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Interview with Eduards Sizovs

8 stories that make Continuous Delivery turn bad

JAX Editorial Team
continuous delivery

Continuous Delivery is kind of a hype word but some companies have still not fully grasped its importance and pitfalls. We talked to JAX DevOps speaker Eduards Sizovs about the role of microservices in implementing a continuous delivery pipeline and the practices companies can apply in order to stay afloat.

In this interview, Eduards Sizovs, software development coach and speaker at the upcoming JAX DevOps conference, is sharing his views on adopting Continuous Delivery, the pitfalls that companies should avoid and the practices they can apply in order to survive. 

JAXenter: Continuous Delivery is your topic at JAX DevOps 2016. Since CD is kind of a hype word, it makes sense to start with a definition: What is the essential part of Continuous Delivery according to your perspective? How can we make sense of Continuous Delivery?

Eduards Sizovs: Continuous Delivery is about getting our ideas to our users fast and in a reliable, cost-efficient way. The cost part is too often forgotten and we end up spending a tremendous amount of money on building infrastructure that only Netflix-scale companies need. I am a strong believer in Value-Driven approach to continuous delivery. We have to connect all our activities, including delivery improvements, with the benefits that each improvement promises and the cost it imposes. Then we take “the most valuable problem” and solve it, after that we take the next one etc.

JAXenter: You are telling battle stories about real-world examples of continuous delivery adoption – could you give a little sneak peek?

Eduards Sizovs: During the last five years, I’ve been actively participating in bringing continuous delivery into organizations of different size. My observation – the number of funny stories is directly proportional to the budget an organization allocates. Although I cannot reveal the names of the organizations I’m referring to during my presentation, I can tell you this: you will hear eight stories that made Continuous Delivery turn bad. Stay tuned!

JAXenter: One of the major architectural trends today is microservices. How can microservices be helpful in implementing a continuous delivery pipeline?

Eduards Sizovs: I will avoid the term “micro” and use “decomposition” instead. If you decompose wisely by taking into account the organization’s structure, you may end up having many independent continuous delivery pipelines. Roughly said, as long as there is no need for coordination, two independent teams give 2x throughput, 3 teams give 3x throughput etc. In reality, this is very hard to achieve but, as Bruce Lee said – a goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at. The ideal scenario as far as Continuous Delivery is concerned is to make sure that your technology architecture will display isomorphism with your business architecture.

“Continuous Delivery is about getting our ideas to our users fast and in a reliable, cost-efficient way”

JAXenter: You are presenting at a DevOps Conference – so let’s talk about the relation between CD and DevOps. Part of DevOps is tools and techniques, part is culture. What impact on the organizational culture do you see in your real-world projects after the transition to Continuous Delivery?

Eduards Sizovs: Short delivery cycles put a pressure on a delivery team. The team is forced to self-organize to deal with that pressure – it completely changes the dynamics of a game, which is a great thing! Different teams attack the pressure differently, there is no limit to creativity. Teams automate repetitive tasks to have more time to do things that truly matter, stick to rigid engineering practices such as mandatory code reviews and TDD to avoid rework, become better at value mining (listening to the customer, understanding the problem, providing options etc.). Unfortunately, the less experienced teams crack under pressure and introduce shortcuts (that lead to long delays). Here is where I come in handy!

JAXenter: What is the key message of your session at DevOpsCon that every participant should retain after visiting your talk?

Eduards Sizovs: Your new mantra will be KIND ASS – Keep It Need Driven And Simple, Sir!

Thank you very much!

J. Eduards Sizovs  will be delivering two talks at JAX DevOps which will focus on shedding some light on pragmatic Continuous Delivery, as well as on the things that make Continuous Delivery go nuts.

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