How Ops Makes Software Great

By Jonathan Lowsley

Elevator Pitch

Infrastructure design and build strategies have a direct impact on the quality of a software product now more than ever. Using DevOps practices, traditional Ops responsibilities are changing to include new processes and tools used to pattern infrastructure and ultimately elevate software quality.


Software application requirements help define the underlying infrastructure, but how the infrastructure is built can have positive side-effects on software quality, collaboration, testing culture, and continuous delivery. Whether an organization is just starting to adopt DevOps principles, or is already successfully practicing DevOps, the state of continual improvement is a necessity. Using some recent stories and technical examples learned from the field, individuals and organizations can implement simple but effective strategies to take the first steps towards adopting DevOps methodologies, or experiment and improve on existing practices.

We will cover some lessons learned and technical strategies surrounding:

  • Ops working higher up in the stack
  • minimizing lead time for infrastructure projects
  • improving continuous delivery infrastructure, decreasing cycle times
  • increasing infrastructure quality using testing
  • continual education, a 2-way street
  • positive side effects of DevOps tools
  • approaching software problems with systems tools
  • leveraging cross-functional meta-teams
  • shipping infrastructure coupled with code

Realizing that the work you do every day can have a huge, positive impact on business function builds confidence, and increases job satisfaction. The interaction between software development and systems operations has never been more important, and by building great infrastructure System Operations contributes to make software great.


This talk is a mix of culture, process, tools, and some code/template examples. Participants will come away with some reinforcements about what they are doing correctly, or ideas on how to improve their organizations. The audience level is beginner and intermediate, but even advanced DevOps practitioners may take something away from it. Format is slide deck.

I’m an avid practitioner of DevOps in my organization and community, and truly believe that DevOps changed my life in a big way. I’ve led small-scale and large-scale top-down and bottom-up transformations for several teams in my career. I like introducing people to new topics, and sharing ideas on how humans can improve the technology that we create and maintain.