Presentation: Develop Your Development Experience

Track: DevEx: The Next Evolution of DevOps

Location: Churchill, G flr.

Duration: 10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week: Monday

Level: Intermediate

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Developers don’t get paid to write code. We deliver working software in production. How does your team turn source code into running software? And how do you make sure it stays working? If it’s like my experiences, the process is too intricate for words. Instead, let’s code it. How quickly can we get from an idea to deployment? I can spin up a project, change a bit of code, then track that through tests, code review, and into production: give me ten minutes and a few button clicks. You’ll say, but my deployment process is unique. That’s OK: we’re developers, and we can code this. Build complete? How about a nice button for deployment. Oh wait it needs review? Enforce policies in code, not through training. Build failed? Here’s a DM in Slack that includes the error from the log. Forgot to format your code? Oh look I did that. It’s like adding a team member who looooves to update issue status and check on the status of that PR for you. Let’s scale up ourselves: with our software development machine, a team can take care of more software and still build new things. Have a new organizational best practice? Put that in code and roll it out to every existing repository in minutes. Atomist expands the range of development automation past what we have considered. Come to this session, and be the developer who makes a 10x team.


How you you describe the persona and level of the target audience?


Mid-to-senior developers, architects, and development managers. These are people who want to improve their teams, but the methods prescribed so far aren't doing enough for them.


What do you want “that” persona to walk away from your talk knowing that they might not have known 50 minutes before?


The key takeaway is: your team is more than the people on it. It's also our tools, the software between us and the production app. We can move some of our team's collaboration overhead and mental-model-maintenance work (collectively, the coherence penalty to growing a team) into the automated portion of the team. Instead of onboarding more developers, let's enhance and customize our tools.


What trend in the next 12 months would you recommend an early adopter/early majority SWE to pay particular attention to?


Prepare to allocate more time for each team to improve itself by customizing its tooling. Prepare to let each team work differently. Let go of the one-size-fits-all pipeline, and think about how task takes the path it must; aim for visibility into this, over orchestration of it. You may not be ready to adopt a DevEx (bigger than DevOps) platform yet, but start thinking about the coordination tasks that you could automate, when you have the tools.

Speaker: Jessica Kerr

Polyglot Functional Developer on the JVM

Jessica Kerr is a developer of development systems. She works remotely from St. Louis, for Atomist, where she writes automations and automation infrastructure in TypeScript, Clojure, and whatever else is needed. She is a back-end developer who believes the front-end is most crucial. Jessica speaks at conferences in the US and Europe; find her online as @jessitron.

Find Jessica Kerr at