Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Stephen Thair

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 10:05 am

Welcome to the second installment of the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today we will hear from Stephen Thair. Take it away Stephen!

1) What’s your preferred definition of DevOps?

“DevOps is an alternative model for the creation of business value from the software development life-cycle that encompasses a product-centric view across the entire product life-cycle (from inception to retirement) and recognises the value in close collaboration, experimentation and rapid feedback.”

- http://blog.devopsguys.com/2014/04/16/devops-organic-versus-transformational-devops/

2) When people ‘do’ DevOps, what’s the most common mistake you see them make?

Focussing too much on the A for Automation in the Culture-Automation-Lean-Metrics-Sharing (CALMS) model and not enough on the Culture & Sharing aspects. DevOps is about communication and collaboration as opposed to silos and isolation.

So my first question for anyone who says that they are “doing DevOps” is: “Who have you included in your DevOps conversation?” – and if that list doesn’t include Dev, Ops, QA, HR, Finance, product owners, senior management (to understand the strategic direction) etc then you’re not doing DevOps!

3) How do you recommend an organisation new to DevOps start?

Identify the key influencers in your organisation – the people everyone respects and listens to – and buy them a copy of The Phoenix Project. And once they’ve had a chance to read it then take them all out for a nice steak dinner to outline your vision for a DevOps transformation. I call this my “steak-holder management” theory of DevOps transformation. Then identify a product in your organisation that’s big enough to be important to senior management but not your #1 flagship “cash cow” product that people won’t want to risk. Build a product team (note, not a “DevOps Team”) that will apply DevOps principles to that product – cross-functional, rapid iterations, metrics-focussed, automation-driven. Show the benefits of DevOps principles, win the “hearts and minds” of the business/product owners on how awesome this alternative model for the creation of business value and then roll it out to the rest of your product portfolio.

4) What’s your prediction for what DevOps will look like in 2020?

DevOps is 2020 will probably be a bit like Agile is now – split between the Agile Manifesto and the Half-Arse Agile Manifesto. Someone will invent a prescriptive “enterprise version” of DevOps (like they’ve done with SAFe in Agile) which will be good and bad; good in that it will give organisations some guidance on how to get started and bad in that it will become the “blueprint” for how to do it and miss the essence of the collaborative and experimental nature of DevOps.

5) Where do you like to go to get a DevOps hit?

Our blog, obviously – http://blog.devopsguys.com/

Gareth Rushgrove’s DevOps Weekly mailing list is a must - http://devopsweekly.com/ 

Sadly DevOpsBorat has been quiet of late but he’s good for “keeping it real” - https://twitter.com/DEVOPS_BORAT

Our friends at ScriptRock’s blog is always worth a read - http://www.scriptrock.com/blog/. They have a good series running based on the “5 dysfunctions of a team” that’s well worth following.

Stephen Thair resized 600About Stephen:
Steve loves website operations. He’s pretty much done every job from pulling thin-ethernet cabling through floor spaces, racking servers, deploying websites, killer load testing through to managing high-performing WebOps teams for major UK online brands. He’s a regular speaker at conferences on web performance and load testing and a general #WebPerf fanatic. Originally from Perth, Australia he’s lived in the UK since 1999 and yes, he does still miss the weather!

Follow Stephen:

On Twitter
His website
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Topics: DevOpstastic, #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps