CMG hosted an expert roundtable on DevOps and had an engaging, hour-long conversations with 5 technology professionals “in the trenches” at their companies. Our goal with the Expert Roundtables series is to connect technology professionals for education and knowledge-sharing.
What new technologies are currently driving DevOps practices and why?
[Mark B. Friedman, Demand Technology Software] I would say basically the web distributed global applications that are always up and things like development technology and continuous under integration, which means that you’re constantly capable of rebuilding and initiating changes all the time and practices even related to something like widespread use of A/B testing which means you’re interacting in real time with whatever you’ve done with your application. So, all of these things necessitate that developers be part of the operation. For somebody like me who’s been in the business of IT for years and years, this is a return to the kinds of things that we used to do with mainframes that had to be up all the time and you would never put something in production that didn’t have support from your developers. But somewhere along the lines we seem to have lost that. And I see DevOps as bringing it back.
If a company is making the shift to implement DevOps, what are some of the mistakes that they make right off the bat?
[Yuri Ardulov, Workday] I think one of the biggest mistakes, is trying to put technology in front of the goals. The idea that technology is going help everything.
[Mohit Verma, CMG Board of Directors] You need to really build a roadmap for getting to DevOps maturity. You know it’s not a one-day thing. It’s probably going to happen a couple of years down the road. It’s not that simple.
[Jemmy Gazhenko, NCR] It’s a culture change more than anything because you can’t just throw tools at a problem and expect good results. You must have the right mindset going in and it could also be an organizational change too. Back in the day, the mindset was that you could not fail at a deployment and if you did, people would lose their jobs. Whereas with DevOps culture, you should fail as soon as you possibly can. Fail in development, fail in staging, so that you don’t fail in production. Fail as early as possible. obviously, but you know you want to fail as early as possible. And that’s why we have things like pipelines and quality gates and checks along the way is so that that if the pipeline fails, it’s ok don’t worry about it, just do better next time. And I think a lot of times the culture doesn’t changed when people when people are trying to install a DevOps’ principles and I think that happens a lot.
[Vinodhini Ravikumar, Blue River Technology] You have to track its progress. Break the bigger large projects into smaller milestones so that you know that the continuous learning and the improvement you get from that. That is what makes an implementation a success. And it must be a continuous with incremental progress. You have to fail a lot of times and benchmark yourself before any expected outcome is realized.
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