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Wednesday 23rd November 2016
DevOps is one of the biggest buzzwords in the software / digital community at the moment, working in conjunction with Continuous Delivery and Agile processes.  The collision of development and operations aims to enhance communication and collaboration between software developers and IT professionals.  The rapid growth of this market, and the benefits that come with it have undoubtedly caused a considerable increase in the demand of skilled DevOps professionals. 

On Thursday 17th November we held the fourth event in our series of Tech//Connect events, DevOps: Culture & Containers.  The event brought together software professionals from across our region where they were invited to listen to talks surrounding two key areas in DevOps, take part in a Q&A where they were able to ask any burning questions about DevOps and network with other like-minded professionals.

It was a great opportunity for those who haven’t yet implemented DevOps into their working environment, to see the benefits of doing so, and also gave those who are already using DevOps some further insight into overcoming challenges they may encounter.

We were joined by 2 guest speakers – Chris Urwin of Rancher Labs and Clem Pickering of Infinity Works Consulting.  Clem delivered a talk all about DevOps culture, and the ‘elephant’ in the room when it comes to DevOps and common preconceptions.  Chris presented an interesting talk all about containerisation.

Chris discussed the adoption of a container strategy, where to start, the gotchas to avoid and the benefits it can bring.  Chris used real life-examples from his experience at Rancher working with large and small, public and private sector organisations to develop and implement container strategies.

Chris received a series of interesting questions after the presentation that included “What is the difference between virtualisation and containers?” And “If containers share an operating system how secure are they?”  Chris provided the room with unbiased answers showing the pros and cons of adopting a container strategy.  Notably Chris did inform the room that as container technology stands, having a full containerised environment is probably not advisable for various reasons including security and struggles with databases, but if implemented to the correct parts of the environment it can have massive benefits including the ability to run containers on any computer, on any infrastructure and in any cloud.

Clem’s talk was focussed on the fact that bringing DevOps into an organisation is not just implementing a set of tools it is about implementing a specific culture and thought process.  After Clem’s presentation he received questions from those with already established “DevOps” teams and those who are at the beginning of the journey.  Some of the main topics discussed in the Q&A included on “How to get buy-in from Executive team / board?”  and “Ability of existing team to upskill & how to do this?”  As with most of these style of questions Clem revealed that the process of implementing DevOps is different for every organisation and there is no magic formula, however if done correctly it can provide many benefits including a shorter development life cycle and greater stability and reliability.

Check out video footage from the event here…

The evening was a great success, the feedback we have received so far has been really positive and it would seem that attendees of the event were able to take home some helpful knowledge that will be valuable to them on their DevOps journey.

In our next blog David will go into depth around the content presented in the talks and also more depth around the Q&A session.

We would love to see you at our next Tech//Connect events, please register via our website by clicking here and we will be in touch about future events.

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