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March 6, 2017

DevOps Enterprise Summit Takes a “Deep Dive Into DevOps”

By IT Revolution

DevOps Enterprise Summit 2017

As adult learners and leaders, we tend to glean less from theory and seem to derive more from people actually describing the real-world problems they are trying to solve. Ever since the DevOps Enterprise Summit began in 2014, we’ve been adamant about providing a unique venue for the technology leaders of large, complex organizations to come together and share their DevOps transformation experiences—from how they started and what they did, to what the outcomes were and what they learned.

On our second video chat gearing up for DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2017, we were fortunate enough to be joined by fellow programming committee members Cornelia Davis (Pivotal), Jonathan Fletcher (Hiscox) and Jonathan Smart (Barclays), and hosted by Gene Kim. Wee spent an hour taking a “deep dive into DevOps,”reflecting on the first DevOps Enterprise Summit London last year and  panelists shared some of their lessons learned and wisdom about their own DevOps transformation stories. We also discussed favorite resources for leveraging best practices and principles and discussed the value of lifelong learning.

Watch the discussion:

Just a reminder that Early Bird ticket pricing for DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2017 will end on 8 March and the price is only £650+VAT. Register here >>>

What’s Happening at DevOps Enterprise Summit

In general, there are two types of presentations at DevOps Enterprise Summit: experience reports and subject matter expert talks. However, this year we are bringing some new programming to London. That is, the Lean Coffee-style DevOps Workshop sessions. Cornelia hit the nail on the head when she explained it as “a programmatic way of fostering peer-to-peer collaboration.”

Lean Coffee is a structured format where we gather people together around tables and introduce a facilitated way of sharing ideas and generating key takeaways for people to use on their own. Read more about the structure of the Lean Coffee sessions in this blog post.

The ultimate goal here for us as the conference organizers is to help attendees maximize their opportunities for those serendipitous types of interactions that lead to learning.


One of the things we love about DevOps Enterprise is that we get to follow the people leading these DevOps transformations across multiple years, as if we were making a documentary film. As we’ve already announced, we’re thrilled to have return speakers such Jonathan Smart from Barclays, Jonathan Fletcher from Hiscox and Robert Scherrer from SIX return with us to London to share the next phase of their journeys. What an incredible opportunity to get to learn as these tech leaders learn and grow within their own organizations.

One of the discussions we had in the live chat, for example, was hearing from Jonathan Fletcher (now interim CTO) about the challenges of getting traditional IT Operations organizations in a DevOps transformation. Jonathan mentioned that since Hiscox has a federated business with app teams being embedded across certain geographies, but ops teams are global shared service. They are asking themselves whether or not they keep a single global operations organization or if they align operations with the specific business units. It begs even more questions about managing the backlogs, environments and showing work in progress, and more.

Jonathan Smart (Head of Development Services) also brought up an interesting point here about Barclays journey talking about how traditionally people were playing all the roles to now where we see more specialization in dev, build, test, runs, etc. He mentioned the “you build it, you run it” SRE model of software engineering and how one of the big goals at Barclays this year is to amplify the feedback loop as one team. Another area of focus for Jonathan currently is Lean Budgeting and trying to eliminate budgetary constraints for the purpose of financial flexibility, but also trying to avoid the sunk cost fallacy.

Don’t delay! Early Bird ticket pricing for DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2017 will end on 8 March. Register here >>>


One of Gene’s all-time favorite questions to ask people he interacts with is what their favorite resources are for leveraging best practices and principles. We are all lifelong learners and whether it’s in the form of research, books, events, editorials, etc. it seems that the more you learn, the less you know. After Jonathan, Cornelia, Jon and Gene shared where we are getting our latest insights and data from, we also shared one “lifelong learning” lesson we wanted to share with the audience.

  • Cornelia brought up the concept of radical curiosity and the need to continuously remind herself that everything she has seen so far is merely only what “she has seen so far.” She reminded us to always keep asking questions and not to get stuck in a perpetual cycle of “this is how we’ve always done things.”
  • Jonathan Fletcher spoke modestly about being a learner and recognizing the fact that you won’t be the smartest person in the room, so the need to keep an open mind is paramount, especially with something like IT because it is a changing and evolving practice. He’s a self-proclaimed copier of other people’s ideas, which is similar to  when Martin Fowler also once proclaimed himself as “being the best dumpster diver of other people’s ideas.”
  • Jonathan Smart spoke about learning from a cultural and organizational change perspective and going from “I’ll believe it when I see it” to a “I’ll see it when I believe it” mentality. It isn’t about telling people to think a certain way, it’s about giving them an opportunity to experience it for themselves. You need to change the behaviors to change the thinking to change the culture.

All in all, we had an awesome time chatting with Jonathan Smart, Cornelia Davis,Jonathan Fletcher, and Gene Kim as we all inch closer to the DevOps Enterprise Summit London. Our goal (now that each of these people is now on the programming committee for London) is to hopefully make the show even better than it was last year. We look forward to seeing all of you June 5-6 at the QEII Conference Centre, an amazing venue in the center of Westminster in London. Stay tuned for all the programming and conference updates online at and please feel free to reach out with any questions or requests.

Want to join us in London this June? Save on tickets before the Early Bird pricing of £650+VAT closes on March 8! Register here >>>

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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