Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What we have achieved at DevOps GTD

I drafted the following response to an internal employee. As I finishing and going through it with my lead on the mentioned GTD pod, I cannot help but feel proud of what we have been able to achieve in the past year. I feel fortunately to be the manager of such a great team that pulled through the tough times. (Names have been swapped)

Tony, we can help you get that $400 expensed as part of DevOps budget, and let¹s work together on what you are trying to achieve as a joined effort. I talked to Andy and he will reach out to you and coordinate. It probably will appear to take longer but it will have much better chance of organizational adoption and being sustainable.

We at DevOps share your desire to change the status quo and make things suck less if not being phenomenal. These inefficiencies were easier to deal with when we were smaller, but it starts killing our productivity as we scale up. This is especially true for someone like you with a lot of knowledge and experience. Almost everything passes through has something tangible yet you know from history that almost nothing will be retained with our current setting. The valuable institutional knowledge remains in people¹s head rather than in a media that is easily accessible and searchable.

The great thing working at Guidewire is that we have amazing persistence from the members of this community. People always strive to find a tool or process to make things better. When something sucks, people go beyond the call of duty to try something new, make some change for the better. Sometimes things work out great. After a bit of fumbling period, we have got production quality system like Jenkins, Confluence, GitHub, Nexus, upgraded JIRA system. Something staggered or failed. Open Q&A was out of commission with hardly anyone noticing. ReviewBoard is still on life support. But either way, the spirit of innovation goes on.

Ideally, DevOps GTD pod would like to make that process smoother and better by providing our full attention to these initiatives and help along the innovation process. In the past year, it has been very difficult to break away from the daily grind with only one person (Adam) focusing on these with me help on the side. Even so, we (mostly Andy) were able to put certain systems in production operations, upgraded JIRA system, and keeping up with understanding and documenting the needs and desire of the teams even in the case where we couldn¹t address them, especially like this one.

To follow your format, why this email?

First, I hope I have credibly acknowledged your frustration and desire to make things better. You are not alone on this. No one should be. This is the job of GTD pod, a pod with a peculiar name because we care nothing but help you to Get Things Done.

Second, in the past 12 months, we have been able to secure two open position to get us above the water, and we were able to fill those position before we suffocate along the way. With Ryan and Mandy joining in this year, we have finally got ground cover on JIRA initiatives and the Guidewire product release process. We can now stick our head out and are ready to be more involved with these initiatives.

For the rest included in this thread, we would like to reiterate what we have been posting in DevOps regular updates (PLEASE read them and let us know what you think), please send your request to Dev Helpdesk so that we can gauge the demand for requests like this one and consolidate the effort in making things better. By aggregating the demand data, we will be able to align our long term initiatives and back them up with investment on people, tools, and process from the company.
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