Life of DevOps Evangelist in enterprise

— I’m currently on 6th plane in last 8 days and it’s 11PM. Tomorrow 6AM I have next flight to give a talk on DevOps PRO conference. And on Friday I need to be back in Riga at work where I’ll have 30mins of non-meeting time in total. That’s what Evangelist is I suppose. Or I’m just bad at planning.
The only place/time I can actually focus on reading is up in the air without internet. So I finished another book on DevOps, was preparing thank-you-comment for person who suggested it, and decided to tell a bit longer story.

People (engineers, managers, peers, leads) often don’t even understand my daily chores and what I do with my group of 70 DevOps specialists (some of them have record engineer on LinkedIn still but that’s how they like it. Watch video on specialist vs engineer here).

Last 4 weeks have been crazy indeed. For first 3 weeks we made a large scale custom DevOps assessment for widely known bank, one of its internal group to be more specific (big one, believe me). Why custom? Obviously we have ready-to-use assets for that. The thing is that word DevOps is the same veto as Cloud or Agile in some places. So we made “Continuous Delivery Evaluation” and then step by step through workshops also got DevOps topics going. As typically it happens, now deeper assessment to estimate ROI is needed (try to estimate cost of not having something what business people don’t understand… book “Forecasting The Value of DevOps Transformations” helps though) and I’m not part of it.

Well, I’m not part of it just because this Mon-Wed I promised to visit another bank and do DevOps assessment for 70-engineers-size project. Don’t get me wrong on word assessment, the goal of it is improvements, savings, quality, speed, operating model, pipelines, SoG etc. Lots of challenging talks, fun.
This morning I was trying to sell idea to two main Ops guys (wasn’t planned as part of assessment) from client side that they could actually automate env. configuration with developer teams help. Typically they all have same concerns – “we are not allowed to do that”. After some questioning I partly got through and we already started discussing what other benefits it could bring (“everything” shifting left if you know what I mean). I left them thinking, DevOps seed has been deployed. My evangelist job is done.

On the way to airport I got thinking about last meeting where results were presented to other involved company as well and… prepared highly sensitive and private feedback for one key person. That could be the secret sauce at end for things to work out as planned. These things happen to me sometimes – from nowhere insight comes to me. Very useful feature for evangelist.

Honestly, I haven’t written a single line of code for a long time (except Hackathon night which doesn’t count, video here) but it wouldn’t take me long to resurrect those skills. And I talk about architectures all the time! I have one 5 days architect training in my portfolio you know 😀 Although “hard” developers lately start looking up to me with “what could you possibly understand on your level???” eyes. That’s the life and daily chores of true DevOps Evangelist I suppose.

Tomorrow I’m showing my absolutely non-IT-ish talk about DevOps at Bunnyworld externally. Internally some loved it, some were “smiling”. No time to practice the talking part, no idea how people will perceive it, some doubts in my head. Wish me luck.

Oh right, the book! “DevOps for Finances” definitely is a must-read after “DevOps Handbook” who live in DevOps-for-horses world but that’s where true challenge is! I suggest this book even for those who don’t work in Finances industry. Now I almost regret that I didn’t agree to go work for Barclays in Switzerland 6y ago 😀 i’m joking. — 5th of March, 2017

Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis
DevOps Evangelist


  1. Sveiks, Uldi – vecais gljuks ar IT-isnjikiem, juzabilitijs klibo 🙂 ielinkot HERE tas ir svhaki shvaki… 🙂

    Vari izdzest commentu, bet palabo tos HERE 🙂 vajag visu fraazi vai pat teikumu ielinkot 🙂

    Plus vizuaalo materiaalu, ludzu 🙂 lidmasina – foto? konference – foto 🙂 neesi ka visi IT, esi labaks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *