Clinical Trials and Software Process
In the Accelerate book, researchers explain several metrics which they have shown will measure the performance of a DevOps organization, and crucially, drive performance of the organization as a whole. I will explain why this is important, using an analogy with your risk of a heart attack.
In 2018 Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim released Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps to detail their research into DevOps. They identified a causal link between DevOps organizations which score well on a number of metrics and success in the marketplace. Good scores on those metrics are in turn driven by successful implementation of DevOps practices. The book explains which metrics their research has found to be particularly significant.
If you’ve been following the DevOps movement you won’t be surprised to learn that these practices include Continuous Integration and Deployment Automation. As the research proceeds they continue to refine our understanding of which practices are most significant and which metrics are most useful to measure. I think it is really encouraging that researchers are applying proper science to this problem. This relationship they’ve discovered, between DevOps practices, metrics and organizational performance, is really useful for helping leaders in all kinds of organizations to make more informed decisions about how to do their work.
I like to compare it with the relationship between your risk of a heart attack, your cholesterol levels, and your lifestyle. A low risk of heart attack is what you’re trying to optimize for, just as an organization might try to optimize for creating profit, increasing shareholder value, or reducing suffering in the world. Each organization will have some kind of ultimate aim, but as an employee, or even a leader, it is probably not easy to influence directly.
Measuring your cholesterol levels is a way to assess your risk of a heart attack. In much the same way, measuring the DevOps metrics detailed in Accelerate is a way to assess your organization’s chances of successfully meeting its goals. The lifestyle choices you make will, of course, affect your cholesterol levels, and consequently your heart attack risk. Similarly, the practices you use for development and operations will affect the values you score on Accelerate’s DevOps metrics, and hence your chances of achieving your goals. Crucially, the feedback loop is much faster for the metric than for the ultimate goal.
I watched a documentary recently where they had four couples each take up a new diet for one month. Before and after they measured all sorts of things: weight, fat percentage, and a host of biomarkers, including cholesterol. One of the couples changed to quite an extreme Low-Carb diet, where they ate lots of meat and dairy, no fruit, and only a restricted selection of vegetables. After only one month it was noticeable how much higher their cholesterol levels had become. They were still quite young, so their risk of heart attack was still relatively low, but you could see if they persisted with this diet for the long term, the risk was going to become significant.
I think you can use the Accelerate DevOps metrics in a similar way. You can measure them relatively easily for your organization, and get an idea of where you stand. If you have poor values it doesn’t necessarily mean you are in imminent danger of company failure, but it doesn’t look good for the long term. If you make changes to the way you build software, for example by introducing Continuous Integration or investing in deployment automation, you should be able to see changes in your metrics relatively quickly. Hopefully this will encourage you to press on with more productive practices and become more likely to achieve your organization’s aims.
The Continuous Delivery and DevOps Conference in Scandinavia
Let’s talk about cakes and baking. It’s similar to making software. No really! How quickly you can bake a fantastic cake depends on three main factors. Turns out, it’s the same three for software.
Coding is Like Baking
Three factors affecting your agility
Learn how Docker and Kubernetes work and the key benefits they bring. Using real demos, I show how Docker is a great packaging and distribution technology, and how Kubernetes provides a powerful runtime for containerized applications.
Video - Docker and Kubernetes in 40 minutes
Watch this introduction to Docker and Kubernetes at the Trondheim Developer Conference (TDC)
In the world of Agile and DevOps we use many figures, charts and diagrams to argue and reason about our world and how we prioritize and make choices. However, at all levels of the organization, we misuse and misinterpret figures. It’s time to be explicit, measure the right things and act on them. Watch this talk from DevOpsDays Zurich in May 2019.
Misused Figures of DevOps
Watch this talk from DevOpsDays Zurich
Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, whether you’re at the beach, in a summer house, or cozy at home. If your book backlog is on the short side, don’t worry! We compiled a list of great books for summer reading.
Six books you should read when working with DevOps
Inspiration for your summer reading list
At Praqma we believe in knowledge sharing, and we love to teach our technical expertise. Watch this series of videos to learn how traefik reverse proxy works step by step.
How to use Traefik reverse proxy
A video seminar to learn how Traefik works
What testing steps should you include in your Continuous Delivery pipeline? Don’t just string together existing manual processes - use simple, collaborative tools to design something better!
Pipeline - The Game that Delivers!
A new card game to design Continuous Delivery pipelines
Your repositories are cluttered, you’re storing irrelevant builds, and your disks are full. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for advice. Here’s how to set up automatic cleanup.
Artifactory Retention Policies
How to set up automatic Artifactory repository cleaning
In many security and safety critical environments there can be requirements for long-term reproducibility of artifacts that are created. In this talk from NDC Tech Town, Mike Long shows how to use Docker to create binary reproducible applications from a C++ application.
Binary Reproducible Builds
How to Create Binary Reproducible Builds using Native Build Tools and Docker
In distributed architectures networking is usually taken as a given. However, when it does not function as we expect it is often hard to understand the reason. This blog post outlines some general insights into networking with more specific techniques for understanding the networking infrastructure of a Kubernetes cluster.
Debugging Kubernetes Networking
How to Find a Needle in a Virtualized Network
Choosing the perfect CI/CD tool for your project can be tricky. In this post we compare two managed CI/CD services - CircleCI and Google Cloud Build. Sami Alajrami is on hand to score our exciting CI/CD matchup.
CircleCI vs Google Cloud Build
How to choose the CI/CD tool that’s right for you
Simply aligning your IT capability with your business goals isn’t enough to grow your company. To achieve real IT-enabled growth you’ll need to build on a foundation of technical excellence and thanks to DORA that’s something you can now actually measure.
Avoiding the Agile Alignment Trap
Why a new software process won’t fix your delivery effectiveness
Hear about upcoming events in Scandinavia, latest tech blogs, and training in the field of Continuous Delivery and DevOps