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January 12, 2021

8 Recommended Talks from DevOps Enterprise Summit (and Why)

By Gene Kim

Recently, I was speaking with a friend in a large bank, and I ended up writing him a letter recommending some talks that I thought would be useful.

Below I list each of them, along with why I think they’d be of interest.


1) Credit Suisse from London – Virtual 2020

Andrea Hausmann, Head of Program Strategy & Engagement, Credit Suisse
Duncan Lawie, Director, DevOps and Development Practices, Credit Suisse

I think this is a super interesting talk, because they’re a centralized group that owns technical platforms and communities of practice. There’s a fantastic testimonial for one of the CIOs of their businesses, and they also describe their funding model.


2) U.S. Bank from Las Vegas 2019

Levi Geinert, SVP, and Head of Agile Technology Experience, U.S. Bank
Werner Loots, EVP, Direct Consumer Lending, U.S. Bank

How they created “studios” inside of U.S. Bank designed to have all the capabilities needed to deliver value to customers. They currently have over 50 studios, and they describe an amazing success story around small business lending, able to go from “apply for loan” to “funds deposited in their account” within hours (sometimes in less than 15 minutes).

Werner Loots and Ian Eslick gave a followup presentation at Las Vegas – Virtual 2020.


3) U.S. Bank from Las Vegas – Virtual 2020

Ian Eslick, SVP, Chief Architect for Digital Technology Strategy & Modernization, U.S. Bank
Werner Loots, EVP, Direct Consumer Lending, U.S. Bank

Ian Eslick reports to the CIO, and came from Amazon. They describe the amazing outcomes they were able to generate in response to the US PPP (Payment Protection Program), delivering the needed capabilities within one week of first learning about it despite dependencies on mainframes and enterprise service buses that hadn’t been touched in a decade. It was such an important program that they had daily calls with vice-chairs.

I think two amazing outcomes came out of it:

  1. They were challenged by leadership to answer the question, “what would we get if we doubled our technology budget next year?”

    An amazing testament to what they did, which led to a study group highlighting this problem…

  2. “How do we hold business leaders accountable for publishing the amount of technical debt they carry?”

    In other words, how do we reward using tried-and-true architectures, and ensure that the consequences of short-cuts aren’t fully externalized (I.e., tragedy of the commons)

4) Swiss Re – iptiQ “B2B2C” reinsurance product from London – Virtual 2020: 

Victoria Mayo, Head of Compliance- iptiQ EMEA P&C, Swiss Re
James Head, Founder, Rebellion Consulting

This is the amazing story of how the iptiQ digital insurance products were spun out of Swiss Re engineering, with a current valuation of $1B+. Neat story!


5 and 6) Dr. Steven Spear from London and Las Vegas 2020

And then talks from my mentor, Dr. Steven Spear, on structure and dynamics.

[5] London – Virtual 2020
[6] Las Vegas – Virtual 2020

I think these are startling presentations that describe why organizations behave the way they do, both in the ideal, and in reality. And it describes why and how DevOps really works.


7 and 8) David Silverman and Jessica Reif from London and Las Vegas 2020

Two presentations from David Silverman, co-author of “Team of Teams” — the second presentation is with his colleague, Jessica Reif.

[7] London – Virtual 2020
[8] Las Vegas – Virtual 2020

I think these talks from a military context will resonate with almost everyone in the DevOps community.

- About The Authors
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Gene Kim

Award winning CTO, researcher, and author.

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