By @SimonCocking. Great interview with Andreas Grabner who is speaking at the Quest for Quality event in Dublin, October 4th and 5th. The event, hosted by Comtrade Digital Services, will examine software testing in the platform economy world. Buy tickets here.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I call myself a DevOps Activist and rally the world to motivate teams and organisations to embrace change to the way they currently do their software delivery job. It is a change that is inevitable if we want to both be successful and not stressed out. It is a change that brings new technology but more so a change in responsibility and communication. Most of insights come from our own Dynatrace DevOps Transformation as well as transformations from small startups and large enterprises that I have visited and worked with over the last years.

How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

From the perspective of my company we have reached a high degree of Pipeline Automation. We used to deliver 2 major releases of our on premises software. Now we are deploying two feature release every month for both our on premises but also SaaS offering. For SaaS we also execute up to 500 deployment changes per day. All fully automated. While this transition wasn’t easy it has paid off as it allows our development teams to push code changes faster out to our users and learn from their feedback on whether they built the right thing. Based on that feedback we can optimize features that are not yet perfect or throw does away that nobody wants. What has been challenging is keeping up with technology change and making sure the pipeline moves as fast as we need it to achieve our own internal goals which is: 1 hour code deployments from Dev to Ops in case of an emergency!

If we look at other companies around the world then it seems the last 12 months brought a major shift in two different directions. Based on the State of DevOps Report conducted by Puppet and DORO we see that DevOps Adoption is on the rise – especially in larger enterprises. The key success metric that these organizations are improving is “Speed to Market” which is measured by Time to Delivery. The only problem is that it seems large enterprise seem to only focus on “Speed to Market” but not “Quality to Market” which his reflected by the statistics from the DevOps Report highlighting that these new DevOps adopters are falling behind on Quality. The number of failed deployments and the time it takes to fix these problems is much higher as compared to those enterprises doing DevOps with Quality in mind.

I also wrote a blog about this summarising all I just said:

What are your plans for the future?

From a Dynatrace perspective we want to get towards a single source repository without having to use feature brunches and spending a lot of time merging code once getting closer to deployment. This requires the use more feature toggles, shadow code deployments and better auto-remediation actions in case a deployment goes wrong. While we are already doing some degree of “self-healing” when deploying into our production environment we still have people that actively look at operations and perform certain actions to fix issues. We want to invest more into this aspect to reach what we call “NoOps”

What will you be talking about at this event?

My talk is a summary of best and worst practices I have experienced myself and heard from other companies. I was fortunate to work with companies such as Facebook, Verizon, Sofico, Sentry, PayPal and others and learned from them what they are doing to ensure “Faster QUALITY to Market”. It is about baking quality into the mindset and the DevOps Tool Chain. We will also talk about personal and human challenges that come with that change. Approaches to make sure we are not constantly distracted with new work so that we can fulfill the promise of better and faster delivery without approaching personal burnout. A more detailed description can be found on the conference web site:

What inspired you to attend it?

I have been fortunate and attended many conferences in the past years. Software Quality is dear to my heart as I started my career as a software tester on a testing tool. I love sharing my experiences with other practitioners and I think this conference has the perfect mix of attendees and speakers to learn and share!

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

It’s hard to name all of them. There are a couple of key things I do

#1: I try to attend as many local Meetups as I can. There are many in every city on different topics: DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Test Automation, Agile Development, Cloud Native, …

#2: My friends at taught me a lot about Quality & Performance Engineering

#3: LinkedIn: here I follow different speakers and individuals I met over the years

#4: Twitter: same thing. Lots of smart minds out there sharing their stories

#5: Websites:,

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

Best way is probably:




If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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