Vertex Computer Systems Employee Satish Kulala Receives Azure Solutions Architect Badge

Satish Kumar Kulala

Congratulations to Vertex Computer Systems employee Satish Kumar Kulala, who recently passed the AZ-304 Microsoft Exam to receive his certification in Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Combined with another Azure Certification, Satish – who recently celebrated his 12 year anniversary with Vertex – can now claim an Azure Solutions Architect Badge. 

On the news of the certification, Program Manager Manish Bharti said, “Congratulation Satish. It’s a big achievement. So pleased to see you accomplishing great things!” 

While we are pleased to have this skillset as part of our company’s abilities, we are more pleased to be able to encourage employees like Satish as they grow in their career.  


Vertex Computer Systems Celebrates International Women’s Day

On March 8, 2022, Vertex Computer Systems took time out of the workday to celebrate International Women’s Day and all the contributions that our female team members make to the success of the company.

The day is especially meaningful as Vertex is a woman-owned company.

Sharda IyerCompany founder Sharda Iyer said, “As an engineer, a tech professional, and an entrepreneur, it gives me great pleasure to see women choosing STEM careers. I recall back when I was in college pursuing degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, I used to be one or two women in my classes! Thankfully that trend has changed, and more women are breaking the glass ceiling every day.

“I have seen many women employees build successful careers at Vertex, and I am honored to work with the exceptional women of Vertex,” she added. “Happy International Women’s Day to all the women Vertexians!”

Several of our female engineers and employees praised Vertex as being especially supportive of women in the workplace.

“The work environment at Vertex is quite supportive,” said Prasanna Rama, developer in the Hyderabad office. “Being a developer is nothing but learning a new skill and learning how to deal with failures, tackling new challenges and overcoming fear. It gives me a sense of pride. A woman being an engineer is no less than any man. This has been a huge learning experience.”

“Being an engineer has taught me to solve complex problems, to understand and implement technology and to show my skills globally,” added Neelima Devata. “Vertex has helped me in my career by helping me understand and mitigate any challenges. They encourage new ideas and listen to us and our views.”

Reshmy U.S.-based Business Development Executive Reshmy Kesavadas cited the feeling of empowerment and professionalism coated with empathy making it worthy to work in a woman-owned enterprise like Vertex. “For a woman like me who could not work in the United States because of visa, having the confidence to get back into the corporate world took some real guts because of (a) work gap of 15 years,” she said. “The consideration of Vertex to employ me shows how the company really cares about individuals and gives them a chance to learn, establish and grow.

“The constant assurance that ‘ Reshmy, you can do it’ and ‘you have it in you, hang in there’ are some of the phrases that my colleagues and management team showered on me was the real boost and, helped me get back on track when I was off track and low in confidence,” she added. “And here I am today, feeling like a celebrity and a champion! This is empowerment!”

Prashanthi Geedula praised Vertex’s flexible working options. “They provide me with much-needed balance as I can navigate my multiple roles, both in the workplace and at home.” She also appreciated the opportunities to work on challenging assignments with cutting-edge technologies. “(The field of ) engineering or development is all about intellectuals and in today’s world, both men and women are (performing) equally in this field. I do not think of me as a “woman” in a development team. My colleagues are as friendly (and) I feel that women’s work is valued and respected as much as anyone else’s.”

“Keep up the good work, and continue to achieve and aspire to do great!” concluded Sharda Iyer.

Celebrating 2021 Employee Anniversaries

On Thursday, February 24th, the Vertex Computer Systems team across the globe gathered together to honor the hard work and dedication of their fellow employees that celebrated 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 year anniversaries in the 2021 calendar year as of December 31.

Without this team of talented, committed employees, Vertex could not provide the outstanding service that our clients have come to depend on. Our success is a product of the inspiration, innovation, and implementation of their great ideas and their willingness to stay with the company and be technology leaders.

Vertex people work on creative, industrious teams that build solutions that impact our entire planet, and our success is a product of the inspiration, innovation, and implementation of their great ideas.

