One of my favorite DevOps definitions has to do with applying lean and agile principles across the software delivery lifecycle so that enterprises can achieve continuous delivery of consistently innovative, digital solutions. While I feel this definition is accurate, it doesn’t fully recognize the importance of a DevOps culture, and the role it plays in achieving success.

I’m fortunate to have met with many different companies over the years. And in general, they have all been extremely open to sharing their successes (and challenges) with the tools, processes and cultural considerations when implementing DevOps in their companies. Historically these discussions were often one-on-one, as opposed to group settings. I’d heard many variations on a theme, and eventually (just a few years ago in fact) clients began to request our help in sponsoring face-to-face user group experiences. Groups that would bring together like-minded technologists and discuss better ways of “doing DevOps”. We really owe these clients our thanks and admiration for taking such a big first step. For if it weren’t for them, the DevOps community would not have benefited from these productive meetings. Amazingly our user groups have brought together hundreds of people, including over 50 more at our most recent gathering in Raleigh this July.

Many in this last group asked the question, “why wait for another year to get together?”. So, we thought we’d do something a bit more frequently, and do it virtually to allow all enterprise clients to attend. This was really the genesis for what we are pleased to announce as the IBM Z DevOps Village user group. Set to kick off Thursday September 19th at 11am EST, it proves to be an exciting and productive group.

Our first session will be something that has been a bit of a hot topic and has surely been leaving many of us scratching our heads: automated mainframe testing. We think the interest is high, and we want to invite all DevOps enthusiasts to participate and share your questions, thoughts, and best practices around this key component of continuous integration – testing. We’ll begin the session with a short testing update from Rosalind Radcliffe, an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for Enterprise DevOps. Following the update, we’ll open up the floor to you all to discuss your most pressing testing problems and collectively brainstorm solutions for you to take back to your enterprise. Maybe you have a win you’d like to share, that’s great too. We could all benefit from the ups and the downs. Or maybe you have a problem that somebody else has already solved for, bring whatever you’ve got!

At the risk of sounding cliché, it does take a village – collaborative thinking and sharing experiences – to solve many of these DevOps challenges. During my many years of experience, I’ve never been part of a successful project that didn’t benefit from many perspectives. We’d love to hear, share and socialize your ideas for the benefit of the community. Quite frankly it’ll make all of our jobs easier (who doesn’t love that)!

So, right now, stop what you’re doing, and sign up for our first session – Click here to register. It proves to be our most jam-packed 2-hour session dedicated to accelerating your DevOps journey.

I look forward to rolling my sleeves up with you all and helping the entire village in its DevOps transformation.

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