Establishing developer productivity foundations during a migration

DevOpsDays Los Angeles 2022

Nov 13, 2022 · 2 min read

This year at DevOpsDays Los Angeles, I presented on Establishing developer productivity foundations during a migration.

Navigating a significant technical change is never easy. In this talk I primarily focused on navigating change and creating the environment (including safety nets!) for engineers to succeed during periods of transition. As a wise mentor once told me, “Change management is a skillset that never goes out of style.”

At the time I wrote this talk, I was managing three teams in the Engineering Efficiency space. The examples in this presentation are drawn from my work with the Backplane Team and its excellent engineers.

Sadly, due to equipment failures, a recording of this talk was not captured. If you’re curious to learn more about it, a related blog post will be coming to the CircleCI blog 🔜!

Establishing developer productivity foundations during a migration

Your company is planning to migrate from one programming language to another: now what? Do your engineers know the language? Are they familiar with its best practices? What will your first set of microservices look like when two different teams start rewriting their services independently whilst learning the new language of choice?

Migrations are not frequent but they are common. As companies grow and technology evolves and advances they are inevitable. And they are fraught.

In this talk, Hannah Henderson, senior engineering manager at CircleCI, will walk attendees through the dos and don’ts to consider while setting standards amidst a major change or migration, along with best practices and recommendations to do so while keeping your team on track. These learnings are based on an ongoing language migration project as CircleCI transitions from Clojure to Go.

Key takeaways include: - Leverage existing system experience to identify what works and what could be improved. - Gather experts and collaborate, build a “Brain Trust”. - Communicate, communicate, until you are blue in the face and then more. Clearly define areas of impact and help folks understand where those boundaries exist.

Cover photo by DevOpsDays.

This post was originally published on DevOpsDays Los Angeles 2022.