Creating a modern social referral platform with DevOps 2.0

DevOps Manager and Canlead Founder, Michael Quan, advises start-ups and enterprises to adopt DevOps 2.0 to help create a modern social referral platform

Michael Quan began his career as an ITSM consultant before working at a fintech company where he had devised a strategy and roadmap to build DevOps to improve the Software Delivery Life Cycle (SDLC).

IT operations management tooling enables the creation of business value by taking control of the IT estate, which helped Quan improve on operational efficiency and optimise business opportunity, as well as enable an enterprise to understand and predict how technology impacts the business, and how business impacts the IT infrastructure.

Capability maturity model (CMM)

Here is a typical method and sounding he often used during his time as an ITSM consultant:

After several years of technology consultancy, Quan conceptualised a new way for people to monetise their social network. One where people refer opportunities to people over incentives instead of favours, challenging the traditional social enterprise referral methods.

As a result, he managed to build a social referral platform using the DevOps 2.0 capability, integrating marketing and product management processes to the development and operational capabilities.

With DevOps 2.0, you can see the emergence of adaptive feature delivery as a component for software releases. This toolkit allowed him to align technology to business using cloud services, process automation and containerisation with a near-term plan to complete its microservice architecture and automated testing.

As an example, his app allows users to select from a list of defects or features in the ‘Give Us Feedback’ page.

  • Give Product Feedback
  • Report a Bug
  • Request a Feature

When the user selects ‘Report a Bug’ -> ‘Bug Type’ an email is automatically sent to the ‘Feedback Inbox’ and a card with a red tag is added to the planning tool. Product managers and developers can discuss and prioritise this software defect immediately. Similarly, when the user selects ‘Request a Feature’ an email is sent to the Inbox and a card is added to the planning tool.

A fast feedback loop is critical to the success of the user retention and conversion programme that a product defect can be resolved or a feature can be deployed into a controlled cloud hosting environment in real-time.

Evangelise regularly

Quan revealed: “My team and I have built a development operations capability using modern cloud services to collaborate, plan, refine and improve. We practise DevOps culturally and technically, which led to the faster release of software features, shorter development time, lower development and operations cost – reducing rework from 40% to less than 10%.”

He advises large enterprises wanting to create application services to start with a DevOps at scale framework like SAFE, to create a DevOps engineering function to provide internal consultancy, do experiments, build solutions and support the development community; aiming towards team self-organisation, reducing project management staff, and training functional managers to become effective product managers.

Differently, he believes small start-ups should find a qualified DevOps 2.0 professional to provide advice unless they have DevOps 2.0 experience, and cloud services should be used when they can.

Although DevOps 2.0 is a culture shift, he advises the following elements to “shift it”:

  • Start small
  • Set up a DevOps working group
  • Start with a core set of great DevOps engineers
  • Evangelise regularly
  • Attend meet-ups to learn and share – be part of the community
  • Automation first strategy
  • Push for cloud technology and services (SaaS)
  • Bring like-minded engineers together

Quan also noted that he listens and works with his teams to ensure that the best advice and solutions are implemented.

Written by Leah Alger