Peter Varhol

Talking to People: The Forgotten DevOps Tool: Peter Varhol, Dynatrace

As we focus on how to how to best use JIRA, Hipchat, Slack, project management products, incident and defect tracking solutions, and a myriad of other software tools as a part of our development and delivery environment, we often lose sight of the most fundamental and powerful tool available – talking to people, to our team members, management, users, and other stakeholders.

Rather than burying ourselves in tools and devices, software and search engines, we can do more for our overall application quality and delivery processes by simply talking to the people around us.  While a focus on software may produce more data, knowing the thoughts, expectations, and ideas of the stakeholders will result in more innovative ideas as well as a filter for determining optimal solutions.

Using the research of MIT researcher Sherry Turkle and others, this presentation uses the power of conversation to illustrate how we can improve our testing practices and results, for the good of all stakeholders.  It illustrates how our conversations can be more powerful and directed than any software tool in determining and delivering on application quality and performance.  Last, it examines the role of ChatOps tools in supplementing conversation with actionable ideas and automated responses to be a true real time response environment.

Main takeaways:

  1. How a search for the perfect software tools may be preventing us from using our fundamental communication skills in a devops context.
  2. How talking to people in our project work is becoming a lost art.
  3. Why starting an active program of interpersonal interaction can improve your application quality and delivery right away.


Peter Varhol

Peter Varhol


Peter Varhol is principal technology evangelist at Technology Strategy Research and a consulting QA lead for a leading digital design firm. An accomplished and frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups, Peter’s topics cover software development to testing and application lifecycle. As a technology journalist and thought leader, he has authored hundreds of articles, white papers, and blog posts on software development, testing, and related topics. His past roles include technology journalist, software product manager, software developer, and university professor. Learn more about Peter on his Cutting Edge Computing blog and on Twitter @pvarhol.