Three experts tell their story
DevOps is more than a set of actions; it’s a mindset. Where used, it changes the way teams work together by instilling a culture reliant on collaboration and communication between developers and IT operations staff. This requires steady adaptation, heightened security and sharing of responsibilities.
Pictet attaches a particular importance to this type of culture, and for the first time it is sponsoring the third annual DevopsDays Geneva. Experts from Pictet will be giving talks at this event, which took place on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 May.
Infrastructure & Production
Technology & Operations
Having graduated from a leading French engineering school, Yuan Zhao is today a DevOps Engineer in the Investment & Trading Integration Services Team. Owing to a development-heavy background, she is discovering the world of operations in her professional assignments while leveraging her expertise in automation, robotisation and Infrastructure as Code.
Why have you adopted DevOps in your everyday work?
First of all, it saves time when solving issues, and new features can be added swiftly and seamlessly. Development teams receive immediate feedback so we don’t have to wait before pinpointing and correcting bugs. By automating processes, we mitigate potential issues arising from the software, avoid human errors,boost productivity and speed of response to customer requests.
In your opinion, what’s the ideal profile for advancing in this field?
Ideally, having a foot in IT or engineering. But the main thing is a hunger to learn and a desire to explore new horizons. An enquiring mind and an interest in new technologies are also extremely useful.
What’s your view about the low proportion of women in DevOps, and what could be done to change that?
It’s true that very few women do work in this area. Out of the 20 or so people in my department, only 4 of us are women. If the communication surrounding DevOps focused more on automation and virtualisation, and less on the manual aspect, we would attract more programmers and developers, which would mean more women!
Infrastructure & Production
Technology & Operations
Juan Garrido, who joined Pictet more than 30 years ago, ran the Networks Team between 1996 and 2020. He joined the Cloud Team in 2020, keen to discover new technologies and upskill his career in innovation. A fine example of internal job mobility and challengeafter 30 years focusing on network technologies!
Why do you follow a DevOps approach in your work?
DevOps means bringing people together, irrespective of their field. Once you understand its advantages, there’s no reason not to adopt it. Using these methods, we’re no longer scared of messing up because trust and mutual assistance are omnipresent within DevOps teams. Daring to experiment without fear of taking wrong turns or making mistakes is pivotal to this approach.
I sincerely believe that these practices will take hold over the long term, there will be improvements and the approach will become more widespread.
What are the challenges arising from this approach at Pictet?
The main one is culture because new habits need to be forged. DevOps is first and foremost a mindset. You first need to buy in to the new approach, then put the tools in place. The most important thing is not to be scared of making mistakes.
What lessons would you share with students interested in DevOps?
One interesting principle, which runs counter to anything I’ve faced in the past, is to make a series of small, incremental changes as opposed to major ones. This helps mitigate risk. My weak point when joining the team was development, where I do the coding. If I had to give advice to students today, it would be taking both operations management and development into consideration.
Pictet Asset Management
Laurent Tupin, the DevOps team leader, was the first person with a DevOps profile hired by Pictet Asset Management. He is a self-made man who comes at IT from a practical angle. He tells us why DevOps methods are particularly effective, regardless of whether you’re a technology expert or a trainee chef.
Can you tell us about DevOps culture?
DevOps aims to speed up handovers by erasing each person’s limitations within their professional sphere of action and improving sharing and dialogue, which prevents friction and enables the whole team to enhance its skills. I believe in DevOps methods because they are effective and people oriented. It has five pillars which are summarised as CALMS (Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, Sharing). This approach is heavily in demand in today’s IT market.
Do other opportunities exist for exploring this culture within Pictet?
Today DevOps is restricted to IT fields but in reality it is constituted by a catalogue of practices based on CALMS. Those pillars can be tailored to any set-up. Behind the technological resources lie real-life methods used to assess implementation of the DevOps culture. I started off my career ina restaurant and today I’m an IT specialist: I’m convinced that DevOps can be perfectly well applied to each of these industries.
If you’d known while studying that you would specialise in this field, would you have done anything differently?
If I'd discovered this earlier, my personal life could have benefited. DevOps offers guidelines and tools for improving collaboration and sharing – solid people-focused values that are close to my heart.