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October 5, 2015

What are the biggest challenges for DevOps practitioners?

By Todd Sattersten

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Find out at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015 coming up on October 19–21.

In the busy month of October, spending three days attending a conference is a significant commitment of time and money, whether you live in San Francisco or San Paulo.

To make sure it is worth that time, we have spent the last twelve months searching out the biggest problems that face DevOps practitioners and what the best solutions are to those problems.

This effort started last year from the stage at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2014. The programming committee asked every speaker to add a final slide to their presentation. We wanted to hear the problems they were still working on and invite the larger community to help solve them.

In our survey that we sent out following the event, we asked attendees:

“As you return home from DevOps Enterprise, what do you see as your biggest challenge going forward?”

The speaker and audience members kept pointing to the same five concerns:

  • How do we adopt DevOps practices in legacy environments?
  • How do we successfully lead large transformations in technology organizations?
  • What are the best approaches for organizational design, roles and responsibilities?
  • How do we integrate security and compliance into our DevOps efforts?
  • What metrics work best for improving performance in DevOps initiatives?

We dug into these topics over the next several months and that work culminated in an event we held in May called the DevOps Enterprise Forum.  We invited 50 of the top leaders, researchers, and practitioners in the DevOps space. Groups formed and they spent two days exploring these significant challenges.  Work has continued in the last few months to fully explore the best recommendations that could be given.

All five Forum groups will be presenting at the Summit and sharing guidance on how to tackle these issues. You will see short talks on the main stage and longer sessions in the afternoons that will give you an opportunity to hear more and ask questions of the team members. Each group from the Forum is also publishing working papers on their findings to give you further support for your DevOps initiatives.


DevOps Enterprise Summit

Many of the talks at DevOps Enterprise were curated around the five big problems that most DevOps practitioners are going to deal with.

For the tough challenge of legacy environments, you’ll hear experience reports from century-old companies Sherwin-Williams and Western Union on how they have accelerated their DevOps practice and IBM’s Rosalind Radcliffe will talk about how to create test automation in mainframe applications.

For leading large-scale transformations, MIT’s Dr. Steven Spear will discuss the cultures and management methods in high-velocity organizations such as Toyota, Alcoa, and the U.S. Naval Reactor program, and Paula Thrasher will talk her work mobilizing IT transformations in the face of extreme bureaucracies in more than 16 different federal government agencies.

For enabling organizational design, Ralph Loura, CIO for HP’s Enterprise Group, will talk about nurturing DevOps capabilities and spreading those practices through a mammoth technology organization.

For security and compliance best practices, Both Ed Bellis, former CISO of Orbitz, and Bill Shinn, principal solutions architect at Amazon Web Services, will talk about how to overcome security and compliance objections, and integrate those practices into publicly traded companies, and some of the most regulated and security-stringent organizations around.

For using better metrics, Julia Wester of LeanKit and Troy Magennis of Focused Objectives will talk about the theory and practice of making team data visible in ways that lead to improvement action and how to avoid the pitfalls and traps of managing by numbers.

We have put an incredible amount of thought and effort into creating an DevOps event that really addresses the challenges you are facing right now. This will be the best opportunity to hear about solutions and interact with a DevOps community of practitioners doing the same work you are.

It is in this spirit of community and shared learning that we invite you to join as at the conference in two weeks. Use the code GENEKIM10 at checkout for 10% off conference pass.

We hope to see you there!

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