SpringOne live blog – Not Actually a DevOps Talk: Beyond Survival is not Mandatory

Not Actually a DevOps Talk: Beyond Survival is not Mandatory
Speaker: Michael Cote (Pivotal)
For more posts from Spring One 2017, see the Spring One blog table of contents

  • Cyclic – digital transformation yet hardly ends well
  • Think about how to program your business
  • Start by moving things you do yourself that aren’t your business – ex: hosted email
  • When people have ideas, they don’t want to be told to open a ticket

Delivering value

  • Doing software well is managing chaos on behalf of users
  • Top user stories
    • User would like software to work
    • User would like to accomplish a goal
  • Deliver value reliably in small batches – allows to hypothesis/validate quickly/see if worked for user
  • When you succeed in solving a problem “merry christmas; here’s another problem to solve”


  • used to have a call center
  • problem because people don;t like calling the IRS
  • only 37% of calls even got through
  • tried feature where could revisit past – people didn’t like either and still called. But fast feedback loop cycle so could move on to next approach
  • finally learned all people wanted was to know how much they owe


  • 25 years later, agile practices are still not standard
  • Look at which practices each team doing; not how many Certified Scrum Masters you have.
  • Waterscrumfall or wagilefall – still doing big upfront analysis before get to team level
  • Organization needs to support agile teams
  • DevOps team is old name
  • Have all roles need on team; fully dedicated to product. Build up expertise and shared knowledge
  • Have standardized platform that takes care of basic needs to can focus on delighting users vs needing everyone to be a full stack engineer
  • Work closely together whether in person or over video conference. In person probably is better.
  • Easy to get stuck doing research when working by self. Easier to stay on task and work 4-6 hours a day.


  • If change nothing, system will stay up and running.
  • Developers are the ones who write the bugs.


  • Don’t be overly ambitious at first. Start with low-risk apps
  • Real apps. Not the poor cafeteria app.
  • Skunkworks/quarantine yourself. Limit failure.
  • Internal marketing – not just email.

Also see booklet: https://cote.io/2016/11/28/cloud2/

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