Just a short while ago, Automation Consultants were proud to host ‘DevOps for Enterprise 2021’ alongside our key strategic partners and sponsors, Atlassian and AWS – because what better way to kick off 2021! While it’s really not the same as getting to see you all in person, we were thrilled that so many of you were able to join us online for the virtual event.
The afternoon was filled with insightful sessions, topics and discussions, as industry leaders joined forces with some of our very own AC masterminds to share their views, expertise and experiences on the world of Enterprise DevOps. So, without further ado let’s get this show on the road as we kick off with a warm welcome from AC’s Director Francis Miers!
Take One: Breaking the Barriers to Enterprise DevOps
Our first talk of the day was given by AC’s Nic Tivey, as he evaluated some of the key barriers Enterprises commonly face when seeking to adopt DevOps. Nic broke these barriers all the way down to the foundations from which they are derived, explaining how if we understand what the issues are and where they come from, we have a better chance of adopting DevOps at an Enterprise scale.
Nic drew from his experiences of working with Enterprise-level organisations to focus on eight primary examples of the barriers Enterprises may face. Each of these barriers were tackled with multiple examples of how they could be overcome, and what advantages these solutions would bring to an organisation.
Throughout his session, Nic mentioned and reviewed several different tools which could help organisations to automate various parts of their development cycle. Nic went on to showcase an example CI/CD pipeline using AWS and other various CI/CD tools, to understand how code can be deployed to all environments within an Enterprise’s infrastructure.
While moving to DevOps is no mean feat, Nic concluded his talk by addressing how Enterprises should approach this task, once again summarising the vast benefits an organisation can reap if they make the move towards DevOps.
Take Two: Implementing DevOps into your Documentation
Next up was Appfox and AC duo Tom Ivall and Richard Jones, who set about tackling the importance of documentation in a DevOps environment, as well as reviewing examples where apps such as Workflows for Confluence could be utilised to help with this process.
The session started off by highlighting why thorough documentation should be a critical component of any DevOps environment. Documentation can often be overlooked, but Tom and Richard explained why this should not be the case – it was advised in the presentation that documentation should be treated as important as the source code within a DevOps process.
Tom and Richard exemplified a number of useful approaches and techniques that organisations could utilise for adopting documentation more thoroughly, ensuring that quality is at the forefront throughout.
Drawing the session to a close, Tom gave a live demonstration of Appfox’s Workflows for Confluence App. This walk-through demonstrated how ‘Workflows’ can be a powerful tool to help with the review and approval processes for documentation, highlighting how easy it can be to set this process up within Confluence.
But why stop there, let’s get the Q&A rolling!
Take Three: The Atlassian Keynote
As if the opening few sessions weren’t exciting enough, it was time for the highly anticipated Atlassian keynote, given by Atlassian Solutions Engineer, Hermance N’Dounga. The keynote took us all on a journey through the Atlassian Cloud – with a nod to AWS – before discussing specific use cases from the likes of Dominos, Hitachi and Nextiva.
Hermance started us off with the fundamentals – how DevOps is properly defined from a business perspective, and what it actually means to utilise DevOps practices. She then went on to break down the steps required to implement DevOps processes within an organisation, such as company culture and practices all the way to tools that are available to assist with the DevOps process – which became the focus for the next part of the keynote.
From Confluence and Jira to Bitbucket and Opsgenie, Hermance gave us a step-by-step walkthrough of how Atlassian’s tools can be powerful allies all the way throughout the DevOps lifecycle. We learnt how Confluence and Jira Software can be used for the planning stages, and can be seamlessly integrated with Bitbucket’s robust capabilities as a CI/CD pipeline tool. In the latter part of the DevOps flow, we discovered how Opsgenie can be extremely useful as an incident management platform to key an eye on deployed code, whilst Jira Service Management further empowers DevOps teams to collaborate at a high velocity.
Hermance continued by explaining some of the pain points that many teams face when it comes to release management, comparing these with case studies and customer stories, explaining how these organisations overcame their struggles by fully leaning into the DevOps way of working.
Last but certainly not least, was a sneak peek into Atlassian’s pipeline for Cloud, as Hermance previewed some of the new features that are to be released within Jira Service Management. This included some exciting new advanced release management and approval workflow features, enabling users to connect source code and operational planning better than ever before.
We would like to thank Hermance once again for her insightful and eye-opening keynote!
Have a break, have an AWS Sponsored Raffle
As it was time for another quick coffee break, what better way to keep the excitement alive than with an AWS raffle prize draw! Did somebody say giveaway? That’s right, our event co-sponsor AWS was giving away a whopping $1000 of AWS tokens to one lucky event attendee.
It was a tense moment which had everyone right on the edge of their seats (we can only assume this was the case – who knows, you may have chosen to stand for a whole event…), but a name was picked out of a virtual hat and a victor was chosen – congratulations to Chris Kibbey from Babylon Health!
Take Four: Panel Discussion
After the excitement of the raffle, our panellists took their seats for the final session of the day. We were fortunate enough to be joined by industry experts across the board, with representatives from HSBC, Vodafone, Nationwide Building Society and of course, Atlassian.
This was the final opportunity for attendees to contemplate what was discussed over the course of the afternoon and to let rip with any burning questions they had for our panellists. What were some of the questions I hear you ask? Here were some of the highlights:
- Can you set out a few practical steps for starting to build a DevOps culture?
- What is the most important trend you see in DevOps today?
- How have DevOps practices affected the architecture of the software you have worked on?
- How do you measure the return on investment for DevOps – i.e., how do you measure whether DevOps is worth it?
- Have you ever seen Dev and Ops teams combined in an organisation – and if so, how successful was it?
The panellists discussed these and many more topical questions, making it a great way to round off our Enterprise DevOps themed afternoon.
While the end of the panel marked the end of the event for some, others remained online and joined us as we assembled in the virtual world hosted by RMG E:VENT for a networking event like no other. While usual face-to-face networking consists of bubbly drinks and crudités, these were replaced with breakdancing avatars, jet ski races and some good old fashioned virtual roof-top bar conversations.
On behalf of everyone at Automation Consultants we’d like to say a huge thank you to our guest speakers and panellists, our event sponsors Atlassian and AWS and of course to all of you who were able to join us for the afternoon. We hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did, as well as learn some helpful tips and tricks on breaking into the world of Enterprise DevOps.
Weren’t able to join us? Or enjoyed the event so much that you’d like to re-live every moment frame-by-frame? Don’t sweat it! The full recordings of the event sessions can be found here for your enjoyment.
We hope to see you all at our next virtual shindig – stay tuned for Summer 2021!