Last week I gave a talk at the conference. This was a great conference, small (about 170 people), single track. I met a lot of people I know, and a number of people who weren’t the usual DevOpsDays suspects. It had a strong focus on operations, with some excellent talks about organizing and running ops teams, as well as technical topics like logging and security. It probably leaned more towards people-oriented topics than technical-oriented ones.

My own talk, “Automating for Agility, was high level. I wanted to explore the importance of understanding and communicating the outcomes you expect to get from infrastructure automation. In my mind, there are two existential reasons for an organization to consider IT automation. One is to enable fast and continuous change. The other is to empower users of the infrastructure to achieve their goals.

I don’t believe most IT organizations today have either of these goals in mind. There are plenty who pay lip service to self-service for their users, but few who really deliver. In most cases, centralized platform and tool teams make decisions based on what is convenient for themselves, not for their users. They choose tools which help them, as a centralized team, have control over the solution.