Is Devops Success a Potemkin village

Successful devops transformations fill up conference tracks. Where are the ones that are struggling? When speaking at a conference, folks often omit the everyday setbacks, the minor failures, the obstacles they couldn’t remove due to management or organization structure. Those get glossed over in the effort to show the success of the transformation. I want to dig into a transformation that is still underway, from, perhaps, an unlikely source. I work at Puppet, Inc. I run our SRE department. My company is an authority on devops practices and tooling. However, the way we work isn’t perfect. We’ve had some failures, we’ve had some setbacks, we’ve had “duh” moments. We’re still not where we want to be. I’ll cover some lessons learned, some problems we’re still facing without obvious solutions, and how we’ll take progress over perfection any day of the week.

While we’re shipping a well-known tool in the devops space, this will be a tool agnostic talk. I’ll spend time on organizational structure and incentives, lead time to changes, change failures, deployment conundrums – some we’ve worked around and some we still face today.



Michael Stahnke

Michael Stahnke is Director of Engineering at Puppet, Inc. He’s had a few roles at Puppet, and been a part of the company growing from 35 to 530+ employees. He’s been heavily involved with release ...