Archive for the ‘Continuous Improvement’ Category

Do You Hear That? It’s the sound of Keyboards! Call for Papers | Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley 2017 is quickly approaching!

Call for Papers | Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley 2017 is quickly approaching!

Our brains are on fire, our keyboards are hot, and the joke in the office the past few days has been over our extreme excitement for the eventual need to buy sunscreen since our Boston winter leaves us Vitamin D deprived. Why is this the case, you may or may not be asking? Well, I plan on telling you anyway because it is just too exciting not to share!

Our team is preparing for CLOUD FOUNDRY SUMMIT SILICON VALLEY! We felt a social duty to let all of those we care about and want to be there with us for what’s sure to be the summit of the summer (how can it not be when it is being held in June in Santa Clara?!), that the last call for papers is quickly approaching (no seriously, it’s this Friday, February 17th).

Just as a refresher for those on the fence, Cloud Foundry Summit is the premier event for enterprise app developers. This year the Foundation, through market research and feedback, found that interest and industry need is engrained in the focus on innovation and the streamlining of development pipelines. For this reason, Summit 2017 is majorly honing in on microservices and continuous delivery in developers’ language and framework of choice. That is why the session tracks available will be Use Cases, Core Project Updates, Experiments, Extension Projects, and Cloud Native Java. Each session that is chosen for the conference is enabled (1) primary speaker and (1) co-speaker. The primary speaker receives a complimentary conference pass while the co-speaker receives a discounted conference pass. So what’s stopping us from getting involved? Absolutely NOTHING!

As a sneak peak to a few of the topics our team have submitted for approval, see below:

  • Adopting DevOps and Building a Cloud Foundry Dojo (Lessons Learned)
  • Lift & Shift Your Legacy Apps to Cloud Foundry
  • How to Develop Scalable Cloud Native Application with Cloud Foundry
  • Enabling GPU-as-a-Service in Cloud Foundry
  • Blockchain as a Service
  • Avoiding pitfalls while migrating BOSH deployments
  • Spring Content: Cloud-Native Content Services for Spring

 

So, now what’s stopping YOU from getting involved? Submit papers here: https://www.cloudfoundry.org/cfp-2017/ and/or register here: https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1908081&utm_source=flash&utm_campaign=summit_2017_sv&utm_medium=landing&utm_term=cloud%20foundry%20summit&_ga=1.199163247.1732851993.1460056335

Last but definitely not least, let us know if you plan on coming—we are more than happy to share sunscreen 🙂 We cannot wait to see you there!

Dell EMC Dojo at Hopkinton! Reviewing what we covered, and what we learned

Reviewing what we covered, and what we learned

Hey again everyone! We’re writing out today to talk about a few topics that we covered during our time at the Dell EMC Dojo Days in Hopkinton. We met with a lot of great minds and took plenty of input into how we work. We also gave a lot of insight to passersby in what we did and how we worked.

Firstly, Brain Roche and Megan Murawski debuted the famous “Transformation Talk”. We normally give this presentation in preparation for an engagement with another team, but in this case, it was given to allow open criticism and circulation of our methodology to the rest of the company. We cover in this presentation: pairing, and why it’s important to our process, why we use TDD (Test Driven Development) (and why you should too!), and our weekly meetings including Retros, IPM, and Feedback to name a few. We had plenty of great ideas and questions, as usual, and we realized twenty minutes over time that we couldn’t get Brian off the stage.

Xuebin He eventually got Brian off-stage for a talk he conducted on CICD (Continuous Integration, and Continuous Deployment). Xuebin being one of the developers at the Dojo allowed him to be a bit more technical in his talk, and cover some of the programming practices and tools we use to achieve this at the Dojo. Concourse is our tool for running our beautifully constructed tests, along with standard mocking design patterns and the code quality produced with TDD.

We picked up again on Tuesday at 1145 to talk about why a PaaS exists, and why it’s important. That talk, given by yours truly, was focused on some of the common technical roadblocks that keep developers, customers, and managers from being able to work efficiently; as well as the ways using a PaaS can solve those problems to build a better business.

To containerize applications for a PaaS, we would need to learn basics like “What is a 12 factor application, and what’s a container?” Thinh Nguyen stepped in and gave a great description on how we use guiding principles while developing our application environment to be better for us and our customers.

