The DevOps Enterprise Summit entered its third year in Europe on June 26-27, 2018 in London. Every year, its goal is to accelerate DevOps adoption in large companies.
In London participants had a chance to network and connect with speakers during and after sessions. These networking opportunities came in various forms such as online discussions, open panels with subject matter experts, or casual lean coffee breaks. All in all, the event gathered leaders from over 500 organizations which focus on leveraging DevOps to thrive within an increasingly software-driven economy.
Let me now underline five takeaways that I personally consider to be the most important:
Dojo is the fastest and most effective way to drive change
Introducing change to an organization is very challenging, especially when all teams are fully focused on delivering their current targets. Issues vary by department and require different kinds of approach in solving them. In that case, what is the best and ultimate solution for overall improvement? According to CapitalOne – Dojo is the way. If executed properly, Dojo is an immersive learning model that fosters culture and creates an environment for knowledge exchange to give the company a jump-start into the DevOps journey. However, it takes years of hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge for the dojo execution to be effective.
Focus on the outcome, not the function
Nick Funnell, VP of Cloud Technology at Barclays Investment Bank noticed that as a company grows, the people who build it lose their focus on the final outcome. Instead, they pay more attention to new functions that appear along with the bigger size of the company. This is often the key reason why startups fail to maintain their performance acceleration once they enter the stage of a larger enterprise. In the era of very dynamic markets and almost zero time-to-market for new players, this has to be changed by companies that want to move forward. Without a doubt, the DevOps approach is a way for them to bring back the startup spirit and attitude.
Software driven infrastructure is what moves business forward
Over 30% of workers at Barclays are tech people. In the last decade, the ranking of the largest companies in the United States was dominated by technology companies. Software is responsible for a large share of product value of many physical products. On top of that, more developers are hired now in other industries than in IT. Inevitably, software is eating the world and only companies that will structure themselves around software delivery will prevail.
Broken is a normal state
Richard Cook, a professor at The Ohio State University, touched a very sensitive area of the quality of IT systems - as we develop software and infrastructure, we stress about making them fail-proof and stable, and purely perfect. Yet, there are parts of the software that will turn out to be broken. Both apps and systems constantly evolve with features and functionalities that increase their complexity and, along with that, their defectiveness. This is why when developing software or building infrastructure we have to remember that errors may and will occur. The one thing for all of us to keep in mind throughout the creation process is that broken is a perfectly normal state. This approach gives a different perspective that allows us to build things differently and to prepare ourselves and systems to deal with failure in the long run.
The system is defined by how you deal with incidents
System breakdowns are inevitable. If we can’t avoid them, the one thing that we can do is to deal with them and learn. Drawing conclusions from incidents is crucial, but not easy. However, since they are an inseparable part of the process, the best approach is to treat them as an investment and try to make the best ROI out of them. If we whitewash and ignore them we will irretrievably lose a chance to learn from our own mistakes. Usually, the human error is just a starting point of a proper investigation which leads to uncovering unknown system flaws.