Archive for February, 2020

DevOps Opportunities and Challenges

February 15, 2020

DevOps

FountainBlue’s February 14 VIP roundtable, on the topic of ‘DevOps Opportunities and Challenges’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Comcast. Below are notes from the conversation.  

We were fortunate to have a diverse range of executives in attendance who worked in devops in many different ways. Collectively, they defined ‘devops’ in the following way:

  • tools and processes designed to empower and enable developers to better serve internal and external customers;
  • systems and solutions intended to help developers integrate solutions end-to-end, rather than handing off projects to other parties;
  • integrated solutions and processes which help individuals, teams, and leaders better respond to a fast-moving, highly-demanding customer base;
  • systems designed to facilitate the communication and coordination, encourage the collaboration between silos of stakeholders.

Our executives agreed that the many elements of devops solutions are integral to the success of ventures large and small, and that individuals and companies who don’t acknowledge and accept this fact will be left behind.

Below are thoughts on how best to support the adoption of devops principles.

  • Consider the needs of all stakeholders in designing solutions.
  • Align all stakeholders behind a corporate vision, a common goal.
  • Hold everyone accountable for the success of a project, rather than on 
  • Blur the line on role definition, boundaries between what you do and what others do. Focus on what we do together, what success together looks like, how to align behind a common mission/vision/milestone.
  • Help people plan from the top down, deliver from the bottom up.
  • Clear, transparent communication from the top-down, from the bottom up is critical.
  • Not everyone will embrace the new way of doing business with devops principles. 
  • Collaboratively design a process which delivers measured results. From there, you can decide on which tools and which people can help deliver those results.
  • Find and recruit the passionate, the talented, the open, the hungry and empower them to succeed.
  • Embrace a culture of accountability. Erase a culture of entitlement. 
  • Executive sponsorship and buy-in are essential to encourage a shift to a more open, more devops-oriented culture.
  • Consider Security and Scalability issues in designing extensible devops solutions.

We close with some key comments:

  • Partnerships within and across the company are key to all devops initiatives.
  • Devops leaders and innovators are resourceful, action-oriented and results-focused.

Thank you again for taking the time to join us and share your perspective and information. 

One Plus One Makes Eleven

February 15, 2020

OnePlusOnePanelFountainBlue’s February 13 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘One Plus One Makes Eleven’. This month’s inspiring panel of leaders came from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, but they had much in common.

  • They are clear and inspiring communicators who are both humble and confident.
  • They have navigated some challenging waters, and learned from both their successes and their challenges.
  • They continue to push the envelop, holding the bar higher for themselves and for all those they work with.

They also agreed on many things.

  • Empowering the people and the team is a critical management and leadership skill. 
  • The only way for individuals and teams to scale is to include a broader, more diverse team members.
  • It’s not always easy to integrate someone into a team, but it’s often worth the effort to try. Build rapport with each team member.

They also shared advice on how to get teams to be more innovative.

  • Create and nurture a culture which rewards failure, which invites courage.
  • Invite the multipliers to join the team. 
  • Inspire and engage the right people to join and stay. 
  • Embrace a collaboration mind set – 
  • Be ever ready to answer the questions: how are we better together? how are we making a difference?
  • Celebrate the wins.
  • Err on the side of inclusivity.
  • Decide for yourself what types of people would ‘push your buttons’. Find out how to best manage yourself, and best work with people who might be toxic or difficult under specific circumstances.
  • Be customer-oriented and motivate the team to also focus on the customer.
  • Be metrics/data-based, especially when emotions run high.

We close by challenging everyone to be the leader, be the change. Never settle into complacency. Celebrate successes, but then be passionate about what’s next.


FountainBlue’s February 13 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘One Plus One Makes Eleven’. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at Citrix.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Indira Joshi, Director of Technical Marketing, Emerging Memory Solutions, Micron Technology
  • Panelist Shikha Mittal, Director, Product Management & Strategy, VMware
  • Panelist Marissa Schmidt, Senior Director of Product Management, CITRIX