By Chris Nowak
DevOps as a phrase first appeared on October 30, 2009 when the first DevOps Days was held in Ghent, Belgium. For those of us who have been on this journey since before DevOps was a word, it’s hard to believe we just made a career out of something we thought was just a better way to deliver software. Journey is the right word. If one thing has emerged as a DevOps truth, it’s that DevOps is a never-ending journey of improvement. So where is the journey leading us now?
In our Day 1 phase, we all collectively realized we have a design-delivery problem, both between the business and the development teams, and between the development teams and the rest of the IT organization.
We adopted agile (born in February 2001), and put some automation tools in place to help, usually spot-treating our most painful friction points. Somewhere along the way, we began to realize that DevOps is more than just SCCS, VSS, Bugzilla and Cruise Control. We thought we figured some of this out by creating CICD toolchains and Build Engineering teams. We put the system on auto-pilot, put our feet up on the desk, sipped some coffee, and thought, “Life is good.”
Then BAM! Cloud, mobile, mergers, meltdowns, and cloud-native competitors like FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) smacked us. As we were asked to deliver software faster against evolving architectures and markets, the beautifully elegant technology chains and agile boards we put in place starting to show stress fractures.
In Day 2, we are realizing we have process, silo, and scaling problems. We are starting to feel that we have a business alignment problem. So, what we really have are culture challenges to solve. We like to talk about DevOps as CALM – Culture, Automation, Lean Process and Measures – but it seems that we’re mostly focusing on A & M.
Day 2 will be about applying the lessons we learned, not just with technology, but about adaptability and becoming learning organizations. The winners in the second decade will learn to work together better as collaborating teams across the entire organization and aligning all actions to business goals. The winners will be finding ways to run their IT as businesses, evolving to business capabilities, and really figuring out how to discover and inspect the information flow across the organization that will enable leaders to make proper risk and revenue decisions.
Fortunately for us, one of the most self-preserving qualities of the DevOps movement is our mantra of sharing lessons and collaboration. This extends beyond our own corporate walls. It’s in our DNA that we strive to be learning and growth organizations, and happily talk about DevOps and lessons learned to anyone who will listen. DevOps success is a combination of grass-roots mavericks and visionary executives willing to make investments.
We are fortunate to have a truly first-class set of conferences as part of our shared-learning DNA which address both the grassroots and the enterprise executives. The DevOps Days sessions that started in Belgium are now world-wide grass-roots conferences. On the other end of the spectrum, the DevOps Enterprise Summit is now entering its 6th year, hosting conferences in London and Las Vegas in 2019.
As we ramp up for the London DevOps Enterprise Summit at the end of June, we’ve curated a list of presentations we think capture the spirit of where Day 2 / Decade 2 DevOps is headed.
We hope to see you there! Stop by the HCL or IBM booth for a chat!