I think everyone had a great time at Agile 2015 earlier this month! The weather was great (who knew DC could have low temps & humidity in August?), the event location (Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD) was very accommodating, conversations with attendees stimulating, and sessions informative.
One night during the conference, I was walking around National Harbor with several colleagues when we ran across “The Awakening,” a modern sculpture created by J. Seward Johnson Jr.
Coincidentally, I had mentioned this sculpture to them a few days earlier & was surprised to see it in National Harbor (previously it was located at Haines Point). I hadn’t seen this piece since I was in high school. For a group of high school seniors during the height of the cold war, it was a captivating piece. Was it a soldier buried alive? (that’s what our tour guide told us) Was it a giant trying to escape from his earthly dungeon? Someone caught in quicksand? Or something else? As high school seniors, we noticed the agony clearly shown on his face. This was a man in distress.
However, this latest encounter made me think of something else: the agony and distress that release managers and operations folks must feel when they are ‘bombarded’ with a new software release every few weeks. I had a chance to talk to many business analysts and even a few operations folks during Agile2015. They almost all said that while Agile practices had been successful for their development teams, they were having trouble keeping up. Many said they were hoping to adopt other initiatives like Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment .
If you stopped by our booth, you were likely asked to participate in a survey about Agile, Continuous (anything), and DevOps. We had other 300 participants in this survey! We’ve collected and analyzed the results and have the following to report:
Frequency of production releases : 36 indicated that their organizations release new software at least weekly. That’s pretty impressive! 35 indicated that their organizations release software on a monthly basis, and 24 do it quarterly or slower.
Problems with production releases : 78 of those surveyed indicated that they had problems with getting their software into production.
Agile has been implemented; now moving towards Application Release Automation and DevOps : 87 indicated that they already do Agile and 52 indicate that they are doing Continuous Integration. However, approximately 50 indicated that within the next year they will begin efforts for Application Release Automation and DevOps.
Business motivations for improving the delivery process: The top 3 business issues for adopting DevOps cited were: improve business agility, increase product quality, and reduce deployment errors.
Challenges with application releases: The top 3 challenges with application releases cited were a) Environment differences between development and production machines, b) complex application deployments, and c) manual error prone steps.
For over 12 years, CloudBees has been accelerating and automating software delivery processes. While our initial products were targeted to activities around Continuous Integration, we have expanded our focus to include DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Application Release Automation. It’s a good thing too. Agile just isn’t enough anymore.
If you want to learn how some of the largest companies in the world are doing DevOps, check out DOES (DevOps Enterprise Summit) 2015 in October. We have a great line-up of speakers and sessions. For more information, visit: http://devopsenterprise.io/