While we can’t include everyone’s comments, a theme throughout was praise of Vertex being an employee-centric organization with easy access to management, flexible work hours, plenty of learning and growth opportunities, and clear communication of company goals.

Here’s celebrating all of these team members, with a special highlight on those celebrating long tenures with the company.

20 Years

Joseph Groh

Joe GrohJoe celebrated 20 years with Vertex on November 5, 2021. For most of the length of his stay with the company, Joe has been assigned to a Fortune 100 consumer packaged goods company as a Senior Programmer Analyst.

“I’ve really enjoyed working for Vertex, having seen the Cincinnati office grow from the early days to the great team it is today,” Joe told us recently. “Ownership and leadership have been fantastic, always treating me very fairly, rewarding (me) for performing well and holding me accountable when appropriate. Throughout all these years, they’ve always been supportive of training and professional needs as technology has evolved from Lotus Notes to SQL Server/Visual Studio (C#)/Power Bi.

“The Vertex team has such a diverse set of skills and it’s been reassuring knowing they are available when needed,” he added. “Even though I’m rarely in the home office, I always enjoy when we’re able to meet for the holidays/lunches and to catch up other old-timers.”

His supervisor Murali Swamy wished him the best for many more years of service: “Joe has been a great account team member for Vertex and (the client). As his length of stay at Vertex and the account exemplifies, his contribution to the customer team is quite significant and is greatly appreciated.”

15 Years

Vijay Selvaganapathy

Vijay Selvaganapathy headshotVijay is a fifteen-year veteran of the Cincinnati office, starting his career as a Programmer Analyst before moving into his current role as a Salesforce Architect.

Murali Swamy praised Vijay as a dedicated and hardworking team member who is always willing to do anything to ensure customer expectations are met or exceeded. “Vijay is a highly dependable team member that delivers high-quality service every time he gets involved,” Murali said. “Best wishes for many more years of service!”

For his part, Vijay said “I really like the working environment as well as the people who have helped me immensely in my growth. I was able to contribute my services comfortably without any undue stress/pressures resulting in my longer tenure with the company.”

Ramam Gedala

Raman GedelaRamam works in the Hyderabad office as the Manager of Accounts & Finance.

His manager Sharda Iyer spoke highly of Ramam, calling him the “keel and rudder of (Vertex’s) Finance and HR operations”.

“Our tasks are complex,” she added .”We deal with HR, Benefits, Compliance, Corporate Taxes, Banking & Finance. Your work ethic, relentless ability to understand complex matters, attention to detail, and ‘do it right the first time’ mentality take our team to new heights.”

Ramam attributed the work environment at Vertex as well as flexible management for his long stay.

Narayana Chamakura

Narayana ChamakuraAlso contributing fifteen years to the company in Accounting & Finance is Narayana Chamakura.

Narayana’s supervisor Venkit Raman praised his negotiating skills, adding that he was “A wholesome package – hardworking, conscientious, highly trustworthy.”

Echoing the comments of many of his co-workers, Narayana cited flexible office timings and liberty that the company provides to him as part of his reason for staying. “I can reach out to anyone at any point of time without any hierarchy,” he added. “I can express my views & ideas to the company.”

Manish Bharti

Manish BhartiManish, a Program Manager in the Hyderabad office reporting to Sudip Nandy, joined Vertex on June 19 2006.

“People are cordial at Vertex,” Manish said. “There is a certain empathy or compassion that seems to flow from them.”

Sudip said that Manish is “a fine individual and a great team player, super trustworthy,” adding that he earned respect and appreciation from his team, peers, and his seniors, and, that he was never shy of taking (on new) responsibilities.

