Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Paul Hancock

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

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

1) What’s your preferred definition of DevOps?

DevOps is an approach to bring together agile development and agile operations within an organisation and break down silos. I think of DevOps as a journey to improve the way people work, streamline process and choose the right technology; this ultimately allows an organisation to deliver more effectively to meet their customer needs. 

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

There are a few common mistakes and pitfalls when organisations try to adopt DevOps. Some I’ve seen are: 

  • Creating a DevOps silo – an organisation buys into the DevOps approach and they recruit a central DevOps team. Rather than improve the situation the organisation has created a ‘DevOps Silo’. The DevOps skills should be embedded within teams rather than becoming a separate entity.
  • Not having the correct level of senior support within their organisation – this often leads to delays in the adoption of DevOps, causes frustration within the IT and business community and can ultimately lead to organisations disbanding or reverting back to inefficient ways of working.
  • DevOps Public Relations – with the adoption of DevOps as with any change of approach you’re effectively asking people to work and think differently. Change will always be met with some resistance and skepticism. Misunderstanding of DevOps and/or poor PR could halt the positive change you’re trying to make. Think about the communication of Why DevOps and why now? Which projects are the best candidates for a pilot activity? This will need to be communicated at various levels within your organisation. Think about the messaging to IT and the business.     

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

I’d suggest taking an approach as if you were setting up a new project. As an example here’s some of the phases and questions you’ll need to consider:

  1. Analyse
    1. Understand the current challenges your organisation faces
    2. Gather as many metrics as possible
    3. How can DevOps help?
    4. Look into the marketplace for assistance – can we do this ourselves or do we need external support?

  2. Propose
    1. Engage IT and Business stakeholders – ensure this is a collaborative activity and you have the right level of involvement from IT and the Business
    2. Build a business case for investment – use the metrics captured in your Analysis

  3. Implement
    1. Choose pilot project(s)
    2. What assistance does the team need? Does the team have the right skills?
    3. Measure pre and post implementation results
    4. Feedback to IT and Business Stakeholders
    5. Communicate results to wider IT and Business community  

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

I think DevOps will be widely adopted and the silos between development and operations will be a thing of the past. Developers will have significant control over their IT environments and what they deliver to customers.  

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

I like to attend events and discuss people’s real world experiences with DevOps. Webcasts and other website sources are useful reference/background material but meeting people and understanding their challenges and success is very effective.

About Paul:

I’ve been working in the Software Industry since 1997; always working with clients to understand their challenges and helping them improve the way they’re developing software.   

 Follow Paul:

On Twitter
His Website

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Topics: DevOpstastic, #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps