Bringing together IT development and operations teams into a single unit has been a "game changer" for the Greater London Authority (GLA), according to David Munn (pictured), the organisation's head of ICT.
Munn explained that the GLA wanted to ensure that embracing a DevOps culture was not just a rebranding exercise but had actual benefits. The first tactic was to bring the two teams together physically to spur conversations.
"We're the only team in City Hall that is fortunate to have everyone in one space, so we could have live engineers, development engineers, developers and external developers all working in the same space. It's incredibly powerful," he said.
Staff can develop ideas quickly and change things that are not working. "You get a sense of people working in the team being empowered. They can feel that they are making things happen," he added.
Munn is now considering the possibility of having set DevOps roles as opposed to development and operations teams.
"It is a work in progress. We had deployment engineers who were working in the development environment and they have become DevOps engineers," he said.
"That's fine because there is a bit of rebranding about that, but it is really about changing the job profile and looking at how this works."
Munn added that there is scope for a change in more job profiles as the organisation gets used to the DevOps concept and increases the use of cloud services. But he insisted that his team is happy with their current titles and roles, and that no-one wants to go back to the previous way of working.
The GLA uses DevOps tools including GitHub, Jira, Confluence, Jenkins, Behat/Selenium, JMeter and Nagios, and is currently evaluating whether to use Puppet Labs, Chef or Ansible for configuration management.
Want to get the best out of DevOps? Come to V3 sister site Computing's DevOps Summit 2016 on 5 July in London. It's free for qualifying end users.
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