Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Ant Weiss

Posted by Priyanka Jain on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 @ 11:10 am

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It's the Ranger4's #DevOpsFriday5 series and this week's answers are courtesy of Ant Weiss. He's Devopstastic!

1) How do you think bi-modal IT complements or contradicts DevOps principles and practices?

The concept is problematic in that it proposes that some IT systems are not a good fit for CI/CD, Cloud, automation or collaborative development. This is a false assumption. The implementation isn't always the same, but every kind of system can benefit from applying these principles and technologies. Bi-modal can be accepted as a transition phase on the road to DevOps. It's certainly easier to apply new methodologies to greenfield projects, but it's in fact the legacy systems that can profit from them most.

2) How do you think an organisation can achieve end to end ideation to realisation? (Measuring the cost of a feature from inception to delivery and its value when operating in production)

Metrics are the key. We need to be able to trace each feature from the original requirement, through source control, build and into the deployed release. We need to measure the time and resources involved and then the overall business results impact. The costs are easier to measure than the vaule. As an example - how do you measure the value of a feature which kept the revenue on the same level, but if not implemented would have caused revenue decline? A/B testing and canary releases can be of help and provide some insight but many times there are no hard cold numbers. The important thing is investing into quality and the best tools we can buy or build. With these comes our ability to perform and outperform.

3) How do other frameworks or movements like Lean or Agile impact your ability to do better, faster, safer to drive up customer satisfaction and lower cost of service?

Any framework is only as good as its implementation. Their main value is that they give us the common language, semantics and values. These, if applied correctly - can improve communication and make us focus on specific things. When we are focused on work-related values(e.g on eliminating waste) we always deliver better results. But if we are focused on office politics and power games - no framework will ever help.

4) What are the key pieces of advice or encouragement you would give a devops change agent driving improvement?

Get the management sponsorship. Start small and get them hooked with great self-service, beautiful dashboards, one-click deployments. Share knowledge - offer training, workshops. Be an example of transparency and visibility - publish post-mortems, how-tos, business metrics. Talk to people - try to understand their pains and fears and be the solution provider.

5) What metrics really matter when you are doing devops?

That's worth a whole article :) But in general - we need to measure 3 things: quality, velocity and business results. Examples of quality would be deployment success rates, rework rate. Examples of velocity metrics: lead times, MTTR. Business metrics are specific to each business, but it all comes down to customer satisfaction and engagement. If the customers love you - the money will come.

About Ant:

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Anton (Ant) Weiss is the founder, principal consultant and CEO at Otomato™ – the effective software delivery company. Anton has been building and delivering software for the last 15 years both at large enterprise companies (AT&T, BMC) and startups. A big fan of technical training and knowledge sharing, Anton was one of the initiators and instructors of the first DevOps certification course in Israel. 
Anton is a seasoned engineer, but he also holds a BA in Sociology and an MBA, which makes him very keen on exploring the social aspects of collaborative software development. Frequent speaker at technology events and a rock star - Ant loves the stage and makes sure his audience stays both entertained and enriched. Firm believer in continuous improvement and organisational transparency.

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Topics: #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps