When technology collides with reality, it changes it. With the wave of tech innovations we are seeing now, words like impossible seem more like dares than ultimatums. People continue to think beyond the ordinary limits of what is possible and are now able to solve even age-old problems through a new mindset. Nowhere else is the effect of these disruptions as clear as it was at Collision Conference 2015. We got to see plans for drones going into space, smartwatches and even coding schools that are guaranteed to revolutionize many facets of society.
A new way of looking into things, and a new mindset that propels us forward, is also evident in the world of software delivery – with the partnership of Development and Operations and the concept of DevOps. I joined an incredible panel at Collision 2015 to discuss the importance of DevOps and new software delivery methods in today’s software innovations titled “The Rise of the DevOps Culture, and Why it’s Important.” My fellow speakers at the panel were Michael Crandell, CEO and a founder of RightScale; Jon Gifford, founder and chief search officer at Loggly; and Forbes tech contributor, Jason Bloomberg.
There was resounding support in this discussion around a key principle: DevOps is fundamentally about better communication, collaboration and alignment between development, IT Operations and the business itself. The goal is very direct — deliver better software faster. DevOps is about breaking down the historical silos between teams, establishing shared objectives and processes across these groups regarding pace of software change and software quality. Tools and technology can help achieve these goals, but only after the culture, organizational and process issues have been addressed.
Another clear point that was made at Collision was that digital transformation is disrupting every industry. We now see DevOps as a means for the newest startups to now disrupt the disruptors of a decade ago. Executives of organizations that have already adopted Agile initiatives recognize DevOps and Continuous Delivery as an evolution and extension of Agile development. Whereas, Agile historically focused on improving development productivity and responsiveness, the biggest opportunity for improvement now lies in the downstream processes after the developer checks-in the code, including build, test, infrastructure provisioning and application deployment.
DevOps is a way to accelerate and improve outcomes of software-driven innovation and address the challenges that a digital transformation poses. To quote Marc Andreesen, “software is eating the world.” You see this across nearly every industry and this concept rang true in what many of the speakers at the conference wound up discussing.
In my co-panelist’s, Jason Bloomberg, commentary and description of the conference, he highlighted what I also found most impressive from the conference: the speakers. “Where else can you hobnob with the likes of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Rackspace uber-networker Robert Scoble, or VC legend Tim Draper over pineapple and wheat grass smoothies?”
What was clear to me, as I sat next to CEOs of successful companies, was that everyone is either excited about, or paranoid of, disruption in their industry. As we see more and more ways technology can improve lives, solve problems and bring joy, I can only hope the drive and passion witnessed in attendees of this conference continues to grow for generations to come. Collision provided the venue to bring people together that share a responsibility to nurture the dreamers of the future because we will continuously aim to tackle big opportunities and make the world a better place. Just like how DevOps is advancing enterprise IT transformation, I believe we will continue to see a greater collision of disparate ideas, technologies and practices to create a new frontier of innovation.
(BTW- we also had our own Prathap Dendi – general manager for Ship.io – at Collision, and he got to ring the bell for NASDAQ – check it out:)
— Prathap G. Dendi (@pDendi) May 5, 2015
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