Global Retrospective: devops, the First 5 Years

Devops is officially 5 years old. In the time since the inaugural devopsdays event in Ghent in 2009, it has evolved from an idea about agile infrastructure to an emerging organizational philosophy (or practice), one that even huge, mainstream enterprises are adopting. Devops is also an open, vibrant, and diverse community of practitioners (or philosophers), who are actively debating culture, automation, measurement, and sharing both their successes and failures openly. The theme for the 5-year-anniversary devopsdays gathering in Ghent, Belgium is “the future of #devops”. This is a natural place and time to pause and reflect about how far we’ve come and where we’re going. To that end, part of this devopsdays will be devoted to a retrospective (a blameless postmortem of sorts). On the first day, October 27, Yves Hanoulle and I will have a place, where attendees can write down their observations and ideas about the past and the future of devops on post-it notes, placing them into one of 3 areas: stop, start, or continue.

  • What hasn’t worked well in the devops movement, and we should stop doing? Place in the “stop” area.
  • What could we do in the future to make devops even more successful (by some measure of success)? Add it to the “start” area.
  • What has devops gotten right, and practitioners should keep doing? Add to the “continue” area.

Can’t make it to Ghent? No worries! You can participate in the historic global devops retrospective on twitter, by using #devopsstop, #devopsstart, and #devopscontinue hashtags. Yves and I will collate and summarize all the ideas received by 17:00 (5PM) Belgium time on October 27, and will present the results at the conference and in a blog post on this site on the following day.

On the second day of the conference (October 28), there will be 3 open spaces devoted to “fleshing out” one (or more) of the ideas that we’ve all come up with during the retrospective. These ideas will likely come from the “stop” or “start” categories--we’ll have the what and the why, and the open spaces will help us brainstorm how we get there and who will be leading the way. In addition, each open space will conduct a premortem to identify potential problems with these ideas.

Finally, each of the groups will produce and share a blog post about the results of their open space, and nominate one or more people to represent the open space during the combined Retrospective Podcast with Devops Cafe, FoodFightShow, Arrested DevOps, The Ship Show.

Devops is a global phenomenon, continually shaped by its far-flung and inclusive community. We hope you take this opportunity to participate in the retrospective--in person or on twitter--and to make the next 5 years of devops even more awesome!

Update [October 27]: The raw results are here.

How devopsdays NYC built a well for a village in Cambodia. (A #devopsWater update)

Last year, the attendees of the devopsdays NYC conference used the money usually spent on t-shirts to drill a deep-bore water well for a village in Cambodia. They donated $2500 ($12/person) to Lotus Outreach, which quickly set out to find a suitable location, and a local partner organization to oversee the construction of the well. The result?

On July 5, 2014, clean, safe water started flowing from a newly-built well in the isolated Brormoay Commune in the Rike Reay Village, Veal Veng district, Pursat province, Cambodia. The well now serves 81 villagers, and even more people from the surrounding area during the dry months. The 36 village children, of whom 15 are girls, will no longer have to miss school and risk their lives to fetch water far away from their homes. The families no longer have to spend money to purchase water instead of paying their kids’ school fees.

Those of us who attend technology conferences are some of the most well-paid and financially secure people in the world. We can certainly afford to buy our own t-shits, and spare the landfills the other “swag” routinely given out for free at conferences.

So the next time you register for a tech conference, ask the organizers to donate the money they would otherwise use for t-shirts to a worthy cause. If you’re organizing a conference, give your attendees the option to donate part of their registration fee to charity. In a small way, the world will be a better place.

Here's the full report on the devopsdays NYC well.