Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Stackify Blog, Aruna Ravichandran, Otto Berkes, Ayman Sayed

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

There’s No C in DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @XebiaLabs #DevOps #Microservices

I confess to often talking about the need for culture-change in software development organizations

There's No C in DevOps, But There Should Be
By Dave Farley

These days I mostly make my living as a consultant. Consultants in general are probably not the best loved group in the world. It is common to think of consultants wafting-in to your organization, telling you things that you already know and advising you to "change your culture", whatever that means. Subsequently they depart, no-doubt with a fat fee, and leave you as you were before with the same problems and no progress made.


The ‘C' Word - Culture
I confess to often talking about the need for culture-change in software development organizations. I hope though that what I mean is something more concrete.

Software development is an interesting human activity. It is technically complex, we create the most complex systems (apart from other human beings) that humans have ever produced. It is fragile, there is little in human experience that is quite so intolerant of tiny errors as software. Every piece of software that we create is an exercise in discovery, if it wasn't we would just re-use what we had from before. It is a creative discipline in both the literal and figurative sense. We do this in collaboration with lots of other people and the fate of the organizations that we operate in often rides on what we build.

The trouble is that, as an industry the software development industry has rarely delighted its users. This isn't really a problem of software itself, but rather the ways in which we have undertaken its development.

We can all think of examples of great software done well, but in nearly all of those cases, the way in which these "exceptional development teams" approached the problems that they faced was different to what most of us have been taught and what the majority of organizations that create software do.

In practice, it is my opinion that the majority of our industry has grown up doing things in inefficient and ineffective ways. This isn't a small thing. This isn't a "buy this technology and it will make it all work" kind of problem. There are some very basic, very fundamental things that you need to get right for software development to work effectively. In large part, this is at the level of the ‘Culture', there is that word again, of the organizations that want to create great software.

Geocentricism
If software development projects were normal things then we would expect to see as many projects finish ahead of schedule, below budget and exceeding the expectations of their users as projects finishing behind schedule, over budget and disappointing or being ignored by their users.

We would expect to see a "normal distribution" - the blue line in the diagram below. (See Figure 1)

Instead I believe that we have come to expect, in most organizations, something more like the red line.

We have built an industry that assumes that late delivery, cost-overruns, low quality and features that users don't like or don't want is normal. This is crazy! These are not essential properties of software development.

PastedGraphic-1[1] copy 2

Figure 1 - Software Projects success should be a normal distribution

I believe that what this is telling us is that we have got this badly wrong. We have entirely the wrong model for how software development should work.

It is a bit like this (http://www.malinc.se/math/trigonometry/geocentrismen.php). When people thought that everything rotated around planet Earth, geocentricism, then it was impossible to imagine how the complex paths of the planets could arise. As soon as you change perspective, in this case to heliocentricism, you get to think about the problem differently. All becomes clearer and simpler. Now we can reason, now we can calculate, now we can predict. Now we can evolve the next step. Newton can describe the inverse-square law, Einstein can later describe warps in space-time. Without that first step, of discarding a viewpoint that makes the world look more complex rather than less, progress is stalled.

We have grown a culture around software development that does to software development what geocentricism did to cosmology. We can't see the beauty and simplicity because it is hidden by the complexity of our own creations and assumptions. This isn't just about how we write code or how we manage deployments or even whether or not Developers and Operations people sit together. Rather this is about how the whole organization thinks about change. How we constitute and organize teams. How we apply governance to projects. How we regulate them. It is about how we deliver new ideas to our users. This stuff is fundamental.

I argue that all organizations that create software want the same thing. They want to have an idea. Get that idea, in the form of working software, into the hands of their users and see what their users make of it.

This is my definition of what Continuous Delivery is all about. This is more than a tool or a process. This is a change in the whole culture surrounding software development.

I think that one form of geocentricism is project-based working. The data is in, we are terrible at predicting the outcome of software projects! So maybe the idea of software projects is wrong. If we look at some of those "exceptional development teams" they don't very often have a project focus. Instead they are in it for the long haul, they are focussed on products and look after the software for its whole life. If we change our culture to think of an on-going relationship with our software and our users, things start to make more sense.

Cross-Functional Teams & User Acceptance Testing
Projects lead us to think in terms of budgets and timescales. What if, instead, we did all of our work as a series of small, maybe even tiny, changes. We could quickly decide if each change is worth a try. Maybe we could even do simple versions of a change to see if our users liked it, thus avoiding costly development of features that no one ever wanted.

