When the Agile manifesto was signed, the dominant delivery paradigm was software installed on the local system. There were hints of what the internet would become but the dot com bubble had just burst and most software was being shipped on shrink wrapped CDs.

In this world, system administration was a function to support the business processes. Sure, there were some systems, networks and storage problems to solve, but the primary measure of success was being able to receive and print email.

System administration, in theory and practice, stood as ‘other’ outside the Agile circle, left out of the party.

But… technology does not stand still. The service oriented world that we now see clearly was emerging as the manifesto was being signed. In this new world, relegating the systems to second class is not just sub-optimal, but can actually be fatal. The pressure to support highly available services created a crucible to burn away unnecessary process and elevate the theory, practice and station of system administration. If there servers aren’t up, there is no software. The rise of devops as a differentiator, as the considerations of developers and operators met and aligned to become a competitive advantage.

Further, the transition to ‘Infrastructure as Code’ where provisioning, configuration and monitoring could all be driven by APIs, meant that a number of operational considerations start to look suspiciously like software development. Operations teams could use the larger body of knowledge, applying tools and processes born in software.

But let’s not declare victory just yet…

There are still plenty of gaps. There are still unsolved cultural alignment and technical optimization issues to grapple, some made all the more apparent by the devops evolution.

This talk will walk through the evolution of Agile’s influence on devops, highlighting interesting challenges and their solutions in today’s understanding, then finish outlining a number of issues that remain open and unresolved from a holistic systems perspective.

Draft Outline:
* 5 minute – Introduction and definitions
* 10 minutes – the relationship between Agile and devops – parallels and differences
* 10 minutes – why devops was an inevitable evolution of Agile – service oriented world
* 10 minutes – devops influences outside of Agile – what Agile can learn from devops
* 20 minutes – devops struggles and challenges – alignment, culture, technology, communication interfaces outside of dev and ops, security, sales, marketing, ‘business value’
* 10 minutes – some little ideas and conclusion – highlighting research on systems thinking and organizational learning
* 10 minutes – questions from the audience

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