MAD for mobile

I was able to wrap up the Summit “graveyard shift” the same way I began the week: Hanging out with the Red Hat Mobile folks. Love those guys.

This session was centered around MAD: microservices, agile, and DevOps. On top of that, Cian Clarke, John Frizelle, and Philip Hayes of Red Hat Mobile showed how all 3 of these pieces relate to Red Hat Mobile Application Platform.

Cian began talking about the new era of applications. Apps can’t cost hundreds of thousands of dollars anymore. They can’t take 6 months to develop; that’s far too long. They don’t live for decades–traditional software lasts for a long time.

“Now, the idea of an application living for 10 years is almost laughable.”

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A DevOps duo from our cloud product strategist

Gordon Haff, a member of Red Hat’s cloud product team, hosts a blog and podcast dedicated to cloud and computing topics. He’s an expert in the field and has written tons of research, offered product and marketing strategy advice, and is frequently quoted by popular publications on a wide range of IT topics. He’s kind of a rock star.

At Summit this year, he’s been writing (and talking) about DevOps. Check out his posts over at Connection, particularly this hot topic pair:

Getting started with DevOps (for Devs) at Red Hat Summit
If you didn’t make it to the Decomposing DevOps: Understanding How to Get Started session that Haff hosted with Ansible developer Dylan Silva, this is the next best thing.

It examines the most important principles for developers starting out with DevOps processes, including automation, metrics, and modularity, and gives excellent advice through metaphor.

What are the right metrics for DevOps?
If you’re ready to dig deeper into one of the principles explored in the previous post, this is where it’s at. Haff discusses the traditional measurements and metrics that app development uses–and why they’re not all appropriate for a DevOps pipeline.

He also looks at the questions you might be asking, and the audiences who might have differing goals for the same processes.

Push it real good: Continuous delivery at the push of a button

Andrew Rubinger, an architect within Red Hat’s developer programs group, showed us how to revolutionize your deployments. Sounds like a long, complicated talk–surely something like this takes forever to set up. Actually, this was the shortest talk I’ve ever experienced at a Red Hat Summit. 

That’s not a bad thing. It speaks volumes to the shift that we’re seeing in IT. The tools are there. They have the power and can do what we want and need. The change is in how people interact with those tools.

Good news: It’s finally getting easy.

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Lessons learned on the DevOps front: A Red Hat tale

I love a good story. I love it even more when the story is true. Today’s session with two fellow Red Hatters, Katrinka McCallum, VP of product and technology operations, and Jay Ferrandini, senior director of worldwide DevOps, gave me both. And it makes me even more excited that their session was about Red Hat eating its own dogfood or, if you prefer, drinking its own champagne.

“We might not be delivering what our customers want…”

Red Hat engineering had a problem when it came to dealing with Red Hat operations. This was referred to as the “banana and pickle problem.” Engineering/QE would come to operations asking for something–a solution that they desperately needed. Let’s call the requested solution the banana. They came to the team and asked for a banana. Ops went away into a black box development cycle and delivered…a pickle. Not exactly the same thing. Similar in some ways, but not what was requested.

This is an issue that many teams face. They’re segmented in such a way that there’s no collaboration or communication across the teams, at least not in a meaningful way.

Maybe DevOps can save the day?

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Lessons using Ansible at J. Crew

Ansible, Ansible, Ansible. Oscar González, principal engineer at Sawyer Effect, gave a unique presentation today about J.Crew’s use of DevOps and Ansible Tower by Red Hat. As you may know, Red Hat acquired Ansible earlier this year and the addition has been phenomenal. Ansible gives your business simple, agentless automation technology.

“I’m a developer. I’m sorry.”

In 2015, Sawyer Effect was brought out to J. Crew to help improve their deployment process. They had a problem: A deployment would take 4-5 hours and had to be done overnight. What’s more, the entire process was like having a Rube Goldberg machine–lots of small moving parts which would, at some point, fail. The worst part of all of this was the toll it was taking on the teams. The human price was steep. Oscar likened this to Sisyphus–doing something over and over, learning nothing, not progressing, and keeping innovation from ever happening.

Something had to be done.

I’ll cut to the chase. J. Crew used Ansible, a DevOps approach, and their current tools and infrastructure to completely revolutionize their deployments. Oscar broke this down into 10 lessons.

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DevNation: Lessons from astronauts for developers

DevNation main hallway

Sam Atkinson proposes that most—maybe even all—developers love space. Even those who don’t probably love Chris Hadfield, the guitar-strumming astronaut who covered David Bowie’s Space Oddity from the International Space Station. These 2 topics are closely related, obviously, but not-so-obviously, they’re both highly relevant to developers who want better and safer development practices and processes. Here are a few highlights from Atkinson’s fast-paced, clever talk about applying lessons from the history of space exploration to modern development practices.

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Innovation in the large enterprise: Using Openstack, OpenShift, and automation to empower teams

Innovation, culture, lean, agile, and DevOps. These terms are currently being thrown around in the IT industry as the apex of success. Master these, and your organization will be blessed with an eternity of deployment good fortune and increased efficiency. What does it really take for an organization to be considered agile and innovative in 2015?

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Enterprise Containers 101 with Red Hat platform architect, Langdon White

This was a full session with a line out the door just minutes before it was schedule to start. A majority of the attendees self-identified as System Administrators. A handful were developers. Almost none had experience with containers.

Red Hat platform architect, Langdon White, has experience as a back-end developer, and the session was intended to walk the crowd through exactly how he built a container–and why.

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