10 Years

Celebrating their ten-year anniversaries in 2021 were:

  • Sankar Krishnan, Saleforce Architect
  • Hemanth Shankarappa, PLM Software Systems Analyst
  • Gopala Krishna Kanchiraju, Senior Project Manager
  • Ganeswara Rao Kandula, Senior Database Programmer
  • Murali Krishna Chinigi, Senior Software Engineer
  • Gopinath Vemulapalli, Senior System Admininstrator
  • Satish Kadaverla, Technical Lead
  • Padmini Debbarma, Program Manager
  • Imran Mohammed, Logistics

5 Years

Celebrating their five year anniversaries were:

  • Girish Sasankasekhar, Project Manager
  • Kiran Veerendra, Assistant Manager of Recruiting
  • Suresh Sankaran, Project Manager
  • Mukesh Jha, Software Engineer
  • Kumaar Burepalli, Senior Developer
  • Nageswara Konatham, Software Engineer
  • Lokanth Balaka, Database Architect
  • Praveen Maduri, Application Support Engineer

1 Year:

Those celebrating their one year anniversaries are:

  • Alasdair Donald, VBA Programmer
  • Joshua Laffoon, Test Engineer
  • Susan Moellinger, Packaging Research Specialist
  • Sri Dronavalli, Software Engineer
  • Mustaq Turegal, Senior Inside Sales Associate
  • Ranga Kummari, Software Engineer
  • Nagaraj Adarsha, Manager of SAP Testing



Improving Client Outcomes with Respectful and Clear Communication

Vertex Computer Systems team members who work at customer locations find themselves walking a tightrope between balancing external client expectations and internal team functions and responsibilities. It’s their job to build a bridge of understanding between client expectations and project deliverables. The success or failure of those efforts often determines whether Vertex is seen as a strategic partner. If they’re successful, the client receives a quality solution, and the client also begins to see Vertex as a trusted technology ally who understands their business.

When these project or implementation managers communicate client needs to the technical teams at Vertex, they are acting as the voice of the customer. When they are with customers, they represent the whole Vertex team. This is no easy task. Developing solid, trusting relationships with customers takes time, patience, and stellar communication.

Yet, situations arise when expectations lack clarity. One reason is that clients don’t always know their needs, says Mani Pattathil, a Vertex Project Manager based in northwest Arkansas. “It’s challenging because they begin with an unclear vision and then their needs keep evolving. Communicating and documenting those changes is not easy. Any software solution should provide value to the business, help generate revenue, and make life easier. Customers know they want a result, but they may not realize what it takes to get them there.” This issue isn’t unique to Vertex, he adds. “It’s an industry problem.”

If the customer is unable to articulate their needs, the Project Manager will have difficulty sharing the objectives of a project with the technical team, who may translate those uncertainties into something else completely. “I asked for an elephant and you gave me a cow,” says Pattathil with a laugh. “That’s how it can feel. Everyone needs to be communicating throughout the entire process to help keep expectations aligned.”

Communication Strategies

Communication challenges may be universal, but fortunately, there are ways to improve. Here are some suggestions from Vertex team members.

  • Understand the business challenge the solution aims to correct
  • Build customer confidence with full-team meetings and detailed documentation
  • Understand that as projects evolve, needs may change
  • Empower team members at all levels to reach out to clients
  • Be respectful and honest during all discussions

Understand the Business Challenge the Solution Aims to Correct.

If clients are unsure how to articulate their own needs, the Project Manager, the Business Analyst, and at times the entire IT team working on the solution must help them articulate the business challenge. Since some miscommunication is expected, there are things teams can do to abate minor issues before they become major concerns.

To help customers clarify goals, Thomas Anthony, a Senior Project Manager in Vertex’s Hyderabad office, says it is wise for teams to hold discovery phases where specific outcomes are considered.

We need to understand the current processes and the desired goal. These sessions help us create requirements documents.

Similarly, Solutions Architect Arnab Chaudhuri, who works from the Cincinnati office, adds it’s up to Vertex to ask questions to bridge the understanding gap. “We can standardize our requirements-gathering practice – especially on jobs for common-use cases. Then we can engage better with the customer and ask more relevant questions” he says. “We shouldn’t wait for all information to be funneled to us. We should proactively consult upon the best offerings and deliver robust solutions.” This kind of value-added effort increases Vertex’s visibility with clients and provides opportunities to cross and up-sell.

Prototyping and creating minimum viable product presentations allow Vertex teams to show an understanding of the client’s needs while outlining solution processes. “We use HTML markups, screenshots, and whatever is needed to showcase the solution,” says Surendra Bolla, a Project Manager in Hyderabad. “We need to help the customer envision the final product.” By showing viable solutions, we telegraph to our clients our understanding of their challenges.

