Kevin Cameron

DevOps Transformation Lead
JPMorgan Chase

DevOps Evolution – Panoptic Culture

Co-speaker Callum Fay

We want to present our current endeavour in spreading the ethos of DevOps. To unite a mindset globally and have everyone working in the most efficient way for them, and not working in the way they are mandated.

We have some successes and some failures and we want to share our findings with the wider community of practice to show that not only are we seeking to change the way we work but also acting on it, by applying feedback loops around or efforts.

We want to share the fact that DevOps can work at a global scale and that it shouldn’t be given to anti-patterns and illusions of miracles but instead a practical way forward for everyone working in both practical and theoretical roles.

Areas we would like to cover that we’re currently driving are:

  – Business value of DevOps

We believe that the business value of DevOps can be hard to see when looking in from the outside but it is undoubtedly there for example:

  • Shorter feedback loops with our customers/clients with faster feature implementations to help us to provide an excellent client experience ensure ROI.
  • Proactive methods to ensure we reach the correct objectives and targets in a timely manner so the client experience isn’t hindered by something as trivial as a bad workflow or slow handoffs.
  • Reactive methods to ensure we are not blown out the water by an issue that a client is facing but instead in a position to implement a fix quickly and repeatable for our customer base.
  • Metrics on everything that is appropriate such as client experience, time to market, quality of delivery and more technical metrics such as amount of active users at a given time, what does a black Friday situation look like and  what is the normal state of the application.
  • By implementing both a DevOps ethos and practices we have garnered an 11.2% cost saving on infrastructure expenses alone for both legacy systems and more current ones.

 – Driven by culture for culture

Culture is a very hard thing to change never mind trying to change it quickly. We believe that for us to truly embrace proper DevOps driven practices and methods we all have to be willing to change the way we work and think for example:

  • When building teams and creating workflows always remember to keep it simple and stupid so that it is clear and easily to follow.
  • Creating multi-skilled teams and removing key-people dependencies by allowing pairing, remote site rotation and inter-team demos and knowledge sharing
  • Making people see the benefits of DevOps practices so that they want it instead of being mandated to do it, make it common sense to change the way we work instead of just doing daily work.
  • Have a flat structure in the team, make it feel like a group of friends are working together instead of pseudo hierarchy, you’re with these people more than you are not so drive out the bell curve and allow the team to function as one.
  • Encourage personal learning during working hours so people can further their own knowledge and research new things that may or may not be of benefit to the team, this will allow the team to stay curious and always able to try something new.

  – Furthering achievement by embracing failure

When we’re trying to enable ourselves to become better, faster, smarter and stronger we need to achieve victories in our day to day lives in order to notice accomplishment. In order for this to work we need to know when something doesn’t, for example:

  • When you’ve failed put your hand up and make it known so that you can learn from the situation and maybe others have incurred the same problem
  • If you are to fail make it fast so that you do not draw out a problem longer than required.
  • When you succeed make sure you celebrate it in some way, be it you have a doughnut or seek recognition with the team.
  • Do not punish for failure but instead seek solely to learn from it, but don’t fail just for the sake of it.

– Our Journey from simple continuous integration to a DevOps culture adopting team

We’ll talk about how we started with a simple continuous integration setup, before we heard about DevOps and how that morphed in to a team striving to continuously better ourselves and our processes. This will cover what we learned along the way and how we overcame certain obstacles, but also how we sometimes failed outright and had to change course.

About

Kevin Cameron has over 14 years experience working on all aspects of the Software Development Lifecycle. His roles have varied between pure Engineering, Development & Support. He has worked in both, sole contributor roles as well as managing large teams in his time at JPMorgan.

He currently drives a transformation program around DevOps & SRE Adoption within the Investment Bank and enthusiastically leads a local DevOps community of practice in Glasgow. He has a constant thirst for learning and automation, and is a self proclaimed DevOps evangelist both inside and outside of work.

Kevin is also a keen Ultramarathon runner in his downtime!

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