It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - to we will hear from Dave Upton. Take it away Dave!
1) What's your preferred definition of DevOps?
To me "DevOps" is a catchall term used to denote the cultural, organisational and process requirements required for a company/group to achieve an Application Continuous Delivery process. However, I also think "DevOps" is a completely overloaded, overused and often misunderstood term and I prefer instead to talk about Continuous Delivery as that provides a much more succinct description of what we are aiming to achieve, i.e. creating an efficient end-to-end production line for software. Henry Ford invented the production line over 100-years ago and its taken us a while to get there for software. Those organisations with the most efficient production lines tend to be the winners...
2) When people 'do' DevOps, what's the most common mistake you see them make?
Underestimating the organisational transformation required, and thinking that automation tools alone will solve the problem. If we keep the production line analogy it doesn't matter how good the tools are if the production processes and structures are not in place to use them to best advantage. So it's a synergy between having the right organisational structure and culture in place, underpinned by great tooling and systems.
3) How do you recommend an organisation new to DevOps start?
By undertaking a DevOps Maturity Assessment to understand the current organisation, processes and tools, and then identifying the gaps and requirements in order to move towards a Continuous Delivery process. Implementation is best done in a "biggest bang for the buck approach" removing bottlenecks in an iterative, phased way, achieving success stories at each stage. This creates positive feedback, fostering willingness for people to change and adopt the new processes.
4) What's your prediction for what DevOps will look like in 2020?
By 2020 I would assume that "DevOps" will fall away as people and organisations will have learnt by then how to naturally arrange themselves to achieve a Continuous Delivery process, i.e. the Dev and Ops divide will not exist as all stakeholders will know how to work holistically to achieve business value through the end goal of delivering high quality Applications and Services to their end customers. Much of this will be enabled through the use of Cloud computing services which enable organisations to focus on Innovation rather than managing infrastructure. So "DevOps" will become redundant but Continuous Delivery will be the norm.
5) Where do you like to go to get a DevOps hit?
I like to participate in industry events, listen to webinars and follow the "chatter" on LinkedIn. I also really enjoy discussing first hand with customers their software lifecycle challenges. The IBM DeveloperWorks website is also a great resource for information.
Dave holds an MSc Electronic Engineering and MBA, Dave started his early career in a variety of hardware and software design roles before starting his own electronics business and then moving into Corporate positions in Product Management, Marketing and Sales. Dave has worked for many years in design automation, simulation, test management and software development tooling having roles with CoWare (acquired by Synopsis), ARM, Intel-Wind River and Electric Cloud before joining IBM Rational as a specialist in Deployment Automation, Release Management and Service Virtualization solutions. Dave has recently moved into the IBM Cloud Software Group covering a range of Hybrid Cloud and Saas products.
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