Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Mike Preston

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 10:08 am

It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today's contributor is Mike Preston. He's DevOpstastic!

1) What’s your preferred definition of DevOps?

DevOps is a cultural movement within business (especially tech) that aims to reduce friction between departments by reducing barriers. With software businesses this is often biggest between development and operations and so you see most definitions dealing purely with development and operations and the flow between them.

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

Setting up a DevOps team. DevOps isn't a thing you can bolt onto your business, it’s something that needs cultural change to do.

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

Make the development systems and production closer to identical (not always easy with commercial apps as licensing can be prohibitive). Reduce barriers to deployment; if you currently release code to production on a three month cycle, try to halve that. Code that isn't released isn't bringing value to the business.

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

Normal stacks in many businesses will start to resemble a layer cake with each layer able to be swapped out in seconds thanks to containerisation. This will make integration testing, upgrading and other tasks trivial to do. We will see standard development platforms building around this idea so that testing can prove that basic functions work before it is available to production and this will be a common task in the development workflow. Developers will build for horizontal scalability from the get-go as all their dev tools/platforms are hosted in the cloud. This will mean that dev and production are literally identical. DevOps experts will start to be rebranded as the cultural change outgrows the label. Many people will jump on the bandwagon telling everyone that they were doing this before it was cool with their x methods in the 90s/00s as a way to make it look like they aren't a latecomer to the party.

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

I went to DevOpsDays London last year and gave an ignite talk on burnout and will be returning for the next UK event. The comments were very supportive and I have been talking with a few people about developing the talk into a full length session for another event. I've recently started a DevOps meet up group in Leicester (@devopsleicester) because of the lack of groups in the Midlands. The majority of the time I rely on the people I follow on Twitter to surface decent articles on DevOps and related topics. This seems to be working well for me at present. I rarely get a chance to listen to podcasts but I've caught a couple of @foodfightshow and @hangops episodes.

Mike PrestonAbout Mike

Mike Preston is a former freelance consultant with a broad experience within the IT industry. Currently working at Synety, a VoIP telecoms company in a Sysadmin/Deployment Engineering role.


Mike is  particularly interested in projects/roles that push the bounds of current technology, especially if related to VoIP, Virtualisation or 'Big Data' and where the project has the potential to change society for the better.


Mike has been both pure programmer and sysadmin in previous roles but over the last few years have been tending towards roles better categorised as 'DevOps' (ie. Deployment Engineer and Systems Automation style roles).

Follow Mike:

On Twitter
His Website 
On LinkedIn

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Topics: #DevOpsFriday5