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Keynote: Noelle Silver - Keeping the promise of the cloud

Nov 5, 2021 8:00:00 AM By All Day DevOps

Noelle Silver is a multi-award-winning technologist and entrepreneur specializing in conversational AI and Voice Technology, Operationalizing Data Science, and Cloud-Native App Development in the hybrid cloud. She has led teams at NPR, Microsoft, and Amazon. Silver is the founder of AI Leadership Institute, where she mentors and coaches girls and young women to pursue a career in AI and emerging technology. She is an OpenShift Cloud Services Specialist (AI/ML) at Red Hat, and she is passionate about Mindful Leadership, authentic personal branding, and the ethical and responsible use of technology.

She delivered one of the keynotes at this year's All Day DevOps (ADDO), the world's largest DevOps conference. The 24-hour event was live-streamed on October 28, 2021, reaching nearly 20,000 DevOps professionals from around the world. They gathered for free, hands-on discussions and education from 180+ speakers, along with peer-to-peer insights and networking with professionals worldwide.

Her talk, called Five Ways to Build Cloud-Native Apps in Record Time, discusses and demonstrates the ease of designing, developing, and deploying cloud-native applications by using services on AWS, Azure, GCP, and other cloud providers. She also provides real-world, tried and tested ways to speed up development within your organization by, among other things, embracing unified cloud platforms.

Breaking the silos

Silver delves into her talk by stating an unfortunate truth: even in organizations that explicitly try to avoid them, teams are siloed off from one another in most organizations. And all of those (siloed) groups don't necessarily speak the same language. So how can we speed up the development process once we've successfully broken down the silos? 

She provides three high-level solutions that can mitigate that issue.

Hire more people

With a larger workforce, it seems logical that you can get more done. But an organization can't indefinitely keep hiring more people. So it's also about having your existing team members focus on what they're best at and coming to terms with the idea that some tasks are best suited to be outsourced. And so, we can't avoid leveraging the other proposed solutions.

Adaptable processes

Organizations should leverage the best-known practices in the software development world (agile or otherwise) and use those to speed up their efficiency. The agility and adaptability of the processes are critical here.

Get more technology

Investing in newer and better technology enables organizations to integrate more automation within their pipelines. That, in turn, provides your teams with more time to do what they're best at doing, optimizing your pipeline and speeding up the entire process.

Silver tells us that the best companies in the world leverage all three of the above solutions. They get the best people and focus them on what they're best at, what they love. They then adopt processes that speed up the minutiae we need to get through every day. And finally, they purchase tech that can elevate and accelerate those processes and people.

The cloud's broken promise?

Silver moves on to claim that while the cloud has the potential to provide a massive number of benefits to organizations, 2/3 of companies that moved to the cloud haven't met the cloud's promise. Clearly, realizing those benefits is more complicated than we thought. One reason is that organizations are taking a piecemeal approach and moving bits and pieces of their infrastructure to the cloud. So it will take longer to get the full benefits. But Silver believes she knows how to speed that transition up so organizations can reap the full benefits of the cloud.

She identifies the three main barriers to achieving cloud benefits and discusses them in some detail:

  • Security/Compliance risk
  • Cost-containment
  • Skill-set

Managing cloud solutions (developing, designing, deploying) is hard. And at the onset of cloud computing, we didn't realize just how complex it would become. Now, it's become so arduous that organizations don't have time to do what they need to be doing while innovating and providing more value for their customers.

Silver believes that unified platforms are the best way to overcome these obstacles. Not having a consistent platform creates inefficiencies because everyone involved (cloud admins, infosec, procurement, architects) needs to figure out how to fit the different pieces together. That, in turn, creates bottlenecks and confusion, which inevitably slow down delivery. And the inefficiencies tend to grow over time to the point where they can become unmanageable.

"We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period of time, and we simultaneously tend to underestimate what we can do over a longer period of time. Time is a limited resource, and so we need to make sure that we have dedicated teams doing what they do best."

In other words, let developers develop and have a dedicated DevSecOps team take care of security rather than having both teams wearing two hats. And a consistent cloud-based platform that shares your organization's responsibilities enables just that. 

In conclusion to her talk, Silver then delves into a riveting demo of the RedHat OpenShift managed services platform.

Watch All Day DevOps (ADDO)

All Day DevOps (ADDO) is a global community of over 75,000 DevOps practitioners and thought leaders offering free learning and information exchanges. The 2021 event featured the best and brightest of the global industry, featuring six tracks, including CI/CD Continuous Everything, Cultural Transformation, DevSecOps, Government, Modern Infrastructure, and Site Reliability Engineering.

Missed ADDO live? Sign up to watch Noelle Silver discuss the best ways to speed up your development process and reap benefits across the organization. View the ADDO speaker lineup to see what other engaging speakers joined us across a variety of industries.