Mark Rendell
Mark Rendell
July 12, 2018

Thoughts from DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2018

I was incredibly fortunate to go to the DevOps Enterprise Summit conference in London recently. It was a two-day affair mostly filled with success stories from people practicing DevOps. Here are some insights and recommendations for talks to watch online.

Aimee Bechtle and John Schmidt from CapitalOne delivered a talk entitled When the Business Partners with Tech and They Do a Dojo. This was the first talk I’d seen at a DevOps conference where someone from “the business” co-presented with someone from IT about their combined DevOps journey. I suspect this is a strategy from the conference organizers to ensure they highlight the most business impactful “DevOps transformations” as opposed to stories with successes more confined within IT. They also made a strong case for DOJOs (i.e., centers for combined and extended periods of learning) and covered the importance of people change management.

Accenture’s @markosrendell shares thoughts, insights and resources from #DevOps Enterprise Summit London #DOES18


Markus Rautert and Fernando Cornago from Adidas gave a great talk about their major transformation. They had started with a key step of redefining their products to perform an Inverse Conway Maneuver (i.e., to design products that will lead to desirable lines of communication). They also had a strong sense of building platforms to support the otherwise vertically-oriented teams which I applaud. The most memorable part of their talk was called #NoTickets. Here they advocated having conversations first and raising tickets at the end just to track things. To me, it is definitely worth thinking about. My first reaction was “What about interruptions?”, but then I realized this could be a technique to help elevate where queues are a bottleneck (just as The Theory of Constraints would have us do).

As you would expect, Dominica DeGrandis did a fine job presenting and building upon the key themes from her book, Making Work Visible. It reminded me of the various experiments proposed by the book that I need to try out and also suggested metrics around use of time. Likewise, our very own Mirco Herring did a good job summarizing his book, DevOps for the Modern Enterprise: Winning Practices to Transform Legacy IT Organizations which I’m excited to say I’ve just started reading.

If like me, you are passionate about improving security by responsible use of third-party libraries (aka managing the Software Supply Chain), the Securing Open Source in Nomura’s Software Supply Chain talk by Nick Wadge will be well worth watching—almost like a passionate product pitch for Nexus Lifecycle, but from a very happy customer.

There was a good talk about Getting Started with Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) from Stephen Thorne, a Google senior site reliability engineer. He seemed very keen to state their openness to develop SRE collaboratively through learning with other organizations and seemed reluctant to come across as prescriptive or judgmental about whether other organizations are practicing SRE yet or not. He has lead the creation of a new book about implementing SRE (coming soon). It was very interesting to hear first-hand how someone so close SRE introduces it. His main points were around defining service level objectives effectively and having error budgets with consequences.

Finally, my favorite talk was by academic, Dr. Richard Cook, talking about operations and failure. It was a truly mind-expanding session about our concept of systems and uncertainty. I will definitely watch again. He was also part of the extremely interesting DevOps Symposium on Safety Culture, Lean and DevOps alongside Dr. Sidney Dekker and Dr. Steven Spear—another must watch.

The rest of the videos are all here. Happy viewing.





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