Insights from 4 DevOps Experts
September 23, 2015

Pete Goldin

To better understand why everyone — including IT Operations — needs to care about DevOps, CA Technologies interviewed four DevOps luminaries and thought leaders. Their deep insights make a compelling case for Agile Operations and provide immediate practical guidance on how to get started. Here are some excerpts from the interviews:

Do you foresee a change in the culture of operations teams?

"IT operations were involved too late in the cycle and not given a seat at the table to begin with, so it felt as though they were putting on the brakes or pushing back on initiatives late in the day. Better and earlier engagement with IT operations could have avoided this situation and led to better service transition all along. Fortunately, I am seeing this dynamic between IT operations and the rest of IT change. The need for reduced cycle times means that the relationship simply has to become more collaborative to meet the speed and quality standards required. Trends such as cloud and infrastructure as code are also pulling operations concerns left in the delivery lifecycle. From the other side, developers also need to take more interest in their full stack, and the production environment, as their application stacks become more complex. All of these trends are naturally changing the culture of IT operations teams and the way they interact with development."
Benjamin Wootton, Co-founder and Principal Consultant at Contino, a UK based consultancy

With IT traditionally organized via technology function, what changes do you view as necessary to support a more "lean" and systems way of thinking?

"In DevOps organizations you end up with much smaller teams, where typically you will have dev and ops working side by side, and if not integrated into the same team, at least working far more closely together, collaborating to not just facilitate getting the feature done but making sure that it’s safely and continuously integrated and deployed into the production environment. You end up with a different looking organization."
Gene Kim, Co-Author of The Phoenix Project, founder and former CTO of Tripwire

What in particular can IT operations teams do differently to facilitate right to left feedback from ops to dev?

"Break down the silo between dev and ops and ensure that technical operations staff are involved in the product design from day one — and then keep them constantly involved in sprint planning, stand-ups, retrospectives and all the other phases of (scrum-based) agile delivery. This provides a constant right to left feedback loop from ops to dev."
Steve Thair, Co-founder of DevOpsGuys

Should IT operations teams be embracing the "Continual Experimentation"?

"A culture of learning and guided experimentation within IT operations teams is essential if they are to provide real value to organizations. A strong sense of driving continual service improvement should inform priorities: the IT operations team sees itself as building and improving key parts of the software systems. The experimentation and improvement therefore needs to be joined up with those of the development teams."
Matthew Skelton, Co-founder and Principal Consultant at Skelton Thatcher Consulting

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