It started with a company called Trada who wanted to invoke change in their organization by moving toward continuous flow & continuous deployment. In doing so, Michael Lawless setup the first Continuous Engineering Meetup in Boulder as a way to start building a community talking about the ideas around moving fast & delivering continuous value. That was a few months ago and after some discussion with Michael I’m going to continue moving this forward & our 2nd meetup on October 6th.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve never hosted a meetup, and I’ve never had to coordinate a speaker, get a location, get food, etc. I’m really happy to have a lot of great help, because it’s coming together incredibly well. If you are in the Boulder area and can make the meetup please do – the link is below.
If you aren’t in the Boulder area & if you aren’t already attending one of these meetups (because I don’t think many exist) please read on. At least as it applies to Web Operations / Software as a Service type companies – continuous flow to me is a huge step forward. You can read about many companies who practice it today and the positive impact it has had on their business, the happiness of their engineers, and their ability to deliver value to their customers. It does work, but to many people from traditional software development backgrounds the “how it works” part is very confusing & getting there is a seemingly daunting task that’s easy to criticize.
The main goal with these meetups is to educate people about the value of doing this, even in small steps. You don’t have to have things optimized to the level that Amazon or Etsy do to realize benefits from doing things this way – you just have to start, put one foot in front of the other and start making it better. At our first meetup there were a lot of questions about how you overcome issues, there are lots of ways to poke seemingly endless holes in this idea and come up with reasons you can’t make it work. Still, lots of companies make it work.
So, if you are a fan of continuous engineering & think you can pull together some speakers to talk about how they’ve implemented CE practices – you should do it. You will help make the world a better place. Much of the reason there aren’t more companies moving in this direction, I think, is because of education. Some organizations only need to be shown that other companies are doing this successfully and are sharing information about how they’ve done it to move forward. They see one of the Etsy talks and they get excited and they start implementing.
These ideas aren’t for everyone, but they are for a lot of organization a huge improvement. The Boulder Meetup is hosted by Rally Software this time – a company that themselves is also practicing Continuous Engineering & moving in the direction of continuous deployment.
Here’s the Boulder meetup – get one going in your area: