Changing gears to a dedicated DevOps shop

Early in July I mentioned how I was attracted to the new developments in the DevOps world with VSTS, and Microsoft’s new offering to accelerate adoption of DevOps at enterprises.

So I put my heart where my mouth is and decided to join a DevOps company: Nebbia, a Microsoft DevOps and Cloud Partner. Nebbia also does custom software development and training on Cloud and DevOps related topics, so it looks I have found a great place to help others in achieving Agility not just with tools, but also with consulting on soft skills as well.

As for the the Microsoft DevOps Accelerator offer, hopefully I will one of those delivering it pretty soon. :-)

Microsoft DevOps Accelerator Offer

For enterprises wishing to have quick jumpstart on using the latest technologies to support their DevOps efforts, this Microsoft offering is an excellent deal:

“The Enterprise DevOps Accelerator is a limited-time offer for teams of 50 developers or more looking to modernize their application development infrastructure while managing costs.

This offer provides unparalleled value—it’s everything your organization needs to implement DevOps practices at more than 50% off. The offer includes:

  1. The tools your developers want, like Visual Studio Enterprise and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS).
  2. All the build and release pipelines your team needs, hosted by us or by you, plus cloud and mobile testing resources.
  3. Discounted Azure pricing to run your lab machines or dev workstations in the cloud, and tools to help you manage resources.
  4. A two-week DevOps services engagement delivered by DevOps experts.

This offer requires the purchase of at least 50 Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions on an Enterprise Agreement purchasing contract with Microsoft. Please complete the form to receive more information.

You can see the form you need to fill at the offer site.

At my work we have been doing this: on-boarding teams to a DevOps platform using the tools for the job, but one per week. From my observation that is too fast, given that some of the troubleshooting that adapting existing builds and pipelines to new systems require. Two weeks is better, but even that might not be enough. It is possible however to identify a pilot project that would showcase the new practices into your organization.

This is definitely a Microsoft offering I would have fun delivering.

The event you have been waiting for to bootstrap your learning about the Cloud

If you have not had an opportunity to focus on learning more about the Cloud and Azure, there is a great event coming this weekend on April 22, 2017: Global Azure Bootcamp. User groups all around the world (last I checked there were 200+). This is the fifth installment, and participation has been growing steadily each year.

Take a look at some of the possible topics (which actual ones depend on what the organizers at each location have decided to bring):

  • Advanced Analytics/Power BI Big Data and Analytics Cloud Computing DevOps

  • Intelligent Services

  • Advanced Analytics/Power BI

  • Big Data and Analytics

  • Cloud Computing

  • DevOps

  • Intelligent Services

  • IoT

  • Mixed Reality/HoloLens

  • Mobile Development

  • Open Development Framework (Docker/Python/Powershell for Linux)

  • Web Frameworks (Angular and React)

Some groups might focus just on the Cloud Computing subset. My favorite one however is DevOps. It contains three sessions with several demos and a couple of hands-on-labs.

Aside from my preferences though, I understand that all of the topics encompass a breadth of information that nowadays any developer need to at least be aware of. So even if you can’t attend, you can plan your own personal bootcamp for another future Saturday. It will be time well spent.

Upcoming Meetup: Avoiding Tool Friction when Scaling Agile

As you might recall, I am one of the co-leads, along with Leland Newsom, of the Agile Austin Agile-at-Scale UG. I will be presenting later in this month. The topic I will be presenting on is “Avoiding Tool Friction when Scaling Agile”, and it is based on my experience working with about a hundred and fifty ALM/DevOps customers in the last in the last eight years.

It is easy to ignore specific tool implementations when talking about scaling Agile. However tooling can be a boon or a bane for day to day activities, and as with any process implementation, Agile at Scale is no different. In this session I will examine a few real cases of “tool friction” caused by mistaken implementations, with different sets of tools, the good side of some implementations as well, and wrap up with a few rules of thumb derived from real world experience in scaling Agile.

Please register at so we can have a count of people to order lunch.

See you there!

Agile at Scale SIG - Lean Coffee on scaling Agile

It is that time of the year where we do some planning on what is coming up in our meetings. I will be leading a Lean Coffee session later this month to go over topics of your interest when scaling Agile, then create a backlog to define what we would like to see in future sessions.

