DevOps Radio Episode 71: Broadridge’s Daniel Ritchie Talks Cacti, Rice Paddies and Software Development

Written by: Kiley Nichols
2 min read
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Host Brian Dawson is back on the mic with Daniel Ritchie, Distinguished Engineer at Broadridge, the leading provider of investor communications, technology-driven solutions, and data and analytics to the financial services industry. This episode is chock full of metaphors as Daniel and Brian try to define DevOps and how Broadridge defines DevOps within its organization. During the course of the conversation the two discuss the misconceptions associated with DevOps, bringing DevOps to the enterprise and managing the environmental factors within organizations to make DevOps successful.

As organizations first began to figure out DevOps, practitioners who already saw the value in the process were faced with the challenge of convincing executives that it was worth adopting. Now that DevOps has been more clearly defined, organizations have better understanding of what they need to do to achieve success – Daniel even likens this to laying down pavement to create highways. He further explains the metaphor, saying that often the vehicle (tools) don’t matter as much as reaching the destination.

From there Brian and Daniel introduce the metaphor of rice paddies and cacti to better explain the importance of adjusting to different systems and products when supporting a productive DevOps team environment. Whether you’re managing rice paddies and cacti or mainframes and serverless solutions – each one requires different settings. While there’s not an easy button, organizations can benefit from creating a structure or ecosystems that allows for fill-in-the-blank for the next solution that comes along and disruption does not become chaotic.

The conversation ends with a reminder from Daniel about the importance of human kindness and empathy. Although the industry is moving closer towards automation to eliminate the mundane tasks, working together and collaborating is what truly helps deliver business value.

Want more DevOps tips, tricks and metaphors? Check out the CloudBees website to listen to our archive of episodes, or subscribe to DevOps Radio and Spotify and Apple Podcasts to get access to the latest and greatest.

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