Chris O’Dell is a Senior Developer at JUST EAT. She has nearly ten years experience working on the back-ends of web based services, primarily in .Net, most recently focussing on Web APIs. Chris has a keen interest in Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile development practices. She lives in London and in her spare time has begun learning to play the Cello.
- How did you get involved in Continuous Delivery?
When I joined 7digital in 2010 the development team there had decided that Continuous Delivery was something they wished to achieve. They’d already made use of a CI server and automated tests but were being held back by the monolithic application. They described the ideal Continuous Delivery environment they planned to achieve, and over the next few years I helped build it with them.
What do you see as the biggest advantage of Continuous Delivery?
Can I pick two? One technical and one cultural. Technically it’s the ability to deliver a flexible system which can respond to changes in direction. This was particularly relevant at 7digital where the music and digital media industry is fast moving and we needed to be able to deliver quick enough to maintain and exceed the pace of the market. Culturally, it brought the whole company closer together. Trust and teamwork greatly increased and so the quality of the entire platform was massively improved as a result. We had a phrase at 7digital – “Use The Voice”, which reminded people to talk in person instead of via email or tickets. I believe this a cultural artifact of the faster moving Continuous Delivery approach.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in Continuous Delivery?
Trust. Trust in your tests, trust in your deployment scripts, trust in the production environment. Trust in the Quality Assurance person, trust in the Product Manager, trust in Sales and Marketing. These things are hard to earn and come with time, repeated proof of robustness, openness and honesty.