Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Stackify Blog, Xenia von Wedel, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, APM Blog

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Spread the DevOps Virus in Your Organization (Part One) By @TheEbizWizard | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

To become software-driven, companies must transform organizationally – and the key to such transformation is self-organization.

When an organization finally figures out how to get DevOps to work properly, it's unquestionably a beautiful thing. A team working together at full speed, delivering value to their organizations, while laughing in the face of roadblocks that threaten to impede their progress.

Getting to this point wasn't easy. We had to learn numerous lessons, many from Agile and Lean and other practices, each of which offered part of the answer. And then the technology itself had to reach a level of maturity, both among the tools themselves as well as the infrastructure. Clearly, DevOps owes much to open source. Not to mention APIs. Cloud computing and virtualization. And software-defined, well, everything.

Even taking into consideration those few but remarkable DevOps success stories - stories that are more frequent every day - the work of DevOps is far from complete.

As enterprises today undergo digital transformation, they become software-driven organizations. But software-driven is somewhat of a misnomer, because software alone is only an enabler - just as software-based tools are not the core of DevOps, but merely DevOps enablers.

In reality, to become software-driven, companies must transform organizationally - and the key to such transformation is self-organization.

What we're missing, however, is a self-organization playbook. That's where DevOps can help. Getting DevOps to work means getting self-organization to work. The challenge then becomes spreading the approach beyond the software organization.

For this reason I called for the spread of the DevOps ‘virus' in my last Cortex newsletter.

We're not simply taking a page out of the DevOps playbook and applying it to ‘non-software' teams - assuming it even makes sense to talk about such teams in today's software-driven world.

The goal, in fact, is more subtle: to leverage DevOps principles as a fundamental mechanism to achieve the organizational change necessary for digital transformation success.

Beyond Two Pizzas
At the heart of the DevOps culture, of course, is self-organization. Self-organizing teams, after all, are an Agile principle that serves us well today, as is the Lean principle (also familiar from Extreme Programming) that everybody on the team is responsible for everything the team produces.

Put these two basic organizational principles together, and you have the basis for cooperation, empathy, and responsibility. People working together to achieve a common goal is the essence of cooperation. Self-organization and joint responsibility facilitate empathy, since you can't dump problems on someone else.

Nothing particularly insightful or new so far. The challenge, however, comes when we want to expand all this organizational goodness beyond teams of about eight to ten people - the perennial two-pizza challenge. In other words, how do we scale DevOps culture?

The two-pizza challenge, of course, refers to the adage that you can feed an ideally sized team with two pizzas. Clearly, if a team grows much beyond that point, then the ‘everyone is responsible for everything' principle breaks down quickly.

How, then, can we spread self-organization more broadly? The key is to understand the primary factor limiting our success with self-organization up to this point: we've been assembling self-organizing teams all along.

As long as someone (a manager, say) assigns people to a team, the team's ability to self-organize has just taken a big hit. Sure, team members can decide how to divide up tasks, who sits with whom, and so on. But there's only so much self-organizing a team can do when someone has put together the team and given them an assignment.

The first key to spreading the DevOps virus beyond the two-pizza level, therefore, is to allow people to choose their own teams, and to allow teams to choose their own goals.

Cross-Pollination among Self-Organizing Teams
For an organization to be comfortable with such self-organization, people must have an understanding of various needs across the organization so they can best decide which teams they should help with.

There also must be adequate communication and collaboration among people outside of existing teams, so that there can be an interplay between the people on teams looking for additional help and the people who have the time, inclination, and ability to provide that help. I like to call this interplay cross-pollination.

Cross-pollination consists of the following general principles:

  • Anyone can identify a business goal they wish to pursue and seek to assemble a team to achieve that goal. That person, however, must be on the team - it's strictly against the rules for someone to organize a team they don't belong to. (Stay tuned for part two of this Cortex for more advice to management.)
  • Some people may participate in more than one team at the same time, since each team doesn't need all of their time. Everybody on a team won't be a partial contributor as a rule, but chances are some people on each team will qualify.
  • Some people serve a role on a team for only part of the lifetime of the team. They may find themselves moving from one team to another as those teams need them.
  • Nobody is ‘off limits' when a team needs help from someone outside the team. Even customers are fair game. If a team thinks they need the help of someone else, they can ask anybody they think might help, or might know someone who can help.

Clearly, suitable social networking tools are essential for empowering cross-pollination. It's no wonder, therefore, that collaboration and communication tools and techniques are such an important part of digital initiatives today (stay tuned for more insight into this topic in a future Cortex - don't forget to subscribe!)

Decision Making on Self-Organizing Teams
The basic principle of decision making is for teams to do it for themselves, rather than some manager or other external party doing it for them. Here are the basics:

  • It's up to the team to decide how they make decisions. Vote of the majority? Possibly. Unanimous consensus? Might be worth a try. Let a leader decide? Perhaps - but note that the team also decides whether they need a leader and if so, who it is. Nobody has a pre-defined leadership position; instead, leaders naturally arise as a part of self-organization.
  • Teams must be willing and able to resolve personal conflicts internally. Any team has the ability to kick someone out - but such an occurrence should be treated as a positive cross-pollination opportunity because it frees someone up to help elsewhere, thus turning a potentially morale-killing event into a positive result.
  • All teams have natural lifetimes. When a team coalesces, they should generally give themselves an expiration date (or tie their dissolution to a particular milestone or other event). They can always decide to change this date if necessary, but the default is for teams to expect to disband, thus freeing members to join other teams.
  • All teams should mind the cadence. In some cases the duration and completion times of various teams' efforts are independent of each other, but it's also common for teams to need to coordinate release cycles. Does this recommendation mean that there's a need for a ‘scrum of scrums' type coordinating team? Perhaps, perhaps not, as such a team should also self-organize.

The Intellyx Take: Where's the Automation?
For an article that purports to describe a DevOps virus, there was scant mention of the technology enablers of DevOps. DevOps wouldn't be DevOps without automation-driven continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), after all, right?

In fact, without CI/CD, DevOps would never have gotten off the ground, because ops folks would still have their hands full with manual tasks. The reason people could break down the dev/QA/ops silos in the first place is because the tooling freed up everybody to drive QA and ops more as extensions of development than as separate silos.

In other words, technology played an essential role in the evolution of self-organizational principles, helping move them from theory to production-tested reality.

Now it's time to take the next step. To achieve the full vision of digitally transformed organizations, the maturation of technology and organizational principles must proceed apace. Each one needs the other.

That's why I call this trend the DevOps virus. This virus is contagious. And we need it to infect the entire organization.

Intellyx advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: jeffreyw.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.