Key Takeaways from Continuous Discussions(#c9d9) Takeaways Episode 91: Gene Kim and DOES'18 Speakers #2

Written by: Electric Bee
6 min read
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In a recent episode of the Continuous Discussions (#c9d9) podcast, we hosted Gene Kim and several speakers from the upcoming DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas (DOES18) conference. We’re proud Founding Partners of the event and always enjoy having IT thought leaders join us ahead of the show to talk about DevOps, the conference program and more. In this episode, we discussed the trials and tribulations of operations teams and how the conference program plans to bring next-gen operations to light.
The panel included: Shaun Norris, Global Head, Cloud Infrastructure Services at Standard Chartered Bank; Mirco Hering, Principal Director, APAC DevOps and Agile at Accenture; J. Paul Reed , founder of Release Engineering Approaches; Gene Kim , founder of IT Revolution and co-author of The DevOps Handbook, The Phoenix Project & Accelerate; and CloudBees’s Sam Fell and Anders Wallgren.
Continue reading for some of the top takeaways from the discussion!

Next-Generation Operations:

Programming and Insights

As we continue to evolve, the best is yet to come for operations teams, per Kim : “If we follow the course of what the development languages and development frameworks have done for development productivity, and extend that to operations, I think the best time for operations and infrastructure and platforms are to come.”

Kim expands on the rich learning attendees receive from experience reports being core to the DOES18 programming: “Something that I think is unique to DevOps Enterprise Summit is we get repeat experience reports. The basis for programming this is as adult learners, as leaders, we tend to learn less from what experts tell us to do. Instead, we really learn from watching what other people have done to solve certain problems.”

The DevOps Enterprise Summit helps energize attendees with slow moving DevOps journeys says Wallgren : “I was recently visiting somebody who had attended DevOps Enterprise Summit for the last two years, and had come back energized, excited, with lots of plans for what to do. It took almost two years to get the ball rolling at this large enterprise, but the excitement of those two years of attending was enough to just keep them pounding away and make it happen.”

Norris shared his experience at DevOps Enterprise Summit in the past: “It was great to hear stories of folks who are fighting through challenging situations in large complex organizations, not just of how they apply those principles, but also working from the ops side.”

Hering appreciates the DevOps community’s willingness to share: “It's incredible to see what everyone shares that is not about, ‘This is our secret sauce that only we have.’ It's more like, ‘We have big problem to solve in the community, so why don't we all share what we're doing.’ There’s enough problem for all of us and I find that incredible.”

Reed pointed out next-gen ops focus on people: “I find the term ‘next generation operations and infrastructure’ particularly interesting because one of the big shifts that I think we have all seen, specifically in operations, is the realization or discussions around not just the technology or the architecture of our infrastructure, but the actual people in the system.”

Projects vs. Products

Kim references a talk he had with DevOps Enterprise Summit speaker Dr. Steve Mayner from Scaled Agile: “ relayed his experience to me of being in a software shop and being thunderstruck that people were spending 25% of their time estimating their work. In what way is estimating work productive? We're just thinking about work, not doing the work. I'm hoping that this will give us some ammo to be able to have some provocative conversations with our project management counterparts.”

Wallgren offered an example of how project funding can impede goals: “I think we've seen this in the defense industry. They clone what they have now, move the ball forward, and when that contract ends, they move on to the next thing. It is very difficult to get the continuity that you need to have. That's a big mindset shift for people to get into. And when it's that quantile of a project that's driving the funding it's even harder, because who's going to pay the bill?”

Norris provided his thoughts on project funding models: “Being a large international bank, we still fund most software endeavors as projects as opposed to building teams that will run products. You tend to have folks who are great at front office banking running the banking business and you tend to have folks that are great at technology. And the Venn diagram of those two doesn't overlap very much.”

Hering spoke about project funding models from a service provider perspective: “We always get engaged in projects. In one of our first roles in the DevOps space, we would go back to the project team and say, ‘Well, look, we can do something with automation. We can investigate here, but that means that specific project is a bit more costly. Data projects will be cheaper.’ We ended up having to negotiate so many times, and it's still true. It’s a bit easier if you're in-house, because you can hide the guy in the corner and continue working away in automation. If you're working as a service provider, it's all very transparent.”

Reed spoke to the challenges of project funding models: “I think that out-of-the-box thinking is critical for a lot of organizations that have to justify their cost or their project budgets. There is some guidance on how to do that and do that in a way that doesn't incur that cost on your team, that human cost.”

Wallgren elaborated on treating pipelines as code: “Treating your pipeline as code is something we’ve been evangelizing. And really, that should be the first thing that you really worry about in some sense, because you’re not going to ship anything unless you have a pipeline.”

The DOES18 Las Vegas agenda is now live ! Check out the sessions from Davis, Edwards, Kersten, Limoncelli, Wallgren and dozens more. Tickets to DOES18 are running low, so be sure to register before it’s too late.

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