For the Head of the Head of DevOps

Starting a new job as an agile & devops coach, I looked for gurus to tell me what devops means. Turns out it means what agile originally meant. Here is a curated selection of some of the best talks on devops I could find on Youtube.

“There’s a lot of fake news about DevOps out there” – Jamie Edwards

Perhaps it was the new normal of Spring 2020. Or perhaps it was working as part of a lean-agile tower-of-power assessing the agile maturity of component groups in a global corporation’s IT department. 

Whatever the reason, I started yearning for a bit more technical role to satisfy my inner nerd also during the workdays. 

After all, absolutely the most kicks during the recent years I had gotten was from tinkering ETLs to get Tableau visualizations out of a financial company’s big-ish Jira instance. While I’m not the right person to assess whether it in the end was useful, it surely was a ton of fun!

And could such a bit-more-technical role perhaps be found in an engagement the length of which would not be swayed so easily by the whims of the yearly rounds of budgeting?

Having spent over 20 years in different external-type of positions – applied research, tool-vendor-entrepreneur and consultant – I also realized there’s at least one more role which I had yet to experience. The coveted position of an actual employee in at least a medium-sized, but preferably, a large corporation!

So I started looking for a new job, and with the help of some people I had tried to sell Agilefant to back in the day, found what I was looking for: an agile & devops coach at DNA!

So what is “devops” anyway?

As an avid computer user since the mid-eighties and a SaaS software entrepreneur I certainly had a grasp at what devops was about. Certainly it was not about setting up devops teams. And while according to one of my favorite agile gurus Craig Larman devops essentially means the elimination of the operations department, I wanted get a bit more three-dimensional picture of the key things from other gurus as well.

So I reached out to Youtube and started listening. And at the end of this post you can find a hand-picked selection of those eight presentations I found most useful. 

The final spark to get this list out in the open was when I yesterday saw one of my old friends, the magnificent Timo Ralli, getting promoted to the role of Head of Devops at Visma

Perhaps after ten years we both will be even bigger gurus in the matter – but for now it’s probably useful to listen what the current gurus have to say.

And I certainly am hoping that this blog post can also serve as a some pointers for my colleagues at DNA to get an idea of the angle I’m looking at what we will be working to solve together.


P.S. I’ll be updating this list as I run into new good stuff; last updated 2021-01-08


Jayme Edwards (Healthy Software Developer, 2018): What Is DevOps REALLY About? (Hint: NOT CI/CD)

Jez Humble (Thoughtworks, 2012): Continuous Delivery

Jez Humble (Agile Testing Days, 2018): Continuous Delivery – Sounds Great But It Won’t Work Here

Dave Farley and Jez Humble (Deliveryconf, 2020): What Will The Next 10 Years Of Continuous Delivery Look Like?

Jez Humble (CraftHub Events,2019): Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

Eoin Woods (GOTO Conference, 2020): Three Practices for Effective DevOps Adoption

Henrik Kniberg (Agile with Jimmy, 2020): Test automation – or how we use Minecraft to test Minecraft

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