Interview with Daniel Parry: Cultivating culture while delivering growth

Delivery of Things World team and Daniel Parry had a chat to discuss the impact of the DevOps prior to his talk at the event this April.

Delivery of Things World: There has been growing buzz about DevOps. What is DevOps and how can it best be deployed in the enterprise?
Daniel Parry: “Devops”, as with “Agile” has become a misunderstood software industry term. Rather than define something you do, DevOps describes how you do it. DevOps as a noun is easier to sell but it is more of an adjective! DevOps means delivering products to customers without bureaucratic, awkward or pointless steps between development and the customer. DevOps, demands a willingness to experiment, learn and be open to change.

Delivery of Things World: Is DevOps a technical movement?
Daniel Parry: The tools surrounding DevOps methodologies give an impression of strong technical focus. However, the DevOps movement is more concerned with attitudes towards risk. While a risk averse approach presents developed changes to customers when those changes are deemed “ready”, a DevOps approach gives customers visibility sooner. Hence, data from those customer centred interactions arrives earlier in the delivery cycle, allowing faster informed answers to key product direction questions.

Delivery of Things World: What business issue does this address?
Daniel Parry: A DevOps approach impacts two key business aspects: competitive edge and change management. By exposing functional changes to customers sooner, a key market lead can be achieved when ideas prove popular. Conversely, as customer attitudes and preferences rapidly change, tracking such changes remains possible – ensuring the product being delivered today is not one customers have moved on from. Ultimately, DevOps allows you to get things done today knowing that tomorrow will bring fresh challenges.

Delivery of Things World: It seems impossible to divorce the hype from the reality – doesn’t that create a lot of confusion?
Daniel Parry: Yes! Hopefully that is where conferences like Delivery of Things World can help! By bringing together professionals from all kinds of companies and backgrounds, the real world issues of embracing a DevOps style approach can be surfaced, discussed and grasped by all with greater clarity and depth. Primarily, the best way of discerning reality is by keeping the customer at the centre of everything you do. By sticking to that premise it is easier to separate the hype from the helpful.

Delivery of Things World: Shout-outs: Any sites/people/articles or books that have inspired you lately?
Daniel Parry: I have the immense privilege of working alongside so many inspiring people that it seems bad of me to pick out just one, but I will give a special mention to my team mate, Damien Krotkine, who has done and continues to do amazing things at! Recently he, along with another colleague Ivan Paponov, wrote a blog post series about using and scaling technology to track customer events giving insight into how they are interacting with systems and services. You can read part one here

The Delivery of Things World team thanks Daniel Parry for sharing his views on the impact of DevOps!
About Daniel Parry: Daniel Parry has spent many years continuously driving DevOps integration forward, firstly at the University of Cambridge, delivering projects that received national news coverage and then at the UK’s leading provider of online self-service knowledge solutions. He now works as a sysadmin for the infrastructure monitoring team at Planet Earth’s #1 accommodation site, striving to make DevOps work in a hugely challenging and stimulating environment.

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