Wednesday March 6th marked the first DevOps Republic; a meet-up collaboration between Third Republic and PA Consulting. Born out of a desire to provide an opportunity for networking and education within the DevOps community, DevOps Republic was held off the back of our successful All Hands On DevOps MeetUps from last year.
To kick off our re-brand in style, we had both Steve Judd and Richard Vodden deliver engaging talks on ‘NoOps’ and innovation respectively, and we were thrilled to have over 40 engineers and technologists join us on the night to debate these topics over food and drinks.
For those of you who were unable to attend, here’s a rundown of both Steve’s and Richard’s discussions…
Talk 1 – Stephen Judd – Is NoOps the future of DevOps?
Steve’s talk, and what was ultimately the theme of the night, focussed on No-Ops – the concept that an IT environment can be so automated that there is actually no need for a dedicated team of Engineers.
After a brief discussion of how people tend to define DevOps, Steve highlighted how, when it comes to automation, people often fail to focus on all the different types of activities that make up the Ops side of DevOps. Things like installing, upgrading, patching and security being amongst the less talked about responsibilities, these are often considered the mind-numbing tasks that must be done and that can prevent good Engineers from doing exciting project-style work.
From this, Steve moved the conversation to discuss the pros and cons of the old school virtual IaaS environment through to totally Serverless, examining how that will ultimately determine how – and importantly who – carries out certain functions in the software engineering lifecycle.
He maintained that, within a more modern managed service environment, the cloud provider can swallow and automate a lot of those previously mentioned mind-numbing tasks, but when taking into consideration things like security there will always be a need for human involvement. So, Steve has coined the phrase ‘LessOps’ as perhaps a more suitable terminology to describe the direction we might be heading in.
To reach this ‘LessOps’ Utopia scenario he contended that it’s likely that you will have to put all your eggs in one place vendor-wise. And whilst ‘Vendor lock-in’ is something that has its drawbacks, Steve encouraged the audience to not be too hung up on them. He appreciated that every company is different and has its own unique set of priorities, but today the best way to create a ‘LessOps’ type environment would be to put your trust in to one provider, remove the menial tasks mentioned above from the engineering team, and free them up for the more exciting stuff.
Speaking of the exciting part of a job – and after some engaging questions and interactive discussions from the audience – Stephen’s presentation was the perfect Segway into talk number two; given by Richard Vodden.
Talk 2 Richard Vodden – Facilitating innovation in the modern world
Are you ensuring that your Engineering team are being provided the right environment to facilitate innovation to guarantee that you are staying competitive? For our second talk of the evening Richard Vodden explored how some of the greatest innovations in history have come from all sorts of unique ways and nearly all by accident, or as a result of several mistakes.
This made Richard ponder what it truly means to be innovative, and explored the circumstances surrounding those great inventions; surmising that he believes that, for innovation to truly thrive, there needs to be a more diverse set of opinions that need to be explored in order to throw up a wider set of ideas. He used the example that a team of Developers could be so hung up on one problem and, due to their mindsets, be totally missing the “bigger picture”, and a totally fresh perspective from someone totally removed from the project could somehow provide an ingenious solution.
Richard perfectly finished his session by asking the question, “When was the last time you introduced diversity into your teams in order to get a different and wider set of answers?”
A huge thank you to everyone who attended DevOps Republic 01; it was great to see some old and some new faces down at PA’s Office , and to get some genuinely thought-provoking conversations going. We’re always planning for our next MeetUp, so if you have any ideas – or think you’d like to try your hand at presenting a topic of choice – reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!