DevOps Institute

Digital Transformation Insights with DevOps Institute Global Ambassador, Himanshu Patel

Culture and Human Skills, Transformational Leadership

July 28, 2020

DevOps Institute Ambassadors are volunteers from across the globe that want to help advance the career opportunities in IT and support emerging practices within the DevOps community based on a human-centered SKIL Framework, consisting of Skills, Knowledge, Ideas, and Learning.  

These individuals are advocates for the “Humans of DevOps” and are industry pioneers who are passionate about the DevOps movement, are recognized DevOps subject matter experts and who voluntarily contribute to the Collaborative Body of Knowledge (CBok) of DevOps. 

This week, we are proud to feature an Ambassador from Texas in the United States, Himanshu Patel, a digital transformation leader at Aventiv Technologies.

In addition to his work at Aventiv Technologies, Himanshu speaks regularly at public events and local MeetUp groups on topics including technology and leadership, Lean and Agile, Digital Transformation, Cloud Native, Microservices, DevOps Practices, Automation, Containerization, and Orchestration. He also co-hosts a large community of Kubernetes and Cloud Native in North Dallas. Himanshu’s passion is continuous improvement of efficiency, quality and velocity by influencing teams to adopt the Culture of DevOps and Automation.

(You can connect with Himanshu directly at @HimanshuPatel6 or on LinkedIn).

Below, we asked Himanshu about his goals as a DevOps ambassador, career challenges he’s faced, improving ways of working, and trends in the software delivery industry. 

Q: As an ambassador, what are your goals for helping to advance the humans of DevOps?

At first, I just wanted to be part of the community of passionate and like-minded Humans of DevOps to enrich my own self and broaden my perspective on technology, culture, diversity and purpose. But now, since I have been part of this community for a few months, I see how it is all done to break the ground. Unfortunately, we have just touched the surface. There is more evangelization and influencing needed to penetrate through large segments of this industry. 

I believe as a Global Ambassador, my responsibility is to share what I learned through my experiences; learn what others have through theirs; and, most importantly, bring more awareness to individuals and organizations in my network about all the wonderful things that this organization offers – SKILup Minutes, SKILup Day Events, Blogs, Podcasts and more. There is a plethora of resources and opportunities to connect with global leaders!

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how can others learn from this experience?

Driving the mass behavior for change to me is the most challenging thing anywhere you go! Great technologies, sound designs, automated processes and best practices are great but unfortunately won’t move a needle until they are accepted by the broader spectrum of the organization including the top leadership. I strongly believe in picking up from “why” verus “how” or “what” to help drive mass behavior. It is more effective and has a better chance of acceptance if started with, “why should we adopt something new or think a bit differently,” than,how can you get there or what do you need to do.” Partnering with people at all levels to discuss the value, purpose and need is more effective than passing down the orders. 

In concrete terms, understanding the end goals, capturing and interpreting the current outcomes, stats and metrics to identify gaps or opportunities is the first step. The rest of the conversations can be based on that discovery. Focusing on values vs. technology or practices while interacting with top leadership and grass-root level people bring more openness and less resistance to the table. Starting a change with a smaller and isolated group(s) or application(s) is more effective before rolling it out across the board. On the same note, it has to be clear that the values are not expected overnight rather a continuous improvement process that requires patience, focus and commitment.

How do technology leaders best enable different ways of working amongst their teams?

Diversity, Empower, Respect, Appreciate, Purpose and Continuous Learning

Teams built on these pillars are more creative, productive and humanly.

Equal opportunity and diversity are now the prime focus for most of the players in the industry. That brings unique perspectives and a more balanced society of IT Professionals.

Empowering employees brings out real creativity and accountability while respecting and appreciating them builds positive synergy and boosts morale. 

And, finally, being clear on the purpose gets us all going in our lives and by no means is it any different for people working on the teams. A team or an organization without a purpose hardly accomplishes targets and seldom finds joy in whatever they do.

Learning is a journey and is never enough. Individuals and teams built on that principle organically grow and work better in any circumstances. 

Seasoned leaders focus on these core values and the rest are all by-product. 

Q: What is the biggest advancement/improvement you have seen the software delivery industry make in the past five years?

I believe automation for time-to-market and operational ease has dramatically improved in the last few years. 

Thanks to large crowdsourcing, open-source and commercial platforms for innovating different ways to simplify and automate the software delivery process. Continuously evolving the space of DevOps automation has become a critical focus for most of the organizations. It has improved work-life balance for the IT Professionals as they now focus more on their business and less on the nitty-gritty and boilerplate of delivery mechanics. As a result, customers have been getting reliable products in less time. Needless to say, businesses have been minting more profit besides employee and customer satisfaction.

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