Andrew Clay Shafer
Andrew Clay Shafer evangelized DevOps tools and practices before DevOps was a word. Living at the intersection of Software Delivery, Cloud Computing and Open Source with experience in almost every role from support and QA to product and development across two decades, Andrew now focuses on engineering resilient sociotechnical systems and communities as a founder of Ergonautic.
For over a decade organizations have invested in various DevOps initiatives with a mix of success and confusion. Despite significant effort, few organizations have achieved their desired outcomes and some initiatives may have caused more harm than good. Add Continuous Delivery, Microservices, SRE, and Platform Engineering to the pile, like Agile and other transformation movements before, many organizations check an oversimplified box and then move on to the next wave, adopting practices without understanding or worse, adopting new vocabulary without changing anything.
Join us for an interactive workshop on the principles that enable progressive and effective organizational alignment to make all the other marketing buzzwords possible. We will guide you through the process of understanding the flow of work through an organization and strategies for aligning business goals with technical capabilities. Using that understanding, we’ll identify constraints and opportunities to focus on the right work at the right time.
We’ll share frameworks for organizing clear and appropriate responsibilities for software, platform and infrastructure with respect to leadership, product, development, architecture and operations. We’ll examine these capabilities through classic framing of Culture, Automation, Lean, Metrics and Sharing. You'll leave with a deeper understanding of the principles and preconditions that connect efforts to outcomes with actionable strategies you can apply even in traditional and highly regulated environments.
Sociotechnical system theory emerged in the 1950s studying the impact of rapid changes in technology and social organization on British coal mining. The theory considers the interdependence of social and technical factors in the work and proposes that optimal organizational performance can only be achieved by systems that account for both. The research showed that considerable investments in automation did not necessarily result in increased productivity and often decreased both safety and morale. The empirical results showed that cross functional teams integrated and aligned with technology investments were more productive, more safe and more happy. And then what happened? This presentation will present a chronicle of research and anecdotes from British coal in the 50s to Serverless platforms of today highlighting how generations relearn and forget the same basic lessons about capabilities, incentives, autonomy and agency. The audience should gain an increased understanding of the impact of work design on organizational performance with a focus on the complex and dynamic challenges of delivering software in the modern workplace.