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Target Spreads DevOps Love with an Internal DevOpsDays

I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in Target’s internal DevOpsDays this past Friday. The team at Target wanted to replicate the wildly successful, community led series of DevOpsDays that are held through out the world. They also wanted to lay a baseline of what DevOps means inside Target, and highlight successes in that they have had in the organization.

The format mimicked the community led DevOpsDays format; single track talks in the morning, followed by lightning talks, and then Open Spaces in the afternoon. To kick things off, Rob Cummings of Nordstrom was invited to speak virtually. Rob talked about Nordstrom’s journey to adopting DevOps and the challenges they faced. I personally thought it was a great talk and was really well received by the Target audience. Rob will give a similar talk at ChefConf 2014. What I also loved about Rob speaking to Target was here was one retailer talking to another retailer on how to change the way they operate. While Nordstrom and Target focus on different market segments, they do have some overlap, and it was refreshing to see the cooperation between what some people could call competitors.

The rest of the morning were talks from internal teams at Target focusing on how they have started to adopt a common automation tool chain to increase the flow of work through their system. Talks also focused on how DevOps doesn’t mean “cowboys”, what CAMS means at Target, and what a DevOps Culture means at Target.

The afternoon kicked off with me talking about Goats and Silos; Goats are the full stack engineers you need for DevOps to succeed, and Silos may not necessarily be the thing we need to be worried about in DevOps. The Open Spaces ended up being a really fun time. Topics focused on things like Security and Compliance in DevOps, Value Stream Analysis, getting your muda out of my kanban, working across silos, and building learning organizations. I floated around several of the topics and loved the hunger and the passion that I heard from the participants.

We wrapped the day with a Happy Hour and continued the conversations on DevOps. Some of the participants highlighted how much they learned about DevOps. One in particular loved that he finally understood what DevOps meant. Before, he thought it was just a team within Target, or a pet project that only a few people were working on. But after, he understood what DevOps truly was; a cultural and professional movement that anyone in the organization can participate in.

Michael Ducy

Former Chef Employee

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