Please register at so we can establish a count for food and drinks.

See you there!

Next Austin Agile at Scale SIG meeting - Scaling Agile Product Delivery with Nexus

This month we have the pleasure of having my friend Dave West (Product Owner at will be flying to Austin to talk to talk about Nexus, directly from source.

Nexus has fast become one of the best ways to scale up your Agile efforts in the enterprise. However, how does it differ from Scrum-of-Scrums, which is the informal indisputable leader in the market? And from SAFe? These are questions I hope to ask Dave later this month. Here is his talk abstract:

Scaling Agile Product Delivery with Nexus – It is Turtles all the way down

Between 70 and 80% of Agile teams use Scrum. Scrum has become the de-facto standard for Agile team delivery. And with the success of Scrum organizations are now looking to employ Agile at Scale. Scaling means different things to different people, but broadly can be described as either growing the number of people delivering software in an agile way (agile product delivery) or growing the use of agile in ancillary parts of software delivery supply chain. In this talk we focus on how Nexus, an exoskeleton for Scrum can help scale your Agile product delivery. We describe the challenges in scaling Scrum and how Nexus extends Scrum to allow for multiple teams to work together in an effective and agile way. This supports teams in an incremental approach to scaling Scrum by building on the success of team level Scrum adoption.

Topics in this talk:
• What does “scaling” mean ?
• The challenges of scaling Scrum
• introducing Nexus
• Nexus in practice
• Connecting Nexuses – Nexus+
• Applying Nexus in your organization

What I like about Dave’s presentations is that he is never boring and always brings something new. Be ready for having fun, starting with the title (“turtles all the way down”) :-)

Please register at so we can get a count for food and refreshments.

See you  there!

Comparing GitFlow with Github workflow

If you ever need to compare GitFlow with GitHub flow, the article by William Buchwalter is one of the best I have found, coming from a practitioner who has lived through it. His article can be found at Git Workflow for Continuous Delivery.

I have long seen GitFlow as an easy way to adopt git when coming from more traditional, centralized workflow, but not a panacea. As a matter of fact, it always reminded me of the traditional Feature Isolation that ALM Rangers (myself included) used to recommend.

However, as you move delivery times faster and faster, there is a need to push it all to production even when feature is still under development.

Enter then the combination of very lightweight branching (just saying, from just main) with feature toggles. For fast track software development teams that can invest on all the extra instrumentation deriving from Continuous Delivery, this branching model/feature toggle usage is becoming the norm.

A Visual Studio Rangers sample data tool to generate SAFe project data on VSTS

The Rangers have delivered a sample data tool around March. Now they have put it to work and created a sample data set based on SAFe. It makes it a lot easier to demo features and processes when applying the framework as well as being a learning tool on how to structure your SAFe project.

I will be studying these two Ranger contributions on how to also make it work with Scaled Professional Scrum. Stay tuned.

Upcoming Changes to the Scrum Guide with Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland

Date: July 6, 2016, 11:00 EST (15:00 UTC)

Join Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the creators of Scrum and the Scrum Guide in this rare opportunity to hear them together talk about Scrum. The focus on their presentation will be on the upcoming changes to the Scrum Guide (,why they have made these changes, what the changes mean for Scrum and Scrum practitioners around the globe.

For more information:

To attend:

Scaling Professional Scrum (SPS) with Visual Studio Team Services

Martin Hinshelwood (Visual Studio ALM MVP and Ranger) will be presenting on how to use SPS  enlightens us on scaling professional Scrum with Visual Studio Team Services.

This is quite relevant and a long waited talk as Microsoft has presented on how to do SAFe with VSTS a while ago.

As Martin mentions, “Tools don’t solve problems, but they can help reduce the friction of Scaling Professional Scrum. The only way to successfully scale across multiple teams, maybe in multiple countries, is to create robust automation and orchestration for minimising the risks, and time, of manual tasks. Visual Studio Team Services allows you to create a robust, platform agnostic, support structure that can start where you are, and grow as your needs mature.”

You can reserve your spot with GoToMeeting by going to this page: I recommend tuning in early as it tends to get crowded and it is a limited number of slots.

July 3rd Update: the page I linked to has been updated with a recording of the webcast. You can also watch it directly in YouTube.


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