Build Customer Confidence with Full-Team Meetings and Detailed Documentation

Once the technical team has a strong grasp of the project’s purpose, Vertex can begin demonstrating its business knowledge and technical skill. Accomplishing this requires frequent communications that reinforce the client’s good decision to do business with Vertex.

One way to help build customer confidence in Vertex is to arrange full-team meetings with clients. “It increases personal interaction and sets a good tone, so customers see the face behind the work,” says Manish Bharti, a Technical Project Manager in Vertex’s Hyderabad office who emphasizes collaboration among the entire development team, Project Manager, and the client.

“Opportunities for these types of group interactions are fewer when working with blended or offshore teams,” Bharti says, “but they’re not impossible. From the offshore perspective, I feel we can better present a unified face to the customer if we can arrange at least one early interaction.” This exposure also makes Vertex teams feel more invested in the outcome. “The team feels like they own the project.”

Client presentations are a prime opportunity to cement confidence, provided teams don’t overcommit to items or requirements on the spot that were never considered or included in the project scope, says Chaudhuri. “Everyone needs to be on the same page during presentations. If clients start asking questions, getting excited about possibilities, we don’t need to provide up-front answers. It’s OK to ask for time and then get back to them in a few days.” Conquering the job first is important.

We want to say ‘yes.’ We want to show off what we can do, but we need to do it with care.

Another way to build customer confidence is by supplying detailed documentation of the deliverables. Judy Romanchik is a Business Analyst based in Beachwood, OH. She straddles her time between the client’s office and the Vertex office. “When clients have stated they are looking for details, for example, of how we are going to migrate data, they expect to see details like our migration plan with the chronological tasks, the time needed to complete the task, our test plan on how we validated the data, along with our test results,” she says. “A PowerPoint overview isn’t enough to show how we are going to accomplish what needs to be done.” Additionally, she aims to hold internal team meetings at least weekly so she is prepared to answer questions the client may ask when she is on-site.

Supplying expected documentation also builds confidence, but this may be easier said than done at times. When customers expect deliverables, they don’t want delays. And customers expect dedicated resources to function as members of their own companies. “The client wants me to push hard against my own Vertex team to get things done,” notes Mike Due, a Project Manager based in Cincinnati assigned to a Fortune 500 Consumer Packaged Goods manufacturer. “If project deliverables are late, I’m in the middle. I am sure my offshore team might see me as demanding, as I’m wearing my ‘client hat’ in that case. But at the same time, being a member of the Vertex team, I have greater insight into resource availability or other issues that might be slowing things down and I need to find the right way of communicating this back to the customer.”

As Projects Evolve, Needs May Change

Deliverables aren’t the only ingredient in a successful customer relationship. So is excellent service that may need to push basic expectations. “Sometimes to build a good relationship, it makes sense to provide a small favor and go beyond basic expectations,” says Victor Novak, a Vertex Project Manager assigned to a client in Marlborough, Mass. “If it makes the customer happy, it’s better to do it and grow the relationship.”

Yet, when internal teams evaluate new directives with the project plan and notice work that exceeds the scope, it’s easy to question changes. If the new demands were not agreed upon earlier, where should the line be drawn? Should Vertex teams spend extra time and effort on work not specifically contracted or if the plan changes?

It depends. Extra customer attention can go a long way in staving off repercussions that may arise if things don’t go as planned on a job. Of course, common sense must prevail. No one wants scope creep. You can’t build a Cadillac on a purchase order for a Honda. But, continuing the analogy, you could upgrade the tires if it’s a sticking point – especially if there’s good reason to believe the customer needs to buy more vehicles.

Customers need to feel the service. You can provide excellent work, but if it’s not presented well, the customer may not realize the effect of our efforts.

Empower Team Members at all Levels to Reach Out to Clients

Several Vertex employees that we interviewed acknowledged that direct communication between our technical teams and clients is a good idea. Early full-team interactions can help break the ice, making it easier for one-on-one interaction between our teams and client teams when the job is underway.

