Lean Coffee for the Public Sector

DevOps World Jenkins World 2019 session on public sector DevOpsThis probably isn’t the best way to start a blog post about my upcoming session at DevOps World | Jenkins World but — my favorite part of attending conferences is the interactions I have in between the sessions. You know, when you bump into that person in the hallway for whom you have a burning question. Or when you end up talking to one of your favorite authors while in line for coffee. And how about when you run into two people you follow on Twitter in the bathroom and the three of you end up solving all the world’s DevOps problems? 

In my role as a customer success manager, I have the distinct pleasure of working with several brilliant customers in the public sector, specifically in the United States government. How this came about is actually a funny story. I lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for over 20 years, and during that time I somehow managed to never really work on any government projects. About three years ago, I moved from DC to North Carolina, and when I joined CloudBees I was immediately pegged as the Washingtonian and put on several of the U.S. government accounts. I guess DC is in my blood forever.

Working with these customers, I quickly learned that bringing DevOps to the public sector presents its own special challenges, often requiring creative solutions, brilliant minds, and some serious patience. Working in this space can be isolating, with the larger DevOps world speeding towards technologies that may not yet available to us, as we struggle internally to bring basic DevOps concepts to legacy programs. Which is why I wanted to take the opportunity at DevOps World | Jenkins World to deliberately organize a “between the sessions” interaction with those of us working in and with the public sector.

In this session, we will take advantage of this rare gathering of DevOps professionals to come together as public sector DevOps professionals and help each other solve our common issues. Using the Lean Coffee meeting technique, we will democratically determine our agenda and begin attacking some of the public sector DevOps challenges.

I am not an expert when it comes to DevOps and Jenkins in the public sector, but I can tell you several of my customers are. So rather than creating slides and preparing a talk on what I believe to be the important topics, I decided to use the Lean Coffee structure to determine the topics and facilitate the session. For those not familiar with Lean Coffee, it’s a structured way to democratically create a meeting agenda and run the discussion similar to sprint planning, using a Kanban board and timeboxing (I am a big fan of the technique and strongly recommend anyone who runs teams and/or meetings check out http://bit.ly/leancoffeguide for more details.) 

All who work with and for the public sector are welcome, however, vendors and contractors will not be permitted to do any direct selling during the session. Should you attend if you don’t work in the public sector? Absolutely! Anyone who works in a regulated/highly regulated environment will benefit from joining in or simply observing.

Register now for DevOps World | Jenkins World 2019 in San Francisco, CA  August 12 - 15.