Bringing together software development and operation in the form of dev-ops is often considered the path to innovation. However, if everyone on the team looks at the task of software building from the same perspective, the results can be more cookie-cutter than avant-garde.
“Dev-ops is based on an experimental approach, this implies coming up with new ideas or experimenting with new ideas,” says Alberta Bosco, senior product marketing manager for Puppet. “Creating new solutions to old problems is really hard, especially when you have a team composed of people coming from the same background and same life experience.” Bosco was interviewed in the second episode of Puppet’s “Agility through Diversity,” which explores why this matters and how to change it.
The panel also Marianne Calder, vice president and managing director for Puppet EMEA and Kate Self, an apprentice at British Telecom. Referencing the most recent edition of Puppet’s massive global dev-ops survey has brought other insights. “What we’ve found is that transformational leadership — the ability to bring people together to drive a vision and a common goal — is absolutely the key to success,” says Calder. “Diversity is really a key cornerstone to that.”
So is dev-ops a good place for women to work? Take the example of apprentice Self, who bypassed university and jumped straight into the work world. She came into the apprenticeship without prior knowledge of coding and has learned everything, including a few languages on the job, she says.
“This is one area where it changes so much and so fast that you need to just constantly be looking out for opportunities to learn more and what you’re learning wouldn’t necessarily be in a book that you get at university, it would be from your colleagues who are right there,” Calder adds.
If dev-ops is a good fit for diverse talent, there are also a few hurdles to overcome. Calder suggests that people interested in getting started take advantage of the numerous meetups and informal gatherings to connect and share learnings across communities.
Many companies are also resistant to change of any kind — the DNA of dev-ops. Bosco says that small teams can often make more headway than larger ones. “Give them a project and then share the success of this project so people can see the real potential; they have evidence that the hard work they put into this change actually pays off.”
Check out the whole episode on YouTube.