DevOps Journeys: Matthew Skelton
As part of our DevOps Journeys series, we spoke to Matthew Skelton, Founder and Principal Consultant at Skelton Thatcher Consulting about his experiences with DevOps so far.
If you wish to be considered as a participant in the next DevOps Journeys
e-Book, or would like to share your DevOps Journeys, please get in touch.
What does DevOps mean to you?
DevOps is an approach to building and operating software systems that
What was your first experience of DevOps like?
Although my background is in software development, I have always been close the operations side of things in the systems I have built, so what we now call DevOps feels very natural (and ‘no-brainer’) to me. Certainly back in 2007 when I was part of a team building systems for a large London financial institution, we all were involved in regular operational testing, spending many hours together with networks teams, storage teams, deployment specialists, architects and developers. We effectively designed good parts of the system together with both Dev people and Ops people playing equal and crucial parts.
If you could give yourself some advice when you first started your DevOps ‘journey’, what would you say?
Start with the needs of the team.
What's exciting you within the DevOps space at the moment?
The maturity of logging and metrics tools is really helping many organisations to get up to speed with modern operational techniques. We have found that SaaS tools like LogEntries, HostedGraphite, and PagerDuty can really open people’s eyes to the possibilities and advantages of a metrics-led approach. It is great to be able to help organisations raise their game in this way.
What challenges are you seeing at the moment?
A problem we see is that too many people think that DevOps is just about infrastructure automation & configuration – modern-day sysadmins who can use Git. This limits people’s awareness of what a wider approach to DevOps can bring to an organisation: a transformative capability rather than just some scripted automation.
What do you think the next 'big thing' in the DevOps world will be?
It looks like ‘serverless’ is gaining lots of traction which (aside from the hype) is a good thing. Kubernetes looks promising too.
What are your predictions for DevOps in 5 years?
We will see changes in the types and extents of collaboration between Dev and Ops teams as different kinds of technologies mature. In particular, different approaches are suitable for Docker/containers, managed container stacks like Kubernetes, and serverless architectures like AWS Lambda or Azure Functions. I think we’ll see an appreciation of different team topologies to suit the different technologies and their responsibility boundaries.
I think we will see challenges around Internet of Things (IoT) as organisations begin to adopt IoT more widely. Provable data integrity will also be increasingly important.