Another interview, mostly on cloud and other dorky topics:
Having worked in cloud since before cloud, JJ and I talk about what companies are using various cloud things for. We also discuss the conceptual history of cloud, and what exactly he does as a “business development” person at Chef.
“I get to see your face during this podcast,” Matt says as we start talking about SpringOne Platform. Both of us were there and we recap Matt’s talk on managing 10 Pivotal Cloud Foundry instances, namely, how they figured out using a Concourse pipeline to automate much of that management. We discuss “how to do the transformation” talks we liked, like the Citi talk.
In addition to some other random digital transformation topics, we also discuss how HR policies are struggling to change with things like pair programming and DevOps.
Introducing cloud in a large enterprise can be challenge, and the technology is usually the least of your worries. Matt and I talk with Brian Gregory of Express Scripts who’s been working on transforming Express Scripts to a more cloud native approach to IT and tell us some the history and some of the tactics that he and team have been working through.
Matt and I talk about lessons learned from almost a year of helping transform IT at Allstate. When it comes to scaling up agile and cloud-think the real challenges are in functions other than development, like budgeting, planning, training, hiring, and how the overall IT department is organized. We discuss those topics – esp. budgeting! – and also how to set one’s personal expectations about going on the transformation journey. Then we discuss an upcoming column on mine in The Register on the benefits of small batches thinking.
After a year, the question becomes “can it scale?”
How do we do: Budgeting, training, hiring, how do we organize teams
We only plan with good information, not bad information.
You need to establish an overall vision, but avoid being too specific on tactics. For example, with a claim application, we know the general product, the vertical, the line of business we have roughly an idea of what claims are, who the customer is, and what that experience is like. Delivering a better experience for claims, what that feels like, and how do we measure it – these things we don’t know perfectly up-front, so we have lots of discipline around iterating and experimenting to deliver good product.
How budgeting changes in this small batches approach.
With a lot of this, you can’t talk someone into doing these things up-front. They have to experience it first hand: you have to walk them through it.
Ernest Mueller has helped introduce DevOps in several organizations and has been talking about those stories at two companies he’s worked for, National Instruments and BazaarVoice. Matt and Coté hear these stories (mostly at National Instruments) and we discuss how Ernest and others helped transform these companies to the new way.
You don’t hear too many stories about microservices in “normal” companies. In this episode, I talk with Nate Foreman about microservices-driven work he’s been doing with a large enterprise recently. We discuss the goods and the bads of this approach and, overall, how it’s working out. It’s a good discussion of how all the usual “cloud native” concept actually play out in the real world.
(As you can guess, it’s not actually an “action figure” company, we just used that example to mask the actual company.)
What organization could be larger than the US Federal government? Not only that, the chance to transform how software is done in the government has perhaps one of the largest possible impacts of transforming any “IT department.” In this episode, Matt and Coté talk with Diego Lapiduz who works in the GSA’s 18F organization helping government agencies develop their software in new, more agile and cloud-driven ways. We discuss the background of 18F and the broader government initiatives to transform how software is done and also walk through some of the learnings 18F has had in trying to make such a huge transformation.
In this first part of a new series, Matt Curry and I discuss many of the problems with transforming how a large company uses IT. From dealing with businesses cases, the finance department, and changing how the business thinks about using IT, there are numerous organizational change problems to chew on. This launches a new series of episodes in Lords of Computing where Matt and I will talk interview various folks out there who are going through transformation at their company. We’re interested in hearing what’s work and not worked for them.
After catching up about movies and OpenStack, John and I discuss how difficult it is to properly integrate acquired companies into the larger company. We also discuss what VCs are looking for to say yes now: a good team, it seems.