I am just recently back from London (again) where I attended Gene Kim’s DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2016. To me the theme from this years show is that at so many large enterprises (or horses as Gene calls them), we are moving from the initial “pockets of DevOps” trials to full blown DevOps adoption across the enterprise. This DevOps adoption is even moving beyond just the pure Dev and Ops team to include many different parts of the enterprise. Marketing, sales, business units and even HR are jumping the DevOps bandwagon to perform at higher levels.
Time and time again we saw speakers get up and describe how their organization started with pockets of DevOps adoption 2 to 3 years ago or more and now those successful efforts had been replicated in other parts of the enterprise.The results have convinced other parts of the organization to give DevOps theories a chance.
Of course not everyone agrees that DevOps has a place in the enterprise beyond Dev and Ops. I spoke briefly to John Willis about it and his initial reaction was that he is more of a purist who believes DevOps is still about Dev and Ops, not HR or other departments. I didn’t get a chance to speak to John more about this as it was a busy few days, but hope to follow up with him soon on it.
In the meantime the idea that DevOps starts with a beachhead or pocket of DevOps is one we have heard before. Carmen DeArdo of Nationwide has talked about how he has helped lead Nationwide’s DevOps transformation by picking a few smaller but important projects that generated visibility for the rest of the organization to see that DevOps does indeed work.
Of course Carmen is not alone in the concept of pockets of DevOps. We have heard similar from folks like Gary Gruver in his “Leading the Transformation” book, Damon Edwards and others espouse this approach. What is interesting to me though is the follow through we saw at DOES.
I think we can all imagine that if DevOps works in a few projects, we would see it rolled out to more Dev and Ops teams. What I think was really surprising was that it doesn’t stop there. The fundamentals and principles of DevOps are proving to be useful beyond the borders of developers and sys admins.
One could say that it would be easy to see how adjacent players like QA and security admins would also see the benefits of DevOps. But as we saw at DOES London even HR and other business units are joining in the DevOps fun.
This goes to something I have been saying for some time. While DevOps certainly originally referred to Dev and Ops, it seems to have outgrown the original intent. Maybe this is due to the fact that we never had a real definition or manifesto. In failing (not sure failing is the right word even) to do so, DevOps has been given a little more freedom to expand into areas that perhaps no one really thought it would. To me DevOps has become an umbrella term to refer to “the new way things get done”.
Now granted this may not sit well with John Willis and some others. I respect that they have a more narrow view of what DevOps is and what it is supposed to be based upon their years in the trenches evangelizing and helping to drive DevOps adoption. However, as I said I think it has grown beyond that and at least some of that is due to the hard work that people like John Willis, Patrick Dubois, Damon Edwards, Jez Humble and others have put in over the years.
There were many sessions and speakers at DOES London on a wide range of topic as well. We did almost 40 video interviews that will be available on our YouTube channel, DevOpsTV. There will be a separate playlist for DOES London 2016. More videos will be added to that as soon as we receive the approvals from the participants. In the meantime I wanted to show you one with my friend Helen Beal of Ranger 4 and Soren Pederson of Lego.