#ChefConf Talk Spotlight: “Hunting the DevOps Whale in Large Enterprises” by Justin Arbuckle of GE Capital

We’re now two weeks away from #ChefConf 2014 and super excited to see so many Awesome Chefs come together.

Continuing our spotlight on #ChefConf talks, this post profiles a very special look into a segment of one of the world’s largest companies.

On Wednesday, April 16, at 10 am PT, Justin Arbuckle, Chief Architect of GE Capital, will present his keynote “Hunting the DevOps Whale in Large Enterprises”. This is one of #ChefConf’s (many) must see talks. We asked Justin for the 411 on his presentation and here’s how he broke it down:

“Driving DevOps to effect change in large organizations where you don’t control all of the elements can make you feel like you are a character inside the novel, Moby Dick, one of the greatest American novels ever written and a brilliant analogy for the DevOps challenge. Sometimes you may feel like the hunted whale in Herman Melville’s classic tale! And sometimes you may feel more like the whale’s obsessed and crazed pursuer, Captain Ahab, trying to balance a passionate pursuit of almost mythical productivity improvements with the organizational necessities of building adoption and showing incremental successes. As your teams are lashing themselves to the mast waiting for the inevitable confrontation with an organization that ‘has always done things this way,’ your Ahab persona is bellowing into the gale ‘Can’t you see that this is so much better?!’ And he is right: it doesn’t have to be that way.

The massive sea is much different from a garage and in our own DevOps work at the large enterprise that is GE Capital, we have learned a great deal about implementing DevOps to scale. I’ll be sharing some of this learning in my talk, using Moby Dick as a cautionary tale, as follows:

1.  Don’t just talk about DevOps: It is important to commit, do it, and decide to go to sea.

2.  Build a diverse and willing team from across your business: Secret stowaway projects may deliver early and then stall.

3.  Listen to the advice of other captains: There will be problems along the way and you certainly will need them on your return voyage.

4.  Decentralize your excellence: It’s easier to land the whale with a lot of little boats than one big one.

DevOps changes the very fabric of how large enterprises evolve to deliver IT systems. Your DevOps message has enormous resonance for many. The secret to effectively seeding DevOps and growing its influence in your organization lies with the organization itself and how you make your DevOps journey one that many want to share.”

This is a one-of-a-kind presentation and truly unique opportunity to hear how DevOps works at scale. So, if you haven’t already, be sure to register for #ChefConf today to catch Justin’s keynote.

About Justin:

Justin has been working in financial services for over 20 years. He is a passionate proponent of the value of architectural thinking generally and the transformative role of architects in particular. In addition to his experience as a banking chief architect on three continents he has also had roles ranging from product development, venture capital investment, consulting, and mobile banking. His current area of focus is DevOps, cloud API architectures, and applying agile and lean startup practices to large enterprises.

Lucas Welch

Former Chef Employee