DevOps Enterprise Summit | Fireside Chat | Gene Kim | Chris O'Malley | Compuware
October 15, 2018 DevOps, Workforce

Don’t Miss It: DevOps Fireside Chat with Gene Kim and Chris O’Malley

If you were at DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) in Las Vegas 2018, we hope you caught the anticipated fireside chat between notable DevOps leader Gene Kim and Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley. If not, you can watch it here and share it with leaders in your enterprise:

Many attendees found this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit and this particular session incredibly insightful. A director of software development and engineering at Comcast said, “I can honestly say this was the best conference I have been to in a very long time. Such a great balanced and empathetic view of both the business and tech sides of DevOps!

The brutally honest interview with Christopher O’Malley was a breath of fresh air.”

Other DevOps artisans noted additional key takeaways from Gene’s conversation with Chris:

“This is one of the best sessions (if not the best) on bridging the gap between technology and business in the context of digital transformation at DOES ’18. I was lucky to attend this live. Thanks Christopher O’Malley for helping us techies understand how to communicate better with our business partners. And thanks for inspiring us to keep at it despite all the headwinds!”

     – Global Head of Enterprise Architecture and Sr. Director, Application Engineering at Sysco


“It has been my experience that DevOps conversations tend to focus on the tools being used, the giant philosophical debates, or the micro scale of day-to-day operations. This discussion hits a great tone and focuses on the two things that (I think) actually matter and that is being guided by market value and continuous improvement. Once the drivers are clear, the question becomes less about ‘how do we DevOps?’ It’s more about ‘how do we succeed?’ Great way to articulate this guys!”

     – Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Chef Software


“This was a really good session. The comment about finding your counterpart in business really resonates with me. In order to increase DevOps adoption, the link to business initiatives/outcomes must be clear.”

     – Vice President, DevOps Business Unit at ServiceNow


“Great talk by Chris O’Malley at DOES ’18 on the dualism of enterprise innovation (Product & IT must become passionate explorers of ways to overcome the inertia of Complacency and Skepticism).”

     – Sr. Technologist & Customer Advocate at Pivotal Software, Inc.


Among the many profound insights that came out during the conversation between Gene and Chris, the fireside chat was a phenomenal way for the DevOps community to learn:

  • How DevOps visionaries can partner with and influence enterprise leaders to change and innovate
  • Why Agile/DevOps, ideation and customer-obsession are critical to driving real success
  • How you can apply modern “startup” techniques to change the fate of your enterprise

Finding the Right Enterprise DevOps Leader

Gene has written extensively about the goals of the DevOps Enterprise Summit—as he described, “One of the problems most commonly expressed by the DevOps Enterprise community is how to influence other senior leaders in the organizations, who often represent the conservative leadership blocs, such as functional silo owners, the project management office, or maybe most important, senior business leaders.”

“For years, we have been searching for the right person to teach us how to better influence senior leadership,” Gene continued. “When I pitched the programming committee with Chris O’Malley’s unique point of view, everyone was extremely excited about what he had to say. I’m so delighted that I’ll be able to do a fireside chat with Mr. O’Malley.”

Compuware CEO Chris O'Malley | Gene Kim | DevOps Enterprise Summit | Fireside Chat | DevOps

The two leaders talked about Chris’s own unique path to DevOps, how engineering leaders can improve DevOps in their organizations, how you can start driving DevOps in a DevOps-less organization and much, much more.

I am sure that every technology leader will learn something from this plenary session,”

Gene said ahead of the chat. After all, what was planned for their discussion fits right in with the mission of the DevOps Enterprise Summit:

  • Helping leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps principles and practices
  • Emphasizing evolving technical and architectural practices and the methods required for organizational change
  • Giving leaders the tools and practices they need to help their organizations win in the marketplace

Ones and Twos

Much of what Gene and Chris discussed is about how to influence the “Twos,” as described by the famous investor and author Ben Horowitz in his notable blog post. In his parlance, the “Twos” are the leaders who “thoroughly enjoy the process of making the company run well… who love [holding] people accountable to achieving standards” —they love creating process excellence and typify the traditional IT and business leader.

On the other hand, the “Ones” are more representative of the DevOps Enterprise community. As Gene described, “They are the product visionaries who see a better way of working, which puts them at odds with the powerful and more conservative Twos.”

“We reached out to Mr. O’Malley because of his unique background as a Two and a One—as someone who has held both types of roles, we wanted him to show us how to better influence the Twos,” Gene described.

Gene Kim | Chris O'Malley | Ben Horowitz | DevOps Enterprise Summit | DOES 2018 | DevOps

We were super excited Chris was able to share his experiences working within large enterprises and with large enterprise IT organizations so DevOps Enterprise Summit attendees can bring that knowledge back to the Twos in their organizations to help them shift their mindsets. As he shared:

The business benefits of DevOps will never be realized without changing people’s behaviors and mindsets,

“Successful transformational leaders understand you have to get up in full DevOps mode every day to increase the quality, velocity and efficiency with which you create new digital experiences for customers and achieve business outcomes that would be aspirational even for most leading Silicon Valley startups.”

An IT operations/ITSM/DevOps leader noted after attending the fireside chat:

“Thanks to Gene Kim for the inspirational chat with Christopher O’Malley about types of leaders and challenges leaders have. I have to admit I would likely be classified as a ‘Type 2 – Operational bean counter’ due to the majority of my career being in IT Ops and governing ITIL programs that demanded compliance. But I don’t see that as a negative, as I am thoroughly enjoying my journey of becoming a ‘Type 1 – Innovator’ and expanding my understanding of what is possible… It just gives me a healthy respect for building quality in to our next-gen innovations!”

Stoking the DevOps Fire

If you haven’t already read the 2018 Accelerate: State of DevOps report from DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), what’s clear and encouraging from the start is the authors—Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene—believe “any team in any industry, whether subject to a high degree of regulatory compliance or not—across all industry verticals—has the ability to achieve a high degree of software delivery performance.”

This is a powerful message every Two needs to hear, and Chris is a living example of how great leaders can combine a one and two mindset to drive success in their organizations. We hope you’ll share the wealth of knowledge that came out during the fireside chat between Gene and Chris with your enterprise leaders.

For another great overview of DevOps Enterprise Summit and key points Chris made during his conversation with Gene, read this article in Forbes by leading industry analyst and globally recognized expert on agile digital transformation Jason Bloomberg.