Throughout all of our talks, we worked away on two pair stations very carefully brought from our lair in Cambridge. We gave away some free swag, some free candy, and raffled off some super giveaways. We thank everyone involved in preparing and executing these few days for their hard work. We also want to give a huge thanks to everyone who attended our talks (rambles) and participated in some mind-expanding conversations.

Finally, I want to close with a few notes. We always enjoy fresh perspective. If you had more to say, or you missed us during our time and you want to start a conversation, leave a comment in the comment section! If you don’t want to comment here, then drop us a line in my email. We’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, remember: Cloud Foundry, Open Source, The Way. #DellEMCDojo.

Retrospectives Rock! Our way of ensuring continuous improvement: personally, as a team, and in the industry

Our way of ensuring continuous improvement: personally, as a team, and in the industry

There is great philosophical and factual validity behind the concept of empathetic reflection affecting positively people’s lives and interactions with others. Throughout history, people have focused their actions and reactions around this idea both subconsciously and consciously. A famous and often used example of this is the Examen as originally defined by St. Ignatius; the concept of through thoughts, words and deeds, reflecting on where you have been (further what brought you elation, sadness, stress, confusion, etc.), where you are, and aligning these things with where you want to go; continuous improvement of the self.

Here at the EMC Dojo, as our name literally implies, we practice “the way.” A large portion of this form of enlightenment is no doubt found in reflection as practiced through Retrospective, or an exercise our team knows as Retro. The exercise is practiced as explained in the aforementioned example as a form of continuous improvement of our methodology. We use the time to align everyone’s perspective and to ensure we are on the same page in terms of action items and overall goals.

Retro is done every Friday without failure. It is about an hour long and is attended by everyone who plays a role in the Dojo’s operations. Even when members of our Dojo family are working off-site, we ensure that a Google Hangout session is available so that they are virtually in attendance, as this is arguably the most important “meeting” all week. It is the time and space for every employee to speak his/her mind and do so with assumed positive intent, so that feedback can constructively be given and received.

The concept is simple: as a whole team, we are living out the mantra we preach. We are learning by doing; generating weekly action and reaction to our development process through empathetic honesty.    

The person running the exercise for the week (this is not assigned per week, but rather a spur of the moment volunteer) will draw on a white board three columns signified by a smiley face (things that went swimmingly), a neutral face (the so-so items), and a sad face (as your teacher used to proclaim “areas for improvement”). Then all members will add topics/items for discussion from the week to each of these columns as he/she sees fit. These items do not need to be evenly distributed by any stretch of the imagination. That is, no person or team collectively must add the same number of items to the smiley face column as they do to the neutral face column and/or the sad face column (this is part of the honesty piece).

The leader of the exercise will then address each topic/item on the board one item at a time from left to right or right to left (we do this to ensure that we are not making the retro top heavy in any one of the columns). By addressing the topic/item, we mean that the leader will ask the team who wrote the item on the board and why. This is where the importance of this exercise comes to play.

No matter the topic of discussion, in order for the exercise to work and for the team to reap all of its benefits, team members must be completely and empathetically honest about his/her contribution. By doing so, the team learns to navigate conflict by having uncomfortable, but necessary discussions. As with anything, with practice comes perfection. And by perfection, I mean the unattainable kind; something that we are still reaching for 🙂 All kidding aside, it’s true – with every week there are steps back that we learn from paired with giant steps toward our overall goals and methodology.

With the addressing of each topic, the team decides action items that are recorded on the spot. This allows us to ensure that we are offering more than an end of iteration wrap-up, and instead generating real actions and change to ourselves, our team and our organization. We are assessing our ability to break down and solve problems and make improvements –measuring, building and learning constantly in our development process (sound familiar?).

While the exercise was nearly impossible to complete during the birth of our DevOps culture, it is now something that we could not live without. Team issues are no doubt as challenging, if not more, than the technical issues we face. Luckily this exercise allows us to face both and do so with our core value of empathy at its center. We not only are then able to end the week (and iteration) on a high note, but also go into our weekend and following iteration rejuvenated. Retros Rock!

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