Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Timeboxed Project Management with a Task-Oriented Team

 I wrote this almost 2 years ago when our company was implementing agile for the development team. I thought about how to apply agile to an Ops team. This is what I came up with.


I haven't edited the document since I wrote it. We have used this more or less since then and it is really helpful for keeping focus and priority for a highly distracted team. I really should review the document and update it with what I've learned since then. If the date of the document is later than November 2008, then I've updated it.

The Devops Elevator Pitch

There is a growing list of posts by people trying to describe what Devops is. The definitive one is, of course, from Patrick Debois who actually coined the term Devops. You can find his article at his JEDI blog . The other article I really like is from the Dev2Ops blog. I was debating whether I should write another article on what Devops is, and I think since the community is so new and so many people are coming to Devops from varied experiences that the more brushstrokes will help paint a better picture. The reason I say this is that in the three days I was at Velocity and Devops Days I found myself several times asking "What is Devops?" I heard so many great speakers talking about so many topics that occasionally I would get muddled and have a hard time describing to myself what Devops is. After I got back to work and am faced with my co-workers who looked at my Devops Days T-Shirt and asked "What is that all about?" I had to come up with a quick elevator pitch to grab their attention and see if they get it and are interested in learning more.

So, when I'm in the break room and someone asks me "What is Devops?" I say something like:

Devops is a name that is a rallying point for a community of people who primarily work in the software industry (primarily SaaS) who see the need for Development and Operations to work closely together to produce better software and meet the growth objectives of their companies. Yes, you are probably telling yourself that you've been "Devops" for a decade. This is nothing new, but a concerted effort by a global community to provide support for everyone in the community.

You ask "Why is this special?" or "Why now?" What I learned from the hundreds of operations and development folks at Velocity and Devops Days is that the internet has passed a maturity milestone and many of the practices from the 80's and 90's just don't cut it in the stratospheric-growth, super-fast release cycle web-centric internet. I was blown away by the number of people who weren't in the top 0.01% of the internet (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter) who are coming out saying "We need a new way of writing and operating software. Things are different now and we need some different skills and tools in our belt. The way we've been doing business just isn't cutting it any more"

So, Devops is a community where people can share their ideas and help the internet keep growing and most of all help all of us who make the internet tick have fun and do even more of the cool stuff that brought us into the tech world in the first place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yet Another Devops Blogger

Greetings Devops community (or the curious rubberneckers who just googled Devops). I've just come back from the O'Reilly Velocity conference and Devops Days and am pumped up. It was awesome meeting so many people interested in making their organizations more efficient and effective by fostering tighter integration between the Development and Operations teams. I have a notebook full of ideas from all the great presenters and all the conversations from last week: from Sysadmin 2.0 to Developer 2.0, from experiences at my company to stories from other companies.

So, welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy it and come back. The next post will have some real content, I promise.

While you are waiting for me to write my next post you can check of the videos of Velocity at their Youtube page http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D1D3B0B233F2AD66