State of DevOps Report 2021 with Nathen Harvey and Dustin Smith
Play • 46 min

This week, Stephanie Wong and Carter Morgan are talking about the recently released State of DevOps Report. Guests Dustin Smith and Nathen Harvey tell us all about DORA, the research group working to study DevOps, and the findings of their years-long study aimed at improving workplace environments, fostering sustainable increased productivity, and ensuring quality output across industries.

During their years of research, the DORA team has developed ways to measure team results and workplace culture. Our guests tell us about the five measures they use, including deployment frequency and reliability. The shared responsibility and collaboration of teams at a company to optimize these five metrics is what makes good DevOps performance. Through a real-life example, we hear how the coordination of goals and incentives across departments can improve results of the DevOps metrics, thus improving the speed and stability of finished products.

Once businesses identify problems, they need realistic expectations of the time and energy required to solve these issues. Learning from each change made and growing during the process is an important part of optimization, and our guests talk about the best practices their research has identified for facilitating smoother transitions. High quality documentation is a vital part of optimizing DevOps, and this year’s report examined internal documentation for the first time. Nathan describes what makes good documentation, like clear ownership of the documents and docs that are regularly updated for easy sharing and scaling of up-to-date material across the company. Dustin elaborates, explaining other factors that make quality, reliable documents.

Later, we talk SRE and how companies can measure and optimize Site Reliability Engineering. A supportive team culture and ensuring a secure product and supply chain are some important factors in optimal SRE, the DORA study found. Our guests offer advice for companies looking to get started with DevOps practices.

Nathen Harvey

Nathen Harvey is a developer relations engineer at Google who has built a career on helping teams realize their potential while aligning technology to business outcomes. Nathen has had the privilege of working with some of the best teams and open source communities, helping them apply the principles and practices of DevOps and SRE.

Dustin Smith

Dustin Smith is a UX Research Manager and the DORA research lead. He studies the factors that influence a team’s ability to deliver software quickly and reliably.

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