Here’s a recording of one of my talks. It’s on what the operations team does when running in a platform, DevOps-y, whatever style:
Developers don’t need “services” from ops, they need products: continuously innovated platforms that evolve weekly. Once ops toil is removed, ops can focus on their customers’ – development – needs. Using stories & tactics from the real-world, this talk helps launch a platform-as-a-product strategy.
Most ops groups can’t give developers what they need. Ops is limited by traditional service delivery mindset and tools. Stability & reliability are now table-stakes when you’re releasing software daily. What developers need now from ops is innovation. Operations has rarely takes this innovation-driven, product approach to providing services, & instead focuses on delivering to specification & limiting SLAs. As with development, ops creates value with continuous operations, product managing their platforms and releasing frequently.
This talk covers how ops groups are transforming from a service delivery mindset a platform-as-a-product approach. With examples from Discover Financial Services, Rabobank, the US Air Force, & others the talk covers the concept, technologies & tools commonly used, & ops tactics needed to kick-off a platform-as-a-product strategy.
Drewitz used the example of Discover Card, which was able to eliminate thousands of lines of legacy code that was not driving a business outcome, but still kept some of that code because it was
Sometimes scepticism about technology comes from the cops. Earlier this year the Washington Post reported that many small police departments were abandoning body-worn-camera programmes because of the cost. Although the cameras are cheap, officers can generate 15 gigabytes of video per shift; storage costs mount. Police unions often oppose body-worn cameras, fearing they imperil their members by giving superior officers licence to search them for punishable behaviour. Other officers complain about the amount of time required to review and redact footage in response to public-information requests. They also seem not to work. A study from George Mason University released in March found that body-worn cameras had no “statistically significant or consistent effects” on people’s views on police, or on police or civilian behaviour.
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In the long run finance tends to proceed through logic and self-interest, but in the short run the computer systems cause a lot of frictions.
The problem with binge-watching is the same problem with wanting it to be a holiday all the time. The more we consider a show serious, the more it feels permissible to drown oneself in episode after episode of it, to use it as an excuse to stay home sick from the world. It is logical that a show about dragons and swords would feel more escapist than most other things, and that viewers would want some larger permission to dive into that warm bath. It is not that we are all nerds so much as it is that we are all rightly scared of what is waiting outside our windows, out there where the television can’t reach, where everyone knows both that dragons are not real and that they rarely can be defeated.
The business backbone, the core systems, burden digital transformation strategies. Insurers spend about two-thirds of finite tech budgets on these run-the-business systems. More nimble competitors are spending more on digital tech. And this run-the-business spend is growing. Tech leaders need to demonstrate business value of these maintenance and ops investments. Benjamin Clarke, the CTO of Bold Penguin, argued that “the project mentality of insurance companies leads to them not building anything interesting but just replatforming again, delivering the exact same experience.”
Ultimately, Waterfall’s biggest failing is that it puts its trust in a system, not the people working on a product.
And this is where DevOps tool vendors now see opportunity. The mounting tax of maintaining tools has grown so extensive that offering an all-in-one solution may just be the trick to get development teams unstuck and the innovation train rolling even faster.
Protecting customers in times of duress is the basic purpose of insurance, and yet only 57% of US online adults feel confident that their insurance company will treat them fairly when they have a claim. Poor claims experiences have immediate business effect. In the UK, 71% of property & casualty insurance customers would consider switching providers if they had a bad claims experience.
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Sure you can do a lot of things with Kubernetes. It’s great, but Cloud Foundry is designed to make “Happy developers,” as Comcast open-source senior director Nithya Ruff put it at the Cloud Foundry Summit.
Cloud Foundry’s audience, as Karl Isenberg, one of its developers, explained on StackOverflow, is “enterprise application devs who want to deploy 12-factor stateless apps using Heroku-style buildpacks.”
On a certain kind of team, where everyone shares that ethos, and there is very little power differential, this can work well. I’ve had the pleasure of working on teams like that, and it is all kinds of fun. When you have a handful of solid engineers that understand each other, and all of them feel free to say “you are wrong about X, that is absolutely insane, and I question your entire family structure if you believe that, clearly Y is the way to go”, and then you all happily grab lunch together (at Linguini’s), that’s a great feeling of camaraderie.
Unfortunately, that ideal is seldom achieved.
The cliché we all recite is that technology isn’t the problem, culture is. Put another way: if the hardware and software are fine and fresh, it must be the meatware that smells. Come hear several de-funking recipes from the world’s largest companies whose meat now smells proper.
I answered a few attendee questions in the webinar, and answered the rest in a Twitter thread afterwards.