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Kevin O’Dell


Kevin O’Dell

State Farm

Session: Damming the 97 year old Waterfall: Transforming the Enterprise to DevOps at State Farm ®

As the #1 insurer of cars and homes in the United States, State Farm® has embarked on a journey to fundamentally change the way teams deliver software. State Farm is reshaping the way teams work and interact from the adoption of DevOps practices and behaviors, to the realignment into empowered product teams. With over 7000 IT professionals, a transformation of this magnitude requires extraordinary effort to lay the foundation for change through the availability of proper tooling, the disbanding of unwarranted processes, and the commitment to education through a DOJO experience. 

This session provides attendees an in-depth look at the State Farm journey to revamp their approach to software delivery using Value Stream Mapping, DOJOs, and a lot of enthusiasm to encourage and accelerate adoption of DevOps by product teams. We will share how we used an organic, bottom-up approach to start changing the delivery culture at a traditional, top-down enterprise by breaking a few rules, but maintaining a focus on the customer.

About Kevin O'Dell

Kevin has served in many IT roles at State Farm and is currently a Technology Director within the Home and Auto Insurance area.  As a former developer who has spent many nights and weekends fixing production issues [which he often caused], Kevin has a great appreciation for all aspects of building and running critical business applications.  In his current role, he leads a suite of product teams responsible for developing and operating data centric applications and is also tasked with the enablement and adoption of DevOps practices across many product areas.  Kevin is all about creating a culture of awesomeness by challenging teams to innovate and try things, pushing new-aged mindsets, and refusing to use his Director office so he can sit with product teams.


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