps and DevOps concepts.

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

Guest Info:

Jonny Wooldridge – LinkedInTwitter

Jonny Wooldridge is CTO of The Cambridge Satchel Company and has a history of leading agile cross-functional teams in dynamic and fast paced start-ups in London including lastminute.com, Opodo.com and Photobox.com. Prior to joining The Cambridge Satchel Company he was Head of Web Engineering at the British multinational retailer M&S. He was instrumental in introducing DevOps to the enterprise whilst working on a 3 year / £150 Million project to re-platform the website, order management systems & customer service tools.

He is passionate about Lean and DevOps topics, particularly in challenging environments (like the average enterprise!) and earlier this year started a blog at enterprisedevops.com.

DevOps at Target – The Goat Farm – Episode 2

In this episode of The Goat Farm we talk with Jason Walker and Dan Cundiff of Target Corporation. Jason and Dan have been instrumental in bringing DevOps to Target. Ross and I talk with our guests about the need for DevOps manifestos, the role tooling in DevOps transformations, reward structures in organizations, and hiring for DevOps.

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

Guest Info:

Jason Walker – LinkedInTwitter

Dan Cundiff – LinkedInTwitter

We don’t need no manifesto…

“If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” –Voltaire

3229643937_13bddcbf8e_oRecently there was a post on O’Reilly Radar that cited an “identity crisis” in the world of DevOps. The post called out a number of issues: namely that there are cliques in DevOps, there is nothing new in DevOps, and there is no product messaging and positioning in the world of DevOps. It ended with the call for DevOps to define itself through a manifesto, similar to the Agile Manifesto or maybe even The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

There has long been a desire to “define DevOps”. Every few months a blog post pops up that says, “Define It,” and goes on to slam the “Knights Templar of DevOps” for holding on so close to the lack of a definition. What many of these “revolutionaries” are not aware of is that the need to define DevOps has already been addressed. The de facto definition exists on Wikipedia, and it was agreed upon by the “Knights” that Wikipedia would hold the definition. This allows the definition to evolve and change over time as the industry evolves and changes. (At this point I should mention that there are no “Knights Templar of DevOps.”)

This also prevents one person or company from being the “definer of DevOps.” It gives ownership of the definition to the community. Compare that with something like ITIL, where the definitions are owned by a company and haven’t evolved much since 2007.

The definition on Wikipedia also gives guide rails for individuals and companies to work inside. If a manifesto is needed, the manifesto is up to the individual organizations that wish to transform themselves. A one-size-fits-all manifesto, as some have asked for, really isn’t effective. Each organization is different, and the guide rails give you the guidance needed to define what works best for your organization.

The DevOps Community has seen tremendous growth over the last several years. 2013 and 2014 were defining years for the community. Looking at the growth of DevOps Days, there is a clear inflection point in 2013 that shows tremendous growth in the conference series.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 7.38.18 PM

Having participated in 9 DevOps Days events myself, I can attest to the fact that the growth of the community is nothing short of phenomenal. At many of these conferences I have attended, over 70% of the attendees were new to the DevOps community. Other DevOps conferences have also popped up, such as Camp DevOps and DevOps Enterprise Summit. Couple this with many conferences now having DevOps specific tracks, and I ask, “What cliquey echo chamber?”

And speaking of the DevOps Enterprise Summit, if DevOps is so poorly defined, ambiguous, and amorphous, how can there be an entire conference focusing solely on success stories of large Enterprises? The last thing enterprises want to implement is something that is untested and unproven. Yet somehow many have begun a DevOps journey and have been successful at it.

DevOps is a cultural and professional movement. It is not a product, solution, or something you can buy off the shelf. As such, it’s rather obvious that there wouldn’t a product messaging or marketing positioning. Product and marketing positioning is obviously important when you are  tryingto sell something. It is irrelevant in the context of a community oriented movement focused on transformation.

One of the most  fascinating changes I have seen over the years in technology is the interest in other areas outside of technology. When you look at transformation, it’s important to look outside of the bubble that you live in for ideas of how to change. Yes, DevOps is often focused on ideas that have been discussed at length in other circles. That is a refreshing change in some circles of tech that think that they are the end-all be-all of significant ideas. “Nobody can teach me how to do this better,” was a common refrain when I entered the IT industry, and it still is today. When I did my MBA, the most amazing experience was learning something outside of technology, and thinking about how I could take this learning and make our industry better. Looking outside, learning, and bringing that knowledge back into the community is a defining feature of DevOps.

While the original post makes some interesting points, it seems to be proposing solutions to problems that don’t exist. In some cases, these supposed problems are defining features of the movement (lack of a firm manifesto; no product definition; old wine, new skin.) which has built a vibrant and effective community that is fundamentally transforming the way companies do IT, in spite of any challenges it faces as a growing movement.

Every synthesis of old ideas and new approaches makes some people uncomfortable and others skeptical. Results are what drive adoption, and the results from a DevOps practice are well-documented at this point. Instead of seeing challenges and hoping for a central authority to solve them, let’s continue on the path of sharing our best ideas with one another and constantly improving.

Thanks to Pete Cheslock, Bridget Kromhout, Stathy Touloumis, and George Miranda for the feedback on this post.

Welcome to the Farm – The Goat Farm – Episode 1

Welcome to the first episode of The Goat Farm. In this episode Ross and I chat about our backgrounds, our thoughts about DevOps, why the world needs another podcast, and DevOps in the Enterprise. If you want to find out how the idea for this podcast came about you can read this post or just listen.

Download MP3  – iTunesStitcherRSS

TL;DL: With The Goat Farm Ross and I hope to expand the content around DevOps in the Enterprise, with the specific focus around real world case studies and successes in the Enterprise.