“I encourage team members to pick up the phone or send emails to clients,” Novak says. “Don’t be so cautious on who to talk with. It’s healthy for our engineers to talk directly with client engineers. They’re our colleagues and are valuable sources of knowledge who can answer questions quickly.” What’s more, making those types of connections improves the communication skills of our engineers and ultimately makes them better at their job.

Bharti, in the Hyderabad office, agrees, adding that interactions between the offshore team members and clients create stronger personal and professional ties. Direct communication saves time.

Be Respectful and Honest During All Discussions

Solution Architect Moien Malick, a Vertex engineer in the Cincinnati office, finds that when engineers understand customers’ pain points, they are better equipped to address challenges. Honest and respectful communication among all parties goes a long way in producing desired results. “Everyone has a responsibility to perform at their best levels,” he says, “We all have to play our roles effectively. But, while it’s good to be frank and open, everyone needs to be mindful and respectful of a broad range of ideas, not just the ones that seem obvious.” For instance, as pros and cons are being compared at brainstorm sessions at the project’s outset, everyone should be free to share ideas. All ideas, innovations and creativity need to be entertained. But once a decision is made and everyone agrees to travel down a certain path, the team must adhere to those expectations and not bring up “what if” scenarios later when challenges arise.

“Once you sign off on the route to take, you agree to uphold the team decision and support each other through the process,” he says. “Then, it’s everyone’s job to keep the customer’s needs in focus.”

It’s about responsibility, but also about respect. Once we take ownership of a job, we all need to communicate.

An Introduction to the Azure DevOps Toolset

This is the third in a series of blog posts about DevOps. We started the series talking about the organizational mindset to achieve zero-defects code, then spent some time talking about how IT teams may need to evolve to create the right organizational culture for DevOps success.

In this post, we start to delve into DevOps toolsets, specifically Microsoft Azure DevOps Services.

It has been said that tools don’t make the mechanic, but that the right tools in the right hands can make everyday jobs far more efficient. I say that as an introduction to this article about DevOps toolsets. Tools (or one person) will not automatically transform an IT department into a DevOps shop, but a department that has adopted the culture and organization to follow DevOps practices WILL benefit from a suite of DevOps tools as they mature.

Devops Pm Tools

Just some of the benefits of a DevOps toolset include the standardization and automation of development processes, improved collaboration within and among the teams, consolidated code repositories, work-item tracking, automated testing, and release pipelines.

Read our Whitepaper: Design for Scale Using Microsoft Azure Services

Microsoft’s Azure DevOps Services is probably the most comprehensive toolset out there. While it is broad in its scope, pay-as-you-go licensing allows organizations to choose the components that they need now and to add additional components as they mature and grow.

Let’s look at a few Azure DevOps’ components:

Azure Boards

As releases get smaller and increase in frequency, it gets harder to collect and track work items. Azure Boards combine flexible work item tracking with drag-and-drop sprint planning. Your team will be more productive with Boards, Backlogs, and Sprints all kept together. What’s better, Azure Boards can be connected to your GitHub repository to link comments and PRs to work items.

Kanban, Scrum, Agile, Lean? Azure Boards works with any number of project management methods and is easily adapted to the needs of your team.

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines automates builds and deployments, regardless of language or platform. What’s more, you can run parallel pipelines for Linux, macOS, and Windows. As you’d expect, Pipelines completely integrate with your Git repositories.

You can also ensure continuous delivery (CD) of your product to the cloud environment of your choice. Azure, of course, along with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

Microsoft uses Pipelines themselves at the .NET Foundation. Before Pipelines, their engineering team was dealing with dozens of different git repositories, a broad range of tools, and several different continuous integration (CI) systems, creating confusion and inhibiting productivity. Just one of their components runs more than 600,000 automated tests for each pull request. With more than 50 pull requests per week, each with multiple iterations, the number of tests was in the billions.

The .NET Engineering Services team brought in AzureDevOps and Pipelines to bring all repos under a common directory structure, set of commands, and build-and-test logic. The team eliminated further barriers to productivity by moving all existing workflows from the different CI systems into a single system.

