Culture @ Velocity UK

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Summary of 3+1 talks at Velocity UK conference about culture

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Culture @ Velocity UK

  1. 1. Culture @ Velocity UK Nov 2013
  2. 2. Contents 1. Erik Kastner (Kickstarter) : One Weird Trick to Transform your Culture Overnight! 2. Chris Read (DRW) : Optimizing for Cultural Learning 3. John Willis (Dell - enStratius) : Culture as a Strategic Weapon
  3. 3. Erik Kastner ● Etsy, Kickstarter ● When wanted to leave Etsy for the first time: ○ CTO: “You can’t leave, you didn’t tell us what’s wrong so we didn’t have a chance to improve” ○ Stayed 2 more years, much happier ● Code, tools
  4. 4. Culture ● Culture = this is what you won't forget, this is what makes this place special ● In the web industry, everyone does customer support, only the customer differs: “devops is just a fancy word for customer service” ● → Caring is the key
  5. 5. Caring People will have problems, but if someone cares about their problems they will feel much better. If their problems get fixed, that’s even more awesome.
  6. 6. How to ● ● ● ● Listen! Talk to as much people as you can Have someone fix the problems Allow them to work on fixing their own problems ● Start immediately
  7. 7. Chris Read ● ex Thoughtworks, DRW ● Cultural Learning: “Learning through observation or interaction with others.” ● Allows individuals to acquire skills that they would be unable to independently gain over the course of their lifetimes. ● Cultural intelligence hypothesis
  8. 8. Summary for us non Biologists ● Humans are built for Cultural Learning ● Age of what we’ve learnt matters ● We’ve got to put our learning in to practice ● Without direction and guidance, humans will probably go in the wrong direction
  9. 9. Affected areas ● Team structure - szerepek ● Team lifecycles - hogyan lesz működő a csapat, mi van ha feloszlik stb ● Team interactions - egymással hogyan működnek együtt a csapatok ● Business Unit interactions - értsük meg egymást ● Group training
  10. 10. DRW principles ● Flat org, no corporate ladder ● No salary grades ● Teams organized by service and business unit ● Physical and synthetic teams ● Upper management access
  11. 11. DRW principles ● Incentives: individual < team < organization ● “Heroes are who get things done” ● Mobility, make it easy to change roles ● People who often work together should sit near
  12. 12. DRW principles ● Knowledge sharing: "borrowing" people is welcomed ● Must be easy to find the right person for anything ● Conference attendance, open source contributing
  13. 13. Example: ticketing ● Goal: order ● Teams start to communicate via tickets ● Turns out: it actively blocks communication between teams, reduced visibility → fail ● Use it only as a backlog, and communicate with other methods
  14. 14. Summary ● ● ● ● Practice what you learn Question everything Innovate Focus on the goal http://cdn.oreillystatic.com/en/assets/1/event/101/Optimizing%20for% 20Cultural%20Learning%20Presentation.pdf
  15. 15. John Willis ● ● ● ● Dell Devops Guru Funny guy CAMS: Culture Automation Measurement Sharing
  16. 16. Hiring war ● It's a war to hire people ● Company culture matters
  17. 17. Three tribes of culture 1. Change your culture 2. You can’t change culture 3. The Use It culture
  18. 18. Change your culture tribe ● ● ● ● ● ● Command and control Corporate guideline culture Motivational posters Slogans Coaches Tells you in detail
  19. 19. You can’t change culture tribe ● You can’t change the company culture so don’t even try ● "Try to work with what you've got"
  20. 20. The Use It tribe ● ● ● ● ● “Don’t change corporate culture: use it” Figure out what it is Work with it Nurture it Weaponize it
  21. 21. The Golden Circle ● Simon Sinek: “Start with Why” ● why? -> how? -> what? ● the cause -> values -> products
  22. 22. Foundations ● W. Edwards Deming - The New Economics ● Louis V. Gerstner Jr. - Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Use It Tribe examples: Netflix, Etsy, Github
  23. 23. Netflix “The High Performance Culture” ● They don't apologize for being tough ● They hire smart people who need to make hard decisions ● Adequate performance earns a nice severance package
  24. 24. Netflix ● Everyone is expected to take risks ● Be a consistent contributor and innovator ● Real company values are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go ● Name their products by Nordic deities
  25. 25. Github “People who love to share” ● ● ● ● Culture of collaboration Automation as a culture No manager - everyone is a manager Really flat structure
  26. 26. Github ● The structure of Github is unstructure ● "We just fill vacuums, we just get it done" ● A lot like Valve
  27. 27. Etsy "The Artisans" ● “We enable people to make a living by making things” ● Blameless culture ○ Allspaw about post mortems ● Benefit corporation
  28. 28. Etsy ● Tools to reinforce your culture ● Software engineer became the CEO of a non-software company ○ Keeps himself close: participates in hackathons, goes to lunch with employees ● "All commerce is about real human interaction."
  29. 29. Devops Companies ( GE ) ● ● ● ● ● GE is big, so affects whole industries Automation with Chef Modern style and communication Deming again Scientific approach: decisions based on experiments ● Big data
  30. 30. Summary ● Reading list ○ Deming - Out Of The Crisis ○ The Phoenix Project ○ Eliyahu M. Goldratt http://www.slideshare.net/botchagalupe/velocitylondon-devopsculture-asaweapon-copy
  31. 31. Bonus ● ● ● ● ● Joshua Hoffmann (Soundcloud) Not only a culture talk, but a must watch Finctional startup story Moving to another data center Heroes are who delete code: “favourite diffs are red diffs”
  32. 32. Questions?

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