We recently hosted a special episode of our Continuous Discussions (#c9d9) podcast, featuring Gene Kim and speakers from the upcoming DevOps Enterprise Summit San Francisco (DOES17). The panel discussed the deployment age, and how DevOps practices and automation can unburden teams and boost productivity.
The panel included: Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop; Robin Yeman, fellow at Lockheed Martin; Courtney Kissler, VP of digital platform engineering at Nike; and, our very own Sam Fell and Anders Wallgren.
Continue reading for some of their top takeaways:
Kersten discusses the importance of spreading the word about DevOps tooling: “I think the best thing we can do is accelerate this turning point by giving the rest of those 15 million developers working in all of those other companies the tools that they need to apply these technical practices and to reorient their organizations to actually leverage them.”
Yeman on the multiplier effect of automation: “DevOps is definitely all about the people, but the automation enables people to have such a higher outcome and better business results. It’s almost like a force multiplier for companies.”
It’s crucial to look at the bigger picture of software delivery, advises Wallgren: “If you don’t have a big picture of what your value stream is from one end to the other, it’s hard to convince people that the problem they’re looking at is in fact not the right problem to be focusing on, or whether that is the right or wrong problem.”
Organizations that employ transformational leaders succeed, claims Kim: “We see people driving DevOps transformations in large complex organizations, specifically the DevOps enterprise community, and my claim would be that these people are being promoted at a rate far higher than the population at large. My interpretation of this is that the value that’s being created by these leaders is appreciated and they’re being put into roles where they’re being asked to make an even greater contribution across even a broader portion of the organization.”
You can’t just optimize for cost and efficiency anymore, explains Kissler: “There’s this realization that we’re all shipping software and really embracing that and understanding that organizations that have typically optimized for cost and efficiency are not going to win. And so, optimizing for speed to value, the value stream is a huge shift as well.”
Yeman explains the awesome leadership structure at Lockheed Martin: “At Lockheed, most business leaders were engineers at one point in time. So, if you’re looking at the President or the Vice President, they started out in software, or systems, or as a tester. They have to have depth in their area because then they can really empathize with what we’re building and with, you know, the people that are building it.”
More on the wonders of automation, per Kersten: “Agile has scaled up, but it kind of hit a brick wall until automation came into play and organizations realized that they needed reliable, predictable, and safe ways to deploy. I think one of the most interesting things that happened when the technical practice matured around that automation layer is all of the other gaps it uncovered.”
Wallgren on the ironic manual nature of the software delivery industry: “I think that one of the paradoxes of what we do in software teams is we don’t use software at all, most of the time, to help us produce our own software. We use people.”
Kim reflects on revelations after reading “Disrupt or Die” by Jedediah Yueh: “The real value that DevOps will create is not going to be in the FAANGs, the Facebook’s, Amazon’s, Apple’s, Netflix’s, and Google’s of the world, but it really is in the large brands in every industry vertical as they either disrupt, get digitally disrupted, or digitally disrupt themselves.”
Kissler on how to respond to the exponential growth of digital disruption: “I think the acknowledgment of where we’re at and where we need to go and how fast we can get there is a huge component of responding to the digital disruption.”