Our first podcast of 2017 is with Aruna Ravichandran, co-author of DevOps for Digital Leaders. Of course when not authoring books or helping financially challenged but gifted students attend college, Aruna is a VP of DevOps marketing at CA Technologies. I have interviewed Aruna before on DevOps TV and discussed her career that has seen her go from a million lines of code contributor at HP and Juniper to business line executive.
Aruna is a very interesting person who also has some great things to share. That is why I think you will find not only this DevOps Chat interesting, but her book as well. Also, we will be doing a full hour Q & A with Aruna on January 17th that you can sign up and attend for free. If you like this interview, don’t miss the webinar. Also, if you would like to download the book you can here: http://www.apress.com/us/book/9781484218419
In the meantime, as is usual on our DevOps Chats below is a streaming audio of our Chat with the written transcript below. Enjoy!
Alan Shimel: Hey everyone, Alan Shimel here with our first DevOps chat of 2017 and we’re lucky to have Aruna Ravichandran, a VP DevOps Marketing at CA Technologies. Aruna welcome.
Aruna Ravichandran: Thank you Alan. Thanks for actually having me. I’m excited to be here with you.
Alan Shimel: Well, you are leading of 2017 so we’re going to set the bar high right away Aruna and hope to live up to it.
But Aruna, truth be told, we don’t have you on today in your VP of DevOps role: you’re here as Aruna the author today and we’re going to talk about a book that actually came out I guess towards the end of last year but it’s still out there and we’re going to be doing a webinar on it later this month, and I wanted to really talk to you about that a little bit.
The book is called DevOps for Digital Leaders. Correct?
Aruna Ravichandran: Yes, that’s correct.
Alan Shimel: And why don’t – just from the get-go why don’t you give our listeners a little bit of an overview of what the book is about.
Aruna Ravichandran: Sounds good. So this book is called DevOps for Digital Leaders, it’s all about how one can reignite their business with a modern DevOps-enabled software factory. I embarked on this journey on writing this book almost about a year-and-a-half ago along with two of my co-authors Karen Taylor as well as Peter Waterhouse.
We looked at all the different books within the market – there is no dearth for books in the market when you think about DevOps – but what we saw was that even though there are so many different books in the market nothing really talks about some of the pain points which we constantly encounter customers asking us when we talk to them.
Some of the pain points which customers constantly ask us are, “I want to be able to start this journey called DevOps. How do I start? What should my journey be? Where can I start? How do I develop? What should be my maturity model?” And so that’s one question which we constantly get across the board.
Second pain point which we have heard from customers is, “How do I actually measure the success of DevOps? What kind of metrics can I use? How is success actually going to look like which I can report back to my management chain that whatever initiative I have embarked on with DevOps is now actually successful?”
So we talked to several – over 100-plus customers – we learned from their experiences on what metrics are actually used and what is actually built practically in the industry and shared those in the form of use cases as well as actual metrics in the book.
So the book primarily focuses on DevOps adoption in terms of a journey as well as what are some of the key metrics one can actually use in order to embrace DevOps.
Alan Shimel: Great. Aruna you hit on a couple things that are kind of near and dear to me. One is something that I’ve spoken about and talked to people now for a while which is too many people – you know, DevOps is so hyped and so many people are positioning DevOps to be, you know, it’s this great, white unicorn that’s crapping out rainbows for everyone but it doesn’t always work like that, right?
There are failures, there are challenges, there are hurdles, and not everyone who just wants to do DevOps can wave a magic wand and become a DevOps factory or a modern software factory. So I’m glad to hear that this is kind of something that you guys are exposing in the book.
The other thing is, you know, in almost three years of doing DevOps.com now I find that our listeners, our readers learn the most from listening to how their peers have dealt with stuff: so case studies, case scenarios and these kinds of things. So the fact that you had access to hundreds – literally hundreds if not thousands – of customers who CA Technologies – CA has worked with – really gives us some great insight.
Can you give our listeners a little bit of a taste for the kind of – I know you call them case scenarios – and they’re kind of case studies, right? – can you give us a little flavor for what those are like?
Aruna Ravichandran: Yeah, absolutely. So if you look at the book it’s organized across the entire software factory. Let’s say if you think about customer deployments DevOps basically goes all the way down from planning to requirements to development, testing, release, and then into operations.
And so what we did was we talked to – we interviewed several different practitioners who are existing CA customers, sometimes we even talk to non-CA customers – understood the role DevOps plays in terms of culture and collaboration as well as the toolsets which they’re actually leveraging in order to implement DevOps within their companies.
And we looked at – we _____ the use cases around the whole software delivery to the chain. So if you look at the book – even though we talked with several thousand customers – you know, we couldn’t basically put all those case studies within the book, so what we did was we broke up the book across the entire software delivery chain and there is a chapter dedicated for every aspect of the software factory starting from planning to development to testing to release to operation and we leveraged one customer example on how they actually implemented DevOps best practices along with the underlying toolset and what are some of the metrics or the results they actually got in terms of being able to show what success actually looks like.
