Phil Wills and Simon Hildrew

Phil Wills and Simon Hildrew

Phil Wills

Phil is senior software architect at the Guardian. He has worked on just about every part of the Guardian’s site and the tools which support it; building features, optimising performance and increasing resilience. Over the past two years, he’s helped the Guardian achieve much more frequent delivery.

Simon Hildrew

Simon led the Guardian’s digital operations team for two years before changing role and becoming a developer (albeit with an operations focus). Since then he has tackled pain points encountered by operations, including writing tooling that enables deployments to be carried out more reliably and more frequently across a diverse range of legacy and new product stacks. His aim is to create solutions that developers don’t need to be coerced into adopting, but they want to use because they eliminate hassle and manual work from their jobs.

  1. How did you get involved in Continuous Delivery?
    Etsy’s discussion of how they push to production multiple times a day was one important influence, but a more surprising influence was from many years ago, when we deployed by copying and pasting from one IDE window to another. Whilst the actual process was a mistake-riddled minefield, the the ability to deploy quickly, whenever we needed had been valuable.

  2. What do you see as the biggest advantage of Continuous Delivery?
    Continuous Delivery allows you to build more useful software in a more collaborative, fun way by shortening the feedback cycle.

  3. What do you see as the biggest challenge in Continuous Delivery?
    Fear. There’s always the temptation to add one more step into the process for getting software to production when something goes wrong. Sometimes that’s the right thing to do, but it’s a real cost that should only be paid as a last resort.

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