DevOps impact on NHS.UK & NHS Digital

Technology Delivery Manager at NHS Digital, Paul Houghton, speaks exclusively with DevOps Online about the importance DevOps has on his job role, and about his presentation at The National DevOps Conference, which will take place on the 24-25 May 2017.

Paul looks after the infrastructure, database, performance management and build and release teams on the NHS.UK programme at NHS Digital in Leeds, which began moving towards DevOps a few years ago.

“The move to DevOps hasn’t always been easy, but it is work in progress, and always will be. I don’t feel that we are fully there yet. Primarily we have done very well on measurement, automation and made a lot of progress with sharing (referring to DevOps CAMS)” Houghton adds, talking about the transition to DevOps.

“Initially the transition has been about moving to the cloud and changing work in practices to build a flexible platform that can support the programme moving forwards. We are moving in the correct direction, getting Ops engaged early, and embedding Ops into development teams.”

 DevOps difficulties

“The most difficult thing about shifting to DevOps is the cultural shift. Making sure that all of the relevant people are engaged as early as possible in the development process,” Houghton says.

“Most people have been used to working in functionally siloed areas. One of the biggest cultural shifts has been to encourage people to work in multidisciplinary teams, whilst maintaining relationships with their functional peers, to ensure standards and consistency across the programme.”

Houghton will be presenting “Lessons From The UK’s Largest Health Website” at the National DevOps Conference, along with Head of Technology Delivery for NHS.UK, Andy Callow, about the journey the team has taken, moving from a monolithic, traditional application in a waterfall environment towards agile DevOps culture.

He believes that conferences are important, in order to listen to other people’s experiences, and learn from them.

“I don’t want to stand up and insist that our way is the way to do DevOps, as there is no one way. We’re going to inform people about how we have prepared for, and are approaching, DevOps. Hopefully fellow delegates will be able to take something useful away with them,” Houghton adds.

Register here today to attend Houghton’s presentation along with other senior speakers.

Written by Leah Alger