The La Fosse DevOps Practice held this MeetUp event in partnership with IG, with two speakers at the forefront of the DevOps space today. We brought senior executives together to talk through challenges and trends around integrating a DevOps methodology with their peers, and hear from those successfully doing it.

Before three breakout pillars exploring some of DevOps most pressing matters – toolchain vs people, the ROI of DevOps, private cloud vs public cloud – attendees heard practice case studies from two keynote speakers: Deloitte Digital’s Johnathan Phan and IG’s own Hamed Silatani. As a DevOps manager himself, the appeal of the methodology for Phan is that it allows businesses to focus on their delivery pipelines: taking one element of a project from idea to production within hours.

Culture, extreme ownership, and trust are all key to successful DevOps adoption, according to Phan. Typically, as companies work on projects, groups will form along the way – dev, testing, and sysadmin, for example – and tension can rise between them. A culture that allows DevOps to flourish is one where all team members can focus on delivery as a group, and not on the expectations of their departments.

‘Extreme ownership’, meanwhile, is a principle first used by the military, and now adopted in IT, which can benefit DevOps. Extreme ownership stipulates that adaptability is key: every leader is responsible for failure, regardless of where difficulties lie. By being aware of others’ duties and having shared ownership of delivery, teams can learn to adapt more efficiently in response to their colleagues’ needs.

Trust is also key to successful DevOps: trust that teams can deliver what they have been asked to, and those teams being trusted with the tools they need to do so, even when that involves a production environment or sensitive data. One way of building that trust is using an SRE team to sit between dev and the production environment. Similarly, knowing you have systems that can rollback changes very quickly, and dashboards that can validate progress towards objectives, are useful tools in gaining others’ trust.

While Phan’s talk centered on how to make DevOps work in organisations, Silatani’s focused on how to get a DevOps project signed off in the first place.

While the features set is always the hot topic in development discussions, Silatani believes more emphasis should be put on performance and reliability – potentially because both elements are so crucial, and taken as given, people rarely feel obliged to spend time talking about them. Business stakeholders will always have performance and reliability requirements, but will tend to assume they’re built into the fabric of the project.

But once a team member tries to lay out those requirements and ask peers how they should look, everyone in the team will have an opinion on the subject – and likely a different one to their colleagues. By setting out to gather for those opinions, a common language of performance and reliability, and a common roadmap, can be built. But what are the first steps to doing that? Have conversations with as many senior leaders as you can, Silatani advises, as one of them may well go on to become the senior sponsor that can help you gain acceptance for your project at the highest levels. That, and consider not using the term ‘DevOps’ – concepts like ‘performance’ and ‘reliability’ are likely to be more widely embraced, he says.

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Johnathan Phan – Deloitte Digital

  • How does DevOps fit in with Agile and other delivery methodologies?
  • Where does DevOps begin and end and what should you be considering when implementing DevOps into your organisations?

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Hamed Silatani – IG

  • How to work with product owners to bring performance and reliability to the top of everyone’s agenda
  • Learn the techniques Hamed used to align business and technical stakeholders to deliver a new performance and reliable trading platform

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