Things I (Don’t) Like About Continuous Delivery – LondonCD meetup June 2017

This is part 4 of a 4-part series of articles based on discussions at the LondonCD meetup group on 12 June 2017. The other posts are linked at the end of this article.

Our 4th Open Space discussion challenged people to identify the things that they don’t like about the Continuous Delivery book: things that don’t work in practice, things that are plain wrong, etc. – a slightly cheeky session!

tl;dr: Jez Humble and Dave Farley – authors of Continuous Delivery – did not get anything wrong in their book but they “did not say enough” about the culture/people aspect of Continuous Delivery. People and culture are tricky – who knew?! 🙂

  1. “Most problems with Continuous Delivery are really misunderstandings about Continuous Delivery
    1. (The most common confusion seems to be people thinking that Continuous Delivery means deploying multiple times per day aka Continuous Deployment – just not relevant for many/most software systems like IoT, on-premise deployed, air-gapped, embedded, etc. Web systems really are a special case!)
  2. Some people think that Continuous Delivery is not about them; that achieving CD is someone else’s problem.
  3. Many people in technology love craft beer instead of (standardised) lager, but standardisation in software can drive a kind of sterility. Are we losing the “craft” from software? (Thanks to Jamie Buchanan for this insight.)
    1. (Personally, I find the “software as craft” thing highly spurious, but that’s another thing 🙂 )
  4. Updates that are too frequent can disrupt users or break compliance.
  5. Architecture is never fluid or continuous
    1. However, this is becoming an outdated view as more responsive architecture techniques are adopted – thanks to Eoin Woods for this.
  6. Automation can lead to a lack of responsibility for a process.
  7. The Continuous Delivery of Continuous Delivery – the deployment pipeline is never finished!
    1. (See the excellent talk by Ben Dodd of Armakuni at LondonCD July 2017 for more on this!)
  8. Is there a Continuous Delivery echo chamber?
  9. Continuous Delivery is (sometimes) implemented (or driven) by “big characters” with big opinions who cause cultural battles.
  10. Some people care more about writing tests than delivering value.

We actually concluded that Jez Humble and Dave Farley – authors of Continuous Delivery – did not get anything wrong in their book but they “did not say enough” about the culture/people aspect of Continuous Delivery (although plenty has been written since 🙂 ).

Other posts in this LondonCD series

On 12 June 2017 we had a London Continuous Delivery meetup at Endava in London. We used a modified form of the Open Spaces format for the meetup with less initial open discussion and more guidance/suggestions on discussion topics (based on past experience with events like PIPELINE Conference, this “accelerated” approach is easier for people new to Open Spaces).

Some good discussions came out of the evening:

  1. Continuous Security in Continuous Delivery
  2. Difficulties and Solutions for Continuous Delivery of Databases
  3. Continuous Delivery for Legacy/Heritage Systems
  4. Things I Do Not Like About Continuous Delivery

Thanks to everyone who attended, and for Endava for hosting!

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