Rachel Laycock is a Market Technical Principal for ThoughtWorks New York. Her main role is that of a Technical Lead and Architect, but since joining ThoughtWorks she has also played the role of a coach, a trainer and a project manager. Alongside this she is the Editor-in-Chief of the P2 Magazine Rachel is also a member of the ThoughtWorks Technical Advisory Board, which meets regularly to produce the ThoughtWorks Technology Radar.
Q: How did you get involved in Continuous Delivery?
A: Before working at ThoughtWorks I had heard about CD but wasn’t really doing it. I joined ThoughtWorks around the time the book came out and there was a real buzz about it in the London office. I didn’t really know what it meant so I read the book whilst I was on my first project and immediately became interested in learning more about operations and specifically how to make software operational. This was one of the moments I realised I still had a lot to learn. Those moments still happen pretty often, which is one of the reasons I love my job.
Q: What do you see as the biggest advantage of Continuous Delivery?
A: To me it’s about thinking about how software will run in production right from the start. Not just is this feature built well and maintainable from a code design perspective, but how does it need to run, what kind of hardware, caching, networking and operating system. I think it’s good for developers to have to learn that early because the “beautiful software” you write doesn’t really amount to much until it’s being used and is under the load of real users.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge in Continuous Delivery?
A: That’s easy, your organisational structure as that informs your design, which in turn informs how it will run.