Azure Repositories

With support for everything from a ‘hobby’ project to the largest codebase in the world, Azure Repositories offers unlimited & private Git hosting as well as support for Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC).  What’s more, Azure Repositories allows you to set up continuous integration & continuous delivery (CI/CD) to automatically trigger builds, tests, and deployments with every completed pull request whether using Azure Pipelines or your own tools.

Azure Repositories also protect your codebase and your quality metrics with completely customizable branch policies. You can keep code quality high by requiring code reviewer signoff, successful builds, and passing tests before pull requests can be merged.

An added bonus is that Azure Repositories features a code-aware semantic search tool that understands classes and variables, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Azure Test Plans

There are manual test plans and automated test tools, but Azure Test Plans bring them together.

Manual test plans can be created, executed, and tracked with actionable defects and end-to-end traceability. Assess quality throughout the development lifecycle by testing your desktop or web applications.

Exploratory test sessions allow the design and execution of tests simultaneously to maximize quality in modern software development processes.

As noted above, automated testing is a major component of Azure Pipelines.

Azure Artifacts

When you’re ready to release, Azure Artifacts adds fully integrated package management to your CI/CD pipelines with a single click. Create and share Maven, npm, NuGet, and Python package feeds from public and private sources with teams of any size.

Because the packages are pre-built, they are easily shared & managed, and can easily be added to Azure Pipelines for testing and release.

Integration Reduces Risk

Because Azure DevOps is flexible enough to integrate with your existing tools and processes while offering all of the tools you need for DevOps success, it ultimately reduces the risk of migration to DevOps. Integration with Microsoft Power BI allows managers to track metrics across the development organization to ensure that their migration to DevOps is on track and to quickly identify and correct where there might be weaknesses.

Click here to learn more about the metrics that you should be tracking to measure the succes of your DevOps organization.

Better Operations Equals Better Business

While DevOps certainly offers many benefits to IT teams, the gains go well outside of that silo.

Faster development cycles allow businesses to push out new features faster, allowing them to be more agile in responding to their competition and to new requests from customers.  Furthermore, a tightly integrated CI/CD platform means less downtime – and less downtime equals more revenue!

Partner With a Certified Azure DevOps Leader

Vertex has thirteen engineers certified at Microsoft’s highest level in Azure DevOps. Look to the DevOps experts at Vertex to guide your way to the efficiencies of DevOps and to help you choose the right tools to create repeatable, clean releases. We Got IT.

Recent College Grad? Start Your IT Career With Vertex

Are you a recent or soon-to-be graduate with a degree in Computer Science or Information Technology? Or do you have demonstrable skills as a software developer? Vertex is adding entry-level to senior members to its team of talented developers and analysts. Launch your career as a software developer with us!

At Vertex Computer Systems you will learn the world of consulting, work with varied clients and industries helping them solve critical problems. You will develop digital transformation solutions, cloud-based custom applications, analytical solutions using AI/ML algorithms, data science & visualization solutions using Microsoft, Salesforce, Open-Source platforms, and other cutting-edge technologies.

We offer a great working environment that is informal and collaborative, allows you to bring out your best, contribute immensely, and learn on the job. We value and listen to your ideas.

Prior work experience is not a requirement for us.

The job location will be Sharonville, Ohio (Cincinnati) post removal of pandemic era restrictions.

If you’re interested in starting your career with a leading Information Technology Services company, please send an email to [email protected] with a detailed resume of your academic background, and your work experience if any.  We are hiring immediately but have flexibility with start dates to accommodate various graduation schedules.

You can find more information about Vertex at

Supporting Ukraine

Dear Ukraine,  

All of us here at Vertex are saddened to see the plight being faced by your country and your people.  

We are impressed with your courage and resilience in the face of this horrible foe. The stories and images that we see in our newsfeeds and on our TVs of uprooted lives and destruction of property are tough to watch. We hope and pray that you will all survive this brutality, and that peace will reign on your land soon. 

We know that many of you have had to flee your homes and your jobs in the face of this crisis.  

