Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Helen Beal

Posted by Tejinder Sehgal on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 @ 11:06 AM

It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today's contributor is Helen Beal. She's DevOpstastic!

1) How would you describe the relationship between DevOps, Agile and ITIL?

I think the prevalence of both Agile and ITIL is a big driver for DevOps; Agile is about delivering (or releasing) code in small chunks or iterations and DevOps extends that to the deployment and management of those new features to the end user in the live environment. Sometimes we meet with organisations whose experience has been, or have the perception that, Agile is a bit ‘loose’ and doesn’t have enough controls to mitigate the risk of failure. This is usually when Agile has not been implemented correctly - it is about doing things faster, but absolutely not at the detriment of quality; quite the opposite in fact, it’s about building quality in early. Similarly, some organisations have the impression that DevOps is a bit ‘fly by night’ and, once more, we strongly dispute this. In fact, some of the core tenets of DevOps, for example, metrics and measurability are absolutely about having controls over the process. And a lot of the automation tooling available now supports ITIL hugely by doing things like secure, role based access to systems supporting processes like release, and providing comprehensive audit trails.

2) Can you describe what DevOps looks like when it’s ‘done’?

I have 5 things I’m currently talking to people about as high level goals of DevOps:
- Deployment on demand
- Eliminating technical debt and unplanned work
- Failing smart/safe/fast
- Looking outside-in
- Measuring idea/feature value
So I could posit that DevOps is ‘done’ when these 5 things are achieved. You can read more about my thinking on this here.

3) What do you think are the key metrics for DevOps?

I wrote a blog about this here! I do think though that, even though there is value working towards a standard/generic set of DevOps metrics, every business will have some that are unique and highly important to them and are closely tied to their business goals.

4) What attributes constitute a culture embracing DevOps?

There’s a bit about that in the blog in the last question, but the most concise answer I have is that it’s an environment that fosters autonomy, mastery and purpose. Once more (sorry!) I wrote a blog about this a while back summarising our thinking around DevOps goals and reward setting. You can read it here. At a high level, what we’re trying to do with DevOps is create cultures where release weekends aren’t a thing (releasing is like breathing), war rooms don’t exist (failure doesn’t happen or is easily remedied - and nobody lays blame), unplanned work doesn’t stress people out, innovation is core and companies are thriving and individuals are energised and passionate and enjoy what they do at work.

5) Is Continuous Delivery the ultimate goal of DevOps? How do other ‘Continuouses’ (continuous deployment, testing, improvement etc) contribute in a DevOps transformation?

Sometimes. Actually, we’re meeting an increasing (although still small) number of organisations who don’t like to use the word ‘DevOps’ - either they’ve tried something already that went a bit wrong and its got itself a bad name or sometimes Infosec people think it’s a bit risky (see my answer to the first question). My response to this is that DevOps at is core is a set of philosophies and methodologies supported by some best practice processes and automation tooling that helps people deliver software better (more of it, faster, and of higher quality). If this approach helps people to improve further and drives momentum for change and the appetite to try new things, what does it matter what it’s called?

Helen_Beal-resized-600.jpgAbout Helen: Helen is a DevOps enthusiast who has been helping organisations with software development lifecycle improvement for nearly 20 years with particular specialisms in release and deployment automation, integration testing and service virtualization and application performance management. Helen is fanatical about making life on earth fantastic and a big fan of llamas.

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Topics: DevOpstastic, #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps