Share your devops story - Call for Papers - Cutter IT Journal

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Patrick Debois

Apr 26, 2011, 2:36:26 AM4/26/11
Hi people, 

to me one of the key aspects within devops is sharing knowledge and experiences. As both surveys [2010][2011] clearly show,  lots of companies are already doing it in various forms. With the call for papers on devops the nice folks over at cutter IT are calling upon you to share your story (The good, the bad and ugly) to people outside your company.  

The deadline for submission of a proposal is 29 April 2011(this Friday), the final paper by 3 June 2011

looking forward to learning from your story,

(sorry about the cross-posting)

Call for Papers
Cutter IT Journal
Patrick Debois, Guest Editor
Abstract Submission Date: 29 April 2011
Articles Due: 3 June 2011

Devops: A Software Revolution in the Making?

Since its inception three years ago, the devops phenomenon has gained traction in enterprises worldwide. Devops applies agile principles and practices to development, project management and system administration to bridge the gap between projects and operations. This improves collaboration and communication between departments, and encourages continuous deployment and delivery of business value. All this collaboration starts from the premise that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Devops is the complete package of culture, automation, measurement and sharing required to deliver the expected services to the business and user community. These services are not only expected to be delivered much faster than the pace at which they were delivered up until 2008 (pre-devops); they must also be delivered in a manner that these two communities understand, appreciate and can relate to. This is where devops comes into play -- with its ability to deploy and manage business services in "real time".

And similar to cloud computing, devops has acquired a multitude of interpretations and definitions, many of them inaccurate. The best description of the devops program -- as mentioned above -- can be summed up as CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measurement and Sharing -- which comprise the critical components of devops. [1]

The typical friction points of deployment, monitoring, and security are often good starting points for cross-departmental conversations with the goal of improving the whole deployment tool chain. And the success of these new tools depends on a corporate culture that fosters better collaboration between both development and operations. Changing technology is easy; changing people and culture is much harder.

It's not surprising that automation is what attracts a large number of people to devops. Of the four CAMS components, automation is probably the most actively used and well known. This is driven by virtualization and the cloud, as well as the configuration management lifecycle and infrastructure as code. It provides practical tools to achieve better agility at the infrastructure level and goes hand in hand with the ever increasing requests for IT resources within organizations.

Aided by automation, companies are improving their means of measuring and capturing information from both their technical setup and their IT processes: be it the number of successful deployments, uptime of the servers, or the number of new features that get delivered. It's all about testing/challenging your current workflow based on facts, not assumptions.

The final step in devops is to provide the conclusions of your data and experiences to everybody in the organization. All too often lessons-learned are confined to one department, allowing for only local optimization of the process. Sharing ideas, problems and lessons-learned provides a feed-back mechanism for improvement.


As is typical of all new ideas, devops is surrounded by some controversy. Many believe it is not realistic -- that getting departments to collaborate and coordinate within an organization is challenging enough, let alone trying to achieve it between organizations. Others think it will cost the client more money as the number of change requests from operations to development increase. And some think it will add unnecessary overhead and bureaucracy to an already complex undertaking. So maybe devops isn't right for every organization?

The July 2011 issue of Cutter IT Journal will examine both the opportunities and challenges created by the devops movement. We invite experts, IT professionals, consultants, customers, managers and devops practitioners to share their perspectives, experiences, and research -- either positive or negative -- with devops initiatives and implementations.

TOPICS OF INTEREST MAY INCLUDE (but are certainly not limited to) one of more of the following topics, which are not ranked in any particular order:

* How do you develop a devops culture in your organization?
* How do you sell a devops approach of cross departmental collaboration?
* What are the benefits and risks of introducing devops into an organization?
* How can the challenges of devops' methodologies be overcome?
* How do you manage devops in outsourced organizations?
* How do you measure the success of a devops initiative?
* What organizations will not benefit from a devops approach and why?
* Who benefits most from devops: projects or operations?
* Can you scale devops across large teams?
* What kind of project would you recommend getting started with a devops approach?
* Has a devops initiative ever resulted in failure?
* Can devops practices be applied in a universal manner?
* Can development and operations be merged into one team? Can you have a separate devops team?
* Do you need to be practicing agile techniques to do devops?
* How did you change your existing approaches such as ITIL or Scrum to incorporate devops? What was the change that had the maximum effect? What changes were most painful?
* What characteristics are necessary for a devops mindset? What soft skills are necessary?
* Is devops a job title?
* Will operations become obsolete in a cloud strategy?
* Would devops benefit from a certification process?
* Does the new technical toolset increase your agility? Or does it de-stabilize things?
* Did implementing a devops approach increase your organization's stability and/or security or did it have the opposite effect? Are your operations people now developers and vice versa?
* How do you expand devops to other IT fields such as networking and security?
* How would you apply devops to technical debt in your architecture, code and infrastructure?

Please respond to the Guest Editor, Patrick Debois at Patrick[dot]Debois[at]jedi[dot]be with a copy to itjournal[at]cutter[dot]com by 29 April  2011. Please include an extended abstract and short outline showing the major discussion points.

Accepted articles are due by 3 June 2011.

Most Cutter IT Journal articles are approximately 2,500-3,500 words long, plus whatever graphics are appropriate. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact CITJ's Group Publisher, Christine Generali at cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com or the Guest Editor, Patrick Debois at Patrick[dot]Debois[at]jedi[dot]be. Editorial guidelines are available at <<>>

Typical readers of Cutter IT Journal range from CIOs and vice presidents of software organizations to IT managers, directors, project leaders, and very senior technical staff. Most work in fairly large organizations: Fortune 500 IT shops, large computer vendors (IBM, HP, etc.), and government agencies. 48% of our readership is outside of the US (15% from Canada, 14% Europe, 5% Australia/NZ, 14% elsewhere). Please avoid introductory-level, tutorial coverage of a topic. Assume you're writing for someone who has been in the industry for 10 to 20 years, is very busy, and very impatient. Assume he or she will be asking, "What's the point? What do I do with this information?" Apply the "So what?" test to everything you write.

We are pleased to offer Journal authors a year's complimentary subscription and five copies of the issue in which they are published. In addition, we occasionally pull excerpts, along with the author's bio, to include in our weekly Cutter Edge e-mail bulletin, which reaches another 8,000 readers. We'd also be pleased to quote you, or passages from your article, in Cutter press releases. If you plan to be speaking at industry conferences, we can arrange to make copies of your article or the entire issue available for attendees of those speaking engagements -- furthering your own promotional efforts.

No other journal brings together so many cutting-edge thinkers, and lets them speak so bluntly and frankly. We strive to maintain the Journal's reputation as the "Harvard Business Review of IT." Our goal is to present well-grounded opinion (based on real, accountable experiences), research, and animated debate about each topic the Journal explores.



[1] Willis, John. "What Devops Means to Me". (2010, July 16). Retrieved from

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