We talk DevOps scaling, security and success with Virgin Atlantic’s DevOps lead
As DevOps Technical Lead at Virgin Atlantic, Martyn Coupland has two primary responsibilities. First, he is one of the subject matter experts for the airline’s Microsoft Azure platform and the subject matter expert for the Azure toolset which enables its DevOps program.
In addition to the technical legwork, Martyn also provides expertise “around the softer side of DevOps” – in other words, the people and process side of things: “As technology changes, people change and processes change. DevOps will always be here to ensure all three sit together and provide real value,” he explains. “This allows not just technology teams at Virgin Atlantic but other parts of the business to adopt DevOps methodologies.”
How has DevOps evolved over the last few years? Martyn says the biggest shift is that people are viewing it as a means of optimising for speed rather than as a way to “optimise on costs” — messaging that senior leaders once interpreted as a license to cull. Now, organisations recognise that DevOps is best deployed when optimised for speed as “speed and value are the main drivers to getting products to customers before competitors.”
Martyn is well placed to steer other areas of the airline towards success in DevOps — a technical stroke cultural philosophy that can be a little obscure to the uninitiated — as there was a time when he too struggled to embrace the new way of working it demands.
“Like many, to start with I struggled to work differently. But my first journey into DevOps was a really small team of three of us – that actually helped the transition, we worked well together and started to implement some of the processes, technology and cultural changes we know as DevOps.”