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May 29, 2018

Recapping the #DOES18 CrowdChat – Tapping into Transformations

By IT Revolution

We recently teamed up with several members of the DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2018 (DOES18) community to host a #DOES18 CrowdChat. This CrowdChat gave members of the DevOps transformation community a chance to interact and connect with leading experts and practitioners before the event this June. During the hour-long social conversation, we posed several topics – from top learning resources to favorite DevOps meme – for the DOES18 community to illuminate the latest trends in DevOps, leadership, digital transformation, and what to expect at the conference.

The following people signed up as hosts to participate in the chat alongside the DOES18 London organizers:

  • Dr. Tapabrata Pal (@TopoPal), senior director and senior engineering fellow at Capital One
  • Ben Grinnell (@Ben_Grinnell), global lead for tech and digital at North Highland MD
  • Carmen DeArdo (@carmendeardo), technology director at Nationwide Insurance
  • Dominica DeGrandis (@dominicad), director of digital transformation at Tasktop and author of Making Work Visible
  • Mirco Hering (@MircoHering), APAC DevOps and Agile lead at Accenture
  • Robert Stroud CGEIT CRISC (@RobertEStroud), chief product officer at XebiaLabs and recognized industry thought leader in DevOps and Continuous Deployment
  • Jelena Laketić (@thebabymonster), head of SWAT at UBS
  • Manuel Pais (@manupaisable), DevOps and Continuous Delivery and co-author of the upcoming Team Topologies and Releasability book
  • Fin Goulding (@fgoulding), international CIO at Aviva


The top questions and responses from the CrowdChat are an excellent resource for DevOps practitioners. Here are some of the top responses from the chat:

Q: What advice would you give to tech professionals who are in their earlier stages of their careers?

Hering: “To not purely focus on the tech side of your career – learn about economics, psychology, anything of interest really. It all connects.”

Laketić: “Never stop learning and adapting. The beauty of technology is that it is never boring and that it is changing all the time. Just follow its flow and don’t be afraid to learn new things/skills.”

Degrandis: “Find a mentor to learn from who provides supportive and honest feedback.”

Grinnell: “Try to rotate through a variety of roles outside IT of find some way of really understanding your internal/external customers.”

Pais: “Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, regardless how well known they are. You’ll be surprised. Also having different mentors for different aspects you want to improve.”


Q: What’s something you have learned, experienced, or been able to take back to work after attending a DevOps Enterprise Summit?

DeArdo: “Some of the amazing talks from @topopal and @dominicad have been great examples and provided inspiration on what we can here. When folks see what is possible, then they realize it’s not just some theory.”

Hering: “Personal advice – look for sessions that are not the obvious ones. Go to something that is new and different for you rather than the session which will likely confirm your ideas. I learn so much from the sessions that seem contradict my opinion.”

Pais: “You need strong leaders for successful transformation, and all the speakers are great examples of courage and positive attitude.”

Grinnell: “The focus on building a learning network across the conference. From the three questions we still need help with on the last slide of each speaker to the selection of sponsors who want learn more than sell.”


Q: Looking back over the last 5-10 years, what is one skill you’ve had to develop that is critical to your job/role today?

Pal: “Find better ways to convince leadership.”

Laketić: “Grit and adaptability.”

Goulding: “Learning how to be empathetic”

Stroud: “Transitioning from silos to product teams!”

DeArdo: “The one skill I have worked on is systems thinking which relates to Gene’s ‘First Way.’ In my role, we need to take advantage of the innovation that teams are doing to figure out how to make them optimize how we can deliver more quickly.”


Q: What are you most excited about for DevOps Enterprise Summit London? Speakers? Programming? Networking?

DeGrandis: “First off – the program lineup is amazing!!!…

Hering: “My first time at DOES London, so looking forward to hear what Europe is doing. Is there anything specific that is different about the DevOps trends in Europe?”

Stroud: “Learning from the speakers and their stories – although the networking will be #awesome.”

Pais: “Orgs presenting their stories for the first time. It takes courage!”

DeArdo: “I always say that these conferences are the best 2-3 day learning experience on the planet! I never get tired even though I get little sleep because there’s so much energy and the community is so awesome!”


Q: What’s one thing people should know about DevOps that they may not already know?

Pal: “Don’t ask ‘what is’ DevOps – rather ask and answer yourself ‘why is’ DevOps.”

DeGrandis: “DevOps is not just about codecommit to deployment. It’s about improving the whole end-to-end workflow system.”

DeArdo: “It’s about how to become more responsive to the business. To improve flow from idea/hypothesis through deployment and customer feedback.”

Goulding: “In my opinion, DevOps is a mindset, not a job title or set of tools. And it’s fun!”

Grinnell: “DevOps is about using flow, feedback and continuous improvement to create a rapidly learning organisation right across the business.”


Q: What’s one way to bridge the gap between the business and its tech organization?

Hering: “Getting them into the same room talking about the situation in the organisation – everything starts from there.”

Pal: “Get them in the product team or be a part of the product team.”

Pais: “Agree with Mirco, in particular value stream mapping allows both areas to have a common view of what really goes on in SW delivery – often for the very first time.”

DeArdo: “We are working on setting up value stream/product teams which have the business product owner working much more closely and sitting with our VS delivery teams. The left-hand side of the value stream is key to actually reducing the time from idea to delivery.”

Stroud: “@TopoPal best products are developed by product teams immersed in deep understanding of where value is derived by the consumer.”

Laketić: “Work together, collaborate with business, connect business solutions with new technology by being their tech expert and adviser.”


Q: What’s your take on DevSecOps, BizDevOps, etc.? Are the acronyms too much? What does DevOps 2.0 look like?

Goulding: “DevOps is just common sense. Putting people together in order to avoid any inefficient handoffs. So, it’s no surprise that the team should include other roles or T-Shaped people. So, for me I prefer the term Holistic or Hybrid…”’

Pais: “I thought we were at DevOps 3.14 by now ;)”

Stroud: “#BizDevOps is on the way!”

DeGrandis: “It’s clear – DevOps is visually expanding to others areas of the value stream.”

Hering: “The acronyms provide a different perspective on the problem, they are not something new. This can be helpful. The underlying problem to solve remains ‘Build better solutions faster.’”

Laketić: “Acronyms are overrated. in reality it shouldn’t matter how you call it. After all, only #walkthetalk counts.”


Q: If DevOps was song what would it be?

Jason Lenny: “The Beatles – Come Together”

DeArdo: “Let it Flow”

Pais: “Bob Marley – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”


Q: If DevOps was a book, what chapter are we on and why? Or, what would the book be named?

Hering: “Neverending Story”

DeArdo: “The Tale of Two Cities – It can be the best and worst of times. https://www.linkedin

Pal: “Reminds me of Harry Potter.”


Q: What are your top resources for learning these days?

DeArdo: “Seriously, there are great resources at – many free resources along with the fantastic books.”

Hering: “Twitter and conferences are my two main ones – Twitter for the smaller nuggets I can consume day by day, conferences to take dedicated time off the hamster wheel to focus on learning.”

DeArdo: “The people on this chat :-).”

Want to join us at DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2018? Registration is now extremely limited for the event, don’t delay!

Check out the entire CrowdChat transcription 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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