How do we cope with big problems? We subdivide them. Mostly though we sub-divide them along technical boundaries or job-function boundaries. This creates silos and breeds a whole raft of complexity to surround it. Do you work in an organization with front-end and back-end development teams? How about a separate QA or Ops team?

As soon as you organize like this you have built a cross-team dependency in to almost every new requirement.

How about we change our culture. Instead of dividing our teams by technology or job function we establish cross-functional teams responsible for an independent area of the business. In such an environment each new requirement usually has a natural home in one team. This simplifies the work of planning, but also simplifies the work within  the team. Allowing them more autonomy and enabling them to make decisions that will make them more efficient and improve quality, or even just meet their users needs.

I once worked on a software project where the development team was disbanded before User Acceptance Testing was carried out - Cargo cult process of the highest order! So there was an expensive, slow, late, manual process to evaluate whether or not the software that the team had built was fit for purpose, but there was no development team, except for me and two others, left to address any concerns. Had the users decided that we had completely misunderstood some key aspect of the system there was nothing we could do about it.

shutterstock_309062636

How about we change culture, instead of waiting until the end to see if users are happy, why don't we ask them as soon as we possibly can? If we can deliver new changes to them quickly then we can learn from them. If the nature of our software is such that we can't do that, then we need to find a, simple, alternative. Maybe we can have representatives of the users on our team using the software all the time as it is developed?

You can't "inspect quality in to a product". Quality is "built-in". User Acceptance Testing, in fact any form of manual regression testing is another of those assumptions built in to our industry that needs challenging. Instead of looking at code after it is finished, how about we think in terms of "Executable Specifications" for the behavior of our systems. Let us not waste time defining the behavior of our system in a document. Let us instead, make those definitions Executable and run them every time that we make a change to our software so that we can be certain that our system still fulfills its needs. Get developers into the loop and get them thinking of asserting the behaviors of the code that they write as they write it.

If you have read anything about Agile development or Continuous Delivery these ideas should be familiar to you. But make no mistake, this is a culture change. We need to look at software development and think again. We need to challenge the assumptions that constrain us. It is *not* acceptable or normal to have hundreds of bugs in production. It is not an inevitable characteristic of software. We can't plan reliably, so let us work in ways that don't need us to.

These ideas are not new. I believe that if you look at the history of outstanding software development, then it won't be planned, waterfall, manually tested. It will be evolutionary, incremental, experimental and iterative. It will have been carried out in a manner totally alien to the majority of software development process in our industry. Success has been an outlier that required people to break convention. Let us work to make that success curve more evenly weighted.

It is time to change the culture of our industry.


Ready to make some enterprise changes in 2016? Learn from the best with our on-demand "Top Enterprise DevOps Lessons For 2016" by Andrew Phillips.

The post There's No C In DevOps, But There Should Be appeared first on XebiaLabs.

Related posts:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By XebiaLabs Blog

XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and controlling infrastructure. The rise of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is part of that redefinition of operations vs development roles in organizations.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering management. To date, IBM has launched more than 50 cloud data centers that span the globe. He has been building advanced technology, delivering “as a service” solutions, and managing infrastructure services for the past 20 years.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous architectural and coordination work to minimize the volatility of the cloud environment and leverage the security features of the cloud to the benefit of the CICD pipeline.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. This leads to a waste of cloud resources and increased operational overhead.
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, addressed this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of the vulnerability. He provided attendees with actionable advice related to understanding and acting on exposure due to new high severity vulnerabilities.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the public cloud best suits your organization, and what the future holds for operations and infrastructure engineers in a post-container world. Is a serverless world inevitable?
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers learn their thoughts on their experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our personal and professional realm of connected devices.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close their feedback loops to drive continuous improvement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual business failure.
"Cloud4U builds software services that help people build DevOps platforms for cloud-based software and using our platform people can draw a picture of the system, network, software," explained Kihyeon Kim, CEO and Head of R&D at Cloud4U, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and cost-effective resources on AWS, coupled with the ability to deliver a minimum set of functionalities that cover the majority of needs – without configuration complexity.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was joined by a panel of industry experts and real-world practitioners who shared their insight into an emerging set of best practices that lie at the heart of today's digital transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone innovative products that help customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business and personal computing needs.
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He explained how automation, orchestration and governance are fundamental to managing today's hybrid cloud environments and are critical for digital businesses to deliver services faster, with better user experience and higher quality, all while saving money.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.