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London DevOps #24 - Hosted by the TrainLine

20/02/2017 By Omer Saadet

From engineers just getting to grips with DevOps to CIOs who have been using the methodology for some time, the London DevOps Meetup attracts a broad range of professionals, and is now one of the biggest groups of its kind.

At the 24th London DevOps Meetup, hosted by Marc Cluet   & Matt Saunders - three speakers took attendees through some of the cultural and practical aspects of using DevOps to add value to their business.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the event.

Know the real the cost of interruptions

Server Density's Hannah Foxwell spoke about the all-too-familiar issue of how digital interruptions - be it email, Slack, or Facebook – can break developers' concentration and stop them getting on with real work. But that's the tip of the iceberg: from breath-holding while emailing to disturbed sleep, too much time browsing digital devices can have effects on your physiology as well as your productivity.

So how can you master the digital deluge? A few simple steps can make a difference: manage your notifications, write down what you need to do and prioritise the tasks that need to come first, decide what you're going to work on and when, don't multitask, and find out when you're most productive and make the most of that time. Meditation, napping, and chewing gum can all help attention too. And, above all, work out what to avoid: not every email needs a response. Communication may be crucial to DevOps, but so is uninterrupted time to work.

How to do retrospectives right

Adaptavist's Dan Hardiker detailed how to get the most out of retrospectives.

Retrospectives are meant to be a way to learn from past projects to do future projects better - full of useful data not only for developers and ops professionals, but for HR execs and others too.

There are several tweaks to that can be made to the retrospective process to boost their usefulness. Don't be tempted to skip one, even when the pressure around a new release is at its highest. Don't dwell on what can't be changed, only focus on the elements you can improve. Don't forget to keep a positive view on what should be done differently in future, and assume every suggestion is valid - venting may be cathartic, but it won't help drive the change you need. Above all, don't just think about how you can do things better – think about the ways you can help your colleagues to improve too.

Master Ansible security

For Ansible users, Reevoo's Henrique Rodrigues had the 'one weird trick' that could make their lives a lot easier: a brief script that can make storing passwords a breeze. Rodrigues showed DevOps group members how to manage Ansible Vault passwords as executables, stored in the OS' keyring, or using a script to retrieve it from GPG. 

Please get in touch if you are keen to get involved with upcoming events. We are interested in speaking with companies keen to host and speakers.

The next event will be on the 7th of March and hosted by the Telegraph Media Group. You can sign up for the event here when RSVP's open.


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