Bits, Bots, and Banter: A Deep Dive into How Tech Teams Work in a DevOps World

Working in a DevOps world, we've all witnessed many recommendations for how teams work. We have books, blogs, tech trade articles, and even entire pieces of software dedicated to helping teams work together more effectively. We're expected to take a blue-sky approach with the given advice. So many times, teams adapt those solutions to what works for them, and as a result of the adaptation, teams work in vastly different ways, but we need insight into how.

I want to change that. This talk will explore the ways teams are really working in a DevOps-centric world. 

During this talk, we will discuss: 

  • A look into team structures and how they can make or break healthy teams
  • Insights into how teams are collaborating, from tracking work to automating work
  • Strategies for leaders in measuring the right things in the right ways
  • Advice on dealing with the push for T-shaped engineers

What's the focus of your work these days?

I have over a decade of experience in cloud automation and infrastructure engineering roles spanning from individual contributor to senior engineering leader; I've worked in many verticals across the industry including banking, financial, retail, and automotive. My current areas of focus include digital strategy, site reliability engineering, platform engineering, DevOps, and developer experience.


I'm a Senior Engineering Manager for a major toy manufacturer responsible for their E-Commerce platform. Previously, I was an Engineering Manager for H&R Block leading their Site Reliability Engineering and Server Automation practices. I'm based in London, UK, and am an expat from Central Missouri in the United States.

What's the motivation for your talk at QCon London 2024?

So many times we hear about the perfect scenarios to implement effective working practices and teams as companies adopt DevOps and other modern methodologies. In practice, though, each company is different, and the "How we work" isn't something we typically hear from companies. As a result, the reality companies are living in has become incredibly obscure. The hope is this talk starts a conversation around how teams are really operating and what has been effective or ineffective in those scenarios.

How would you describe your main persona and target audience for this session?

This talk has a broad range of persona. It could be incredibly valuable to engineering leaders looking to optimize how their team works. It could be equally valuable to engineers looking to work better together.

Is there anything specific that you'd like people to walk away with after watching your session?

The biggest lesson I hope people are able to take away from this talk is that there are many ways for organizations to be effective in how their teams work. I would also like people to take away some valuable recommendations for team structures that I've experienced to work as well as other lessons learned.


Speaker

Brittany Woods

Senior Engineering Manager @ The LEGO Group

Brittany Woods is a Senior Engineering Manager based in London. During her career in technical and leadership roles spanning verticals across the financial, automotive, and retail sectors, Brittany has been a significant advocate for digital transformation, DevOps, and increased organisational innovation. As an industry advocate for DevOps, Brittany has worked to increase developer efficiency while improving developer experience in several organisations globally. This work has also focussed on improving organisational culture and can be seen through her talks on the topic. Brittany has been featured in the book “97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know” with her article on silos in modern tech teams. 

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Date

Tuesday Apr 9 / 02:45PM BST ( 50 minutes )

Location

Windsor (5th Fl.)

Topics

SRE Platform Engineering Ways of Working

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