Alan Shimel: Got it. So Aruna I wanted to touch on another aspect of DevOps adoption that you hit on in the book, and that is the idea that not everyone started their DevOps journey at the same time or are going at the same speed or at the same rate, right? Some organizations are relatively mature in their DevOps adoption and DevOps practices: others are still talking about starting. So is there something for everyone in the book or do you need to be sort of on-your-way DevOps expert to really get value?
Aruna Ravichandran: No. So, you know, like I said because we knew that there is no clear-cut framework, right – like if you think about I-_____ there is a very prescriptive framework in terms of where you can actually start and how you can actually end. With DevOps one can start many different ways.
So what we actually did was we looked at some of the best practices a lot of the customers have actually implemented and built a framework in terms of a maturity model and we shared that as best practices.
So if you think about accelerating the maturity we talk about, you know, three different examples of how customers could actually start. The first way is to basically build an end-to-end release management system; and the second one is to how can you operationalize with feedback loops going all the way from Dev to Ops and vice versa.
And the last one is how could you actually optimize the continuity stability pipeline?
So we shared some of the best practices in terms of where one can actually start and how they can actually modify their processes to give them a lifecycle regardless of where they want to start. They could start in Dev and end in Ops; they could start with Ops and make changes to Dev. But we shared some of the best practices in terms of maturity model which customers can actually implement.
Alan Shimel: Excellent. Aruna, again, we only have 12 minutes or so on these podcasts but we’re going to spend about an hour – 45 minutes plus 15 minutes in questions – on an interactive Q&A webcast with you on this subject.
And I just wanted to, in our remaining time here, remind everyone or let everyone know that the webinar is scheduled for January 17th – so about two weeks from today or so – a little less than two weeks – at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. And within these show notes – if you’re listening to this on Sound Cloud or iTunes – within the show notes there we’ll have a link to the webinar. And if you’re reading along or listening on DevOps.com we’ll have a link to the registration there as well. You can get to the registration on DevOps.com – go to the webinar section and of course it will be listed there.
But importantly Aruna I wanted to mention the book itself is free, correct, for download?
Aruna Ravichandran: So the software version of the book is free. If they want to get the hardcopy they can buy it through Amazon or through our publisher which is Apress. I also want to call out and say that if they buy a hardcopy version of the book we are donating all the proceeds – the royalty from the book are being donated to a nonprofit corps Foundation of Excellence – the Foundation of Excellence’s mission is to award university scholarships for exceptionally talented but economically underprivileged high school graduates in India in order to embrace stem carriers.
And so they can either go through the softcopy of the book or they can download the hardcopy and that all of their contributions are going to be donated to the nonprofit.
Alan Shimel: That’s great Aruna. Fantastic. I also want to mention that for those who register and attend our webinar we are going to give out ten signed copies – signed by Aruna and her co-authors – to ten folks who attend the webinar. I have to mention that those are US-based folks only as the logistics of mailing hardcopy books make it prohibitive to send them across the oceans. But ten US attendees will win signed copies of the book and everyone who attends will get a link to download the soft version, and of course you can buy the hardcopy version – the hard-book version on Amazon or Apress. Again, we can register that at DevOps.com.
Aruna, we’re almost here at the end but just to give some of the people – some of our listeners a little tease of what we’ve got going on. I know there’s some CA-sponsored DevOps research that’s due out shortly and that kind of reinforce this idea that organizations that do DevOps are doing better. Can you give us a preview or you’re not allowed yet?
Aruna Ravichandran: I can give a little bit of preview. But what I can say is we did our research with one of our analyst vendors and partners with over 1,200 participants around DevOps and what I can say is that 87 percent of DevOps adopters have reported an improvement in customer experience.
There is a lot of rich statistics which we uncovered as a result of that particular survey and we will be able to share the results from that particular survey report on January 11.
Alan Shimel: Great. Maybe we can speak about it a little bit on the webinar for January 17 as well – or incorporate it into –
Aruna Ravichandran: Absolutely we will.
Alan Shimel: That sounds great. Well, Aruna, we certainly look forward to the webinar on January 17, but more, you know, as importantly, congratulations on authoring or co-authoring what sounds like a great book, and kudos actually for your donating the proceeds of the book to a worthy cause: I think it says a lot about who you are and what are the kind of reasons behind that, so thank you.
Anything else before we wrap up?
Aruna Ravichandran: Nope. I’m very excited to partner with you in order to share our experiences around writing this book and the journey, and hope that this book will be insightful for all of our DevOps practitioners who are embarking or are already on their way within DevOps.
Alan Shimel: Okay. Well, Aruna Ravichandran, co-author of DevOps for Digital Leaders, thank you so much for appearing on this episode of DevOps chats and we look forward to our interactive Q&A webinar on January 17 at 2:00 PM with you to continue our discussion. Thank you.
Aruna Ravichandran: Thank you Alan.
Alan Shimel: Thank you. This is Alan Shimel for DevOps.com and we’ll see you soon on another DevOps chat.