DevOps in the enterprise

Follow Nordstrom's journey to continuous delivery and a DevOps culture.

DevOps in Practice CoverWould you open an email with a subject line of DevOps and pants? I’m not sure I would.

Six months ago I sent Rob Cummings an email with exactly that subject and he did. And we can be thankful he opened it, because by doing so, he invited us to look back at the fascinating history of Nordstrom’s implementation of continuous delivery and a “DevOps culture.”

The story begins in 2004, in a different era of web operations and performance. Back then, Rob and his team drove out to the colocation facility to deploy the e-commerce site. It was an era in which everything was a bit more heavyweight and things moved a bit slower. But that was OK, because most companies were still figuring the web out, almost as much as users were trying to figure it out.

Then the world started changing. Customer expectations changed. The business’ expectations changed. Heck, even developer expectations changed. As a leader in Nordstrom’s operations department, Rob had to adapt. And all of this was complicated by the fact that the increased pace was starting to strain his team and the systems he was responsible for maintaining.

The first case study from DevOps in Practice takes an in-depth look at the environment Rob and his colleagues Doug Ireton and Courtney Kissler built. With support from their VP of Technology, Sam Hogenson, the Nordstrom team dug themselves out of the gap between an era that many of us remember not-so-fondly and where the web and web development were moving.

While it is certainly the case that every organization must discover for themselves how to implement “DevOps culture,” Nordstrom’s particular experience provides useful hints on the thorny areas you’re likely to run into. Should you automate one simple thing across your entire infrastructure or tackle that big, scary, complex problem, but do it end-to-end? What long-standing paradigms will you have to tackle to start to break down a siloed culture?

DevOps in Practice will help you find answers to questions like: What can be the most important influencer of success or failure during the transitional period? What simple tools can you use to make a map for the journey? What can you optimize for? And how can you make sure you don’t add energy, in the wrong ways, to your transformational process? Nordstrom’s case study features strategies that worked for them, sometimes discovered through painful trial and error.

Probably most important of all: once you start examining your organization’s culture and technological practices, and start to work on making them more “DevOps-y,” how do you keep that journey from stalling? DevOps in Practice has Nordstrom’s recipe for success that’s very powerful, yet surprisingly simple. Download your free copy to find out more.

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