While you are fighting this adversity, we want to let you know we are here to help you. If you have information technology skills, we would like to talk to you about working for us. Please send an email to [email protected] with details of your work experience and technical specialties. 

Vertex Gives Back

Part of Vertex Computer Systems’s guiding philosophy is a spirit of giving back to the communities in which we live and work.

We’re pleased to report that our charitable donations for 2021 went to twenty organizations in India and the U.S. with a focus on those that aided children in their local communities with food and education. The individual charities were carefully vetted to ensure that eighty percent or more of contributions go to providing services. We hope to continue, and even expand, these giving programs in the coming years.

Building an Organizational Culture That Supports DevOps 

DevOps is at its core is a set of best practices for developers and IT operations that aims to shorten release cycles and increase software quality. As such, it is closely related to other development methodologies such as Agile Software Development, CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment), and Kaizen.

As DevOps has matured, several toolsets have emerged to support the application development lifecycle, providing version control, reporting, requirements management, project management, automated builds, testing, and release management capabilities. The best tools in the world, however, will not ensure success if the development and IT organizations are not committed to instilling the culture necessary to support it.

Click here to read another article about how a strong DevOps culture at Vertex achieved the development paragon of zero defects code.

Our top five practices with the strongest correlation to organizational culture are:

  1. Organizational investment
  2. Team leaders’ experience and effectiveness
  3. Continuous delivery
  4. Organizational performance
  5. Lean management practices

Organizational Investment

DevOps success begins at the top. IT and development managers need to break down the silos between development, testing, deployment, and operations to create a cross-functional, unified team capable of working across the entire development lifecycle. While technology stacks and tooling aid in the quick and reliable development of applications, it is really the shared responsibility and ownership that increases the team’s velocity.

Experience and Effectiveness

Leaders of DevOps teams need to be experienced across the spectrum of IT disciplines in order to break down potential barriers and ensure that their teams are performing at the highest potential.

As a DevOps engineer at IBM said in an article published by InfoWorld, “We needed to answer some basic questions and determine the problems we were trying to solve…If you don’t know how the work is actually done, you don’t know which problems are worth solving.”

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is the DevOps approach that aims to produce software in short cycles. By developing in short cycles, teams can reliably release their software at any time. With CD, development teams can build, test, and release software faster and more frequently. As a result, they can reduce the cost, time, and risk of delivering each change. A repeatable deployment process is important for continuous delivery. Rather than throwing code ‘over the wall’ to QA and Operations, integrated teams can achieve heretofore unexpected release cycles.

Organizational Performance

The transformation to a DevOps organization takes a large investment in time, money, and resources. The ability to clearly and accurately measure the performance of your DevOps team is critical to improving efficiency and tracking success.

The following metrics are a great start for measuring DevOps performance and progress:

  • Lead Time – The time it takes to implement, test, and deliver code
  • Deployment Frequency – The number of software deployments over a period of time.
  • Change Failure Rate – While shortening and increasing the frequency of release cycles is the goal of DevOps, management should also look at failure rates.
  • Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) – How long it takes the organization to recover from a failure and release a fix.
  • Customer Ticket Volume – This is ultimately a measure of end-user satisfaction. Bugs and errors that are missed in QA are often detected by the end-user. The number of customer tickets marked as problems or bugs is an important indicator of application reliability.

Lean Management Practices

A recent article in Communications of the ACM stated that “DevOps is about good development practices that continually deliver product features (Agile) effectively with minimal wasted efforts (Lean) which are overseen by good governance controls (Information Technology Service Management, or ITSM). To that end, a growing consensus within the information technology community is that DevOps = Agile + Lean + ITSM.”

Contrary to popular belief, while DevOps may eliminate the traditional ‘waterfall’ method of project management, it does not brush aside Agile/Scrum either. Nor does it do away with traditional IT organizations rather than force a transformational shift.

Vertex Computer Systems Has The Practices AND The Tools

Look to the DevOps experts at Vertex to guide your way to the efficiencies of DevOps and to help you choose the right tools to create repeatable, clean releases. We Got IT.

Vertex Computer Systems is Hiring!Join the Team »