Today I went to the Accelerating Innovation with Continuous Delivery summit at The Brewery in London, a free one day event hosted by CloudBees. It was a really well organised event with some great speakers, and I’ve got Moleskin full of notes and ideas to take back to the office and try and somehow integrate into our development/delivery processes.

One of the highlights for me was Andrew Phillips’ — VP of Products at XebiaLabs — talk on the Three Pillars of Continuous Delivery: Culture, Tooling & Practices. He made a valid point that it’s a reality that “10 kids with some financing and a bit of software can put you out of business.” And It’s so true. Big enterprises that are slow to adopt these new trends, tools and practices which enable fast, robust software delivery — providing real value to customers when they need it — are at real risk of being left behind. This was a theme was echoed by other speakers throughout the day.

At one point he asked the audience “who here [who’s company] practices Agile?” Pretty much every hand in the room went up. He then stuck up a slide which read:

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

and asked “Who practices this?” Not a lot of hand went up. But those who really know their agile would be aware that this is the #1 Principle of the Agile Manifesto. I was shocked. My company says that it’s Agile. Not according to the Agile manifesto we’re not.

He made five key points which are particularly relevant to my current situation (in trying to get our company’s buy in to some continuous delivery practices):

  • Get management buy in
  • Find someone who’s been there, someone who can tell you (management) how great it is
  • Create champions (give people credit for the work that’s being done)
  • Make things visible (achievements and progress along the way)
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate

Other highlights for me were:

  • Kohsuke Kawaguchi’s talk. The creator of Jenkins… need I say more. He was actually pretty funny, and brought the house down with his Jenkins in the wild spotting, particularly that it had appeared in the TV series Silicon Valley (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2575988/)
  • Mark Rendell’s talk on Overcoming Impedance to Continuous Delivery

And some recommended books I’m going to get my hands on: