DevOps in a day : Capgemini DevOps series, Toronto.

Capgemini DevOps series, April 25, 2019 ( Image courtesy, Capgemini)

DevOps is an expansive management practice hence challenging to do well but doing DevOps well is a strategic necessity. It is expansive because it touches various elements in the value stream of software development, software deployment and software operations . And it is a strategic necessity because business is increasingly mediated through software, which means to succeed in business, businesses have to become very good at developing, deploying and operating software i.e. they have to become very good at Agile & DevOps. So, for the April 25th DevOps day, the team at Capgemini had the formidable task of covering the breadth of DevOps, while providing practical advice to address the strategic imperative of doing DevOps well.

For pulling off this daunting task, impressively, a big shout to folks at Capgemini (Ravi Gandla, Rishi Singh, Manish Joshi) and their partners ( Compuware, Collabnet, Confluent, Datical, Delphix, Parasoft, Xebia labs). With well chosen agenda topics and battle hardened DevOps veterans as speakers, on April 25th at the Capgemini DevOps day, attendees got a timely appreciation of the breadth of DevOps as well as practical advice on doing DevOps well.

Kicking the day off, Ravi Gandla, Capgemini offered the strategic context of DevOps and what Capgemini is seeing in the market place. Next, Sam Knutson, Compuware provided an inspirational real life story of Agile & DevOps success at Compuware. And, how using Agile & DevOps practices, Compuware dramatically reduced the cycle time for developing and delivering its mainframe software products. A practical tool to reduce cycle time by making work visible, is value stream mapping. Value stream mapping was the topic of the next session. The combined team of experts from Collabnet, Compuware and Capgemeni provided a comprehensive overview of Value stream mapping and how to use it effectively to make work visible in the software development and delivery life-cycle. As expected, Cultural transformation, the next topic on the agenda, was the most fraught topic. The panelists agreed that cultural transformation was the toughest nut to crack, while also agreeing that it is a hard requirement to do DevOps well. Some valuable pieces of advice for getting culture right, is to focus on people, systems thinking and organizational structure.

Scaling agile and DevOps in the enterprise, the first of the afternoon sessions, focused on the myriad challenges enterprises face in scaling agile & DevOps and offered practical advice on addressing them. Typical challenges are people related – leadership buy-in, re-skilling and up-skilling ; technology related – tools, architecture and process related – legacy processes. The two key takeaways from the next break out session, The formula for Enterprise DevOps transformation were : 1) Getting started on the DevOps journey is important and 2) Automating the delivery pipeline is a huge improvement over the existing way of delivering software into production. The next topic, Shift left with test automation, focused on the need to integrate test automation with CI/CD pipeline. Only by shifting left on testing and automating testing, will businesses be able to rapidly deliver high quality software. The day ended with a panel discussion on the future of DevOps, with agreement that doing DevOps well is hard but doing it well is a strategic necessity.

And thanks to the folks at Capgemini, the speakers and the panelists ; attendees of Capgemini DevOps day in Toronto on April 25, 2019 were better off by the end of the day than when they started off in the morning : by evening, they had an appreciation of breadth of DevOps – the various elements it touches, and practical advice on how to do DevOps well – a strategic imperative of our times.

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