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.

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.

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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