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.

Download MP3 – iTunesStitcherRSS

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.

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.

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

You Build Kingdoms Because Your Mother Didn’t Love You

Mother-Child_face_to_faceDestruction of silos is all the rage in DevOps and has been since the beginning of the movement. Patrick Debois wrote a very intelligent piece on why silos exist and how they came about as a management strategy. While the post explains why hierarchy style of management came about in the US (General Motors and Sloan), it doesn’t cover some of the personal motivations as to why silos or management kingdoms come about.

Parkinson’s Law

Over the last several years Bike Shedding – or more appropriately Parkinson’s Law of Triviality – has become very popular in technology.  But in all the trivial debate, it seems more technologists have missed C. Northcote Parkinson’s other law, aptly named Parkinson’s Law.

Parkinson’s Law simply states “…that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Any life long procrastinator will immediately know this is true, as does anyone that has attempted to do any level of project management. Further, Parkinson explains that this expansion of work, also creates an expansion of people doing the work. While Parkinson was focused on governmental organizations, Parkinson’s Law can also apply to other organizations.

Parkinson attributes this expansion of work to two factors:

Factor I.—An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals; and

Factor II.—Officials make work for each other.

The Law of Multiplication of Subordinates

Now as work expands, for whatever reason, Parkinson explains that the worker (worker A) must find ways to handle the workload. Parkinson explains that they must find a solution and have three options:

  1. Resign
  2. Split the work with colleague B
  3. Hire subordinates.

And as Parkinson points out, any rational actor is going to choose #3, and in doing so will at a minimum hire 2 subordinates, workers C and D. Hiring one subordinate would be effectively equal to #2, splitting the work with C instead of B, and thus increasing the pool of competition (A, B, and C would effectively be at the same level at this point). Thus the rational choice is to hire 2 or more subordinates, and in doing so A can leverage C and D against one another, holding a possible promotion out as a carrot in order to keep C and D in check.

Of course, work expands, eventually C and D become too busy, and thus they must make the same choice that A had to when they were hired. Rational actors as they are, they choose option #3, each hire 2 subordinates (at least), and please welcome E, F, G, and H to the company. Worker A now has a beautiful fucking kingdom; self-loathing because of an unloving mother notwithstanding.

The Law of Multiplication of Work

As Parkinson points out, seven people are now doing what one once did. Instead of simply expanding to fill time, work now begins to multiply. Why? Well the workers begin to create busy work for each other. The example Parkinson gives follows as such:

“An incoming document may well come before each of them in turn. Official E decides that it falls within the province of F, who places a draft reply before C, who amends it drastically before consulting D, who asks G to deal with it. But G goes on leave at this point, handing the file over to H, who drafts a minute, which is signed by D and returned to C, who revises his draft accordingly and lays the new version before A.”

Parkinson continues his example documenting the busy work that this kingdom produces, much of it useless, and leaves the example with A leaving the office for the day:

“Among the last to leave, A reflects, with bowed shoulders and a wry smile, that late hours, like grey hairs, are among the penalties of success.”

Success indeed my King, Success indeed.

Sound Familiar?

If at this point, you haven’t seen the slightest reflection of an org you know, work at, or have worked for then please let us all know the magical organizational utopia that employs (or has employed) you. Snark and rage aside, this really highlights the problems of many organizations; big kingdoms built to produce very little of value other than process and busy work. And that is why the DevOps Silo Rage gets so much airtime. Process and busy work are there to further the growth of the kingdom, not feed the soul of the individuals at the bottom.

This also highlights why DevOps focuses so heavily on borrowing from things like Lean Manufacturing. Lean emphasizes getting rid of unnecessary process and waste, in order to focus on value creation activities. It also empowers the individuals – E, F, G, and H in the example above – to shape how the value creation process should actually work and what processes are wasteful.

Now reflect on A. What if (s)he came in one day and E, F, G, and H wanted to revamp all the “meaningful” process that keeps them in check. What do most kings (or queens) do when a revolt happens? Kingdom in jeopardy, they squash the rebellion and execute the leaders of the rebellion. Sometimes the monarchy throws carrots to the rebels to appease them just enough to keep the rebellion down.

And that is my rub with the Marketing Driven DevOps drivel being produced today. It’s a fucking carrot to appease the rebels in order to keep the status quo, kingdoms intact, and incumbents in bed with the monarchy. It’s an illusion to pretend you’re doing something new, and at the end of the day thinking, “All this hard work is just my price for my success.”

Parkinson’s Law – The Economist – November 19th, 1955 – http://www.economist.com/node/14116121