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Best of TechBeacon 2018: The DevOps journey continues

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Jaikumar Vijayan, Freelance writer

Many enterprises that have embarked on a DevOps journey are running into problems scaling the practice across the enterprise for various reasons. TechBeacon's top 12 DevOps stories for 2018 examine some of these reasons and offer useful advice and tips on how to navigate around them.

Several of the stories here are by experienced practitioners in the field who have either led or managed major, transformational DevOps initiatives at their organizations. The list includes stories on why DevOps projects fail, how organizations can build effective DevOps teams, and how they can accelerate projects across the enterprise. Profiled in these stories are the DevOps journeys of several major companies including J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Jaguar Land Rover, PayPal, and Yahoo.

How to Build a DevOps Toolchain That Scales

The real reason enterprises fail at DevOps

Most of the advice on how to get DevOps right is misguided. Organizations don't fail at DevOps simply because they don't have the right tools, fail to automate properly, or haven't fully implemented continuous integration/continuous delivery. The real reason why enterprises don't succeed at DevOps is that they are unwilling to fundamentally rethink what they do and why they are doing it, says Accenture managing consultant Greg Bledsoe. Here, Bledsoe, who leads the DevOps implementation practice at Accenture, highlights what organizations really need to be focusing on, if they want to get it right.

How a connected DevOps toolchain can help you scale

Using large, disparate, and disconnected tool sets can hamper the visibility and efficiency you need to maintain the cadence of your software delivery. The first step to addressing the issue is recognizing you have it in the first place. Here, Micro Focus senior researcher and DevOps specialist Malcolm Isaacs explains why a single DevOps tool set doesn't work and makes a case for a connected, inclusive system to support existing tools.

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How they did it: 6 companies that scaled DevOps

Most organizations are still trying to figure out how to effectively implement DevOps practices in their environment. Even those with large DevOps teams that are busy with all kinds of automation projects are struggling to truly integrate development and operations teams for a variety of reasons. A few, though, have implemented DevOps both broadly and deeply across their organizations. Freelance writer Chris Kanaracus profiles six high-profile companies that have successfully deployed DevOps at scale. The list includes PayPal, Kaiser Permanente, Yahoo, and Capital One.

10 ways to build highly effective DevOps teams

You need a good team in place in order to effectively implement DevOps practices across the enterprise. But finding, attracting, training, retaining, and leading the right people can be challenging. Technology journalist Ericka Chickowski talked to a variety of DevOps leaders for their advice on ways to build an effective DevOps teams. Here, she presents a list of the top 10 tips the leaders have to offer for finding the right mix of people for your DevOps team, attracting the best candidates, designing teams, and, most importantly, retaining them for the long haul.

State of DevOps 2018: 7 takeaways for peak performance

The DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) team's annual report on the state of DevOps has become something of a go-to source for those wanting to know more about current software development and delivery practices across multiple industries. As with previous editions, this year's report—titled "Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy"—had its usual share of surprises and fresh insights. Award-wining journalist and freelance writer Chris Null spoke with DORA chief scientist Nicole Forsgren on the key takeaways in the 2018 report for enterprises and DevOps teams.

How J.P. Morgan Asset Management went from quarterly to daily releases

Like many large enterprises, J.P. Morgan Asset Management's equities technology team followed a traditional, quarterly software-release cycle. But about six years ago, it decided to move to a faster software development and release cadence in order to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated demands of the business and the broader market in general. Here, J.P. Morgan Asset Management's head of Equities Production Management, Danny Myers, explains how the technology team went from quarterly releases to a more-than-daily release cycle by 2017.

These DevOps practices will speed up your delivery pipeline

In order to deliver software more frequently and be more responsive to business requirements, your DevOps team first needs to know what the constraints are to achieving those goals. The team needs to identify the areas where it needs to improve and figure out how to optimize the underlying delivery pipeline. Senior value stream management strategist at Tasktop Technologies, Carmen DeArdo, draws on his experience with development teams at Bell Labs and Nationwide to outline practices for speeding up the delivery pipeline.

DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018: How to accelerate teamwork

The DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018 in Las Vegas offered up plenty of answers to the question of how best to scale up DevOps teams in order to really make DevOps transformation work. Electric Cloud CTO Anders Wallgren, a 20-year veteran in commercial software design and development, zeroes in on five key lessons from the event for IT leaders and practitioners. Among them: A strong culture drives high performance, shared goals are vital, and choosing the right metrics helps identify problems fast.

How Accenture scaled its DevOps team

Leading a DevOps team is very different from—and a lot harder than—managing one. It takes time to understand how to lead, and ideas that seem great initially can often end up being not so great after all. Here Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis, DevOps lead at Accenture Latvia, shares his experience leading a large DevOps group. He describes how he got started on the leadership path and the lessons learned along the way. One of his most profound takeaways: Free food will fix the world.

How to deal with the DevOps talent crunch

Changes to the rules governing H-1B visas resulted in fewer of the guest worker visas being issued for the second year in a row in 2018. The decline in visas worsened the skills-availability situation, especially in fields such as DevOps and big data that have traditionally relied heavily on H-1B talent. Sam Harrison, managing director of the Endorsed Group, explains why the situation heightens the need for organizations to better utilize their available talent and build an internal pipeline by training and developing existing staff.

How Jaguar Land Rover hit the accelerator with DevOps

Jaguar Land Rover's DevOps journey began when a handful of software engineers from the automaker's operations in Portland, Oregon, and the United Kingdom decided to explore the development model to see if they could speed up software throughput. With ideas gleaned from a DevOps conference and from several influential books on the topic, the engineers began the process of transforming Jaguar Land Rover's development organization. Chris Hill, software engineering director at the automaker and one of the architects of the DevOps transformation effort, describes the company's journey so far.

Why agile and DevOps are key to any digital transformation

A Freeform Dynamics study commissioned by CA Technologies found that enterprises that have leveraged DevOps and agile practices throughout the organization reported substantially higher revenue and profit growth than organizations that haven't. However, a vast majority of organizations in the study are not deriving these benefits because they are struggling to implement DevOps. President and chief product officer at CA Technologies, Ayman Sayed, offers up his take on the key points in the study for enterprises.