Last week, IBM InterConnect brought together quite the gathering of IT pros engaged in DevOps, continuous delivery and digital transformations of their core businesses. Throughout the week, speakers from the Fortune 500 brought forth stories of real world experimentation, success and lessons learned from their DevOps journeys.
Here are some of the best chestnuts to make it out of the show:
Chris Nowak, senior vice president of DevOps for Bank of America
“We’re in sales. Our job is to sell DevOps inside the organization and unless I have the reporting and the data, I’ll get questions every week from CIOs that I can’t answer.”
Nowak recommends that organizations interested in gaining executive support through incremental shifts to DevOps and small wins along the way do their best to collect baseline metrics so they can offer evidence of the potential for improvement through DevOps.
Rich Moran, vice president of web architecture for Fidelity Investments
“When you automate bad processes, you just do bad things faster.”
A longtime architect, Moran explains he’s never seen a tool solve a process problem. In his opinion, DevOps transformations require organizations to think through processes and processes before implementing an automated pipeline, getting a good understanding of how software will be delivered, which groups are involved and when, what the flow will look like, how code will be checked and how approvals will work. Because when those details aren’t addressed and people just start running tools, that’s when they fail.
Gary Gruver, president of Practical Large Scale Agile
“You will probably write more code for test automation than you will code for running your product. And that is not bad.”
According to Gruver, test automation is one of the most important pieces to a DevOps transformation at enterprise scale and it’s also one of the things most often done wrong. Organizations must strive to getting it reliable, stable and maintainable.
Heather Cox, chief client experience digital and marketing officer for global consumer banking at Citi
“The payments and banking space is being fundamentally transformed. It has been said that people need banking, they don’t necessarily need banks.”
Cox kicked off the conference with this well-Tweeted thought, introducing the idea that large enterprises may be dragged kicking and screaming into DevOps and continuous delivery due to overwhelming competitive pressures. Small companies are now able to operate at previously impossible scale and completely disrupting enterprise dominance within their markets.
Jim Neumyer, senior application developer for HM Health Solutions
“Take small bites. Don’t shove the ice cream cone in our mouth all at one time.”
As Neumyer explains, the smaller the bite, the easier it is to tweak things along the way. Just as continuous delivery emphasizes iterative improvements in software development, the DevOps and Agile journey isn’t meant to be made in one massive leap.
Matt Ellis, vice president and CTO of architecture and technology for IBM Software Group
“You don’t know what the user wants until they see it.”
As one of the lead executives in charge of leading the internal IBM DevOps transformation, Ellis emphasized the importance of fast cycles of end user feedback in driving timely innovation through continuous delivery.
Pascal Eymery, vice president of strategy and business development customer support at Airbus
“The good thing about cloud and mobile is you can develop very quickly. You can scale fast if it works or just try something else if it doesn’t.”
Eymery’s organization has been tasked with helping deliver more value to airline customers through technological innovation. This includes developing iPad apps for pilots for Airbus cockpits that allow them to optimize takeoff and landing performance for fuel economy and baking in better telemetry improve maintenance windows. The fail fast and iterate mantra has been strong at Airbus.