Forsgren screws down lid on DevOps in a box

There is no DevOps in a box declared DevOps benchmarker in chief Nicole Forsgren at DevOps Enterprise Summit last month. Which will be something of a disappointment to a raft of legacy software vendors looking to get down with the DevOps crowd.

Dr Forsgren took to the stage at the conference in London and promptly took a knife to some of the more outlandish claims made by vendors looking to capitalise on large companies’ increasing desperation to overhaul their software development and deployment models.

The co-founder and CEO of DevOps consultancy DORA aimed particularly at so-called DevOps maturity models which underpin a number of tools and services touted by vendors, including some of those sponsoring events such the DevOps Enterprise Summit.

The problem, Forsgren told the audience, is “Maturity models don’t work. They don’t capture the complexity of the way we work. The don’t capture changes.”

“Maturity models are for chumps,” she continued. “They tell us when we reach a destination, and then the world passes us by…they tell us technology is a checklist to be completed not an exciting journey.”

When it comes to transforming software development, processes, architecture and leadership matter, she said. “Technology not so much.”

Speaking to DevClass after the event, Forsgren said “I have no problem throwing shade” before casting a particularly dark lump of it over companies that tout DevOps maturity measurement tools as a cure-all.

It’s not the idea of tools or maturity assessments per se that Forsgren has a problem with: “Use whatever tool you want to use.” She added that her latest book – Accelerate – had a template for doing just that – and it costs less than $20.

Rather it’s the concept of one-hit – and presumably one big up front fee – cure-all for digital transformation.

“You’re going to take advantage of people…and you’re not going to care, because the cheque’s cleared?”

Companies were perfectly able to analyse themselves, she said, if they wished. “Look at your capabilities. See how you’re doing…you fix your capabilities.”

Then, she continued, you go back in a couple of months, see what’s working, and what’s not and fix that.