Talking about Operational Features

I attended the Agile Cambridge 2015 conference toward the tail end of last year, and spent some time at a few excellent talks. I also presented on the topic of ‘Demystifying Operational Features’, this talk was really aimed at scrum masters and product owners, but hopefully all of the audience found it useful.

There is a video of the presentation on Vimeo linked below, provided by the conference organisers Software Acumen, thanks guys.

Demystifying operational features for scrum masters and product owners (Matthew Skelton & Rob Thatcher) from Software Acumen on Vimeo.


Vulnerability Blindness

With the very recent revelation of code in Juniper software allowing decryption of ‘secure’ VPN traffic, I am wondering if, and how long it will be before the number of security issues being reported creates acceptance through just sheer blindness, i.e everyone loses their ability to be outraged, offended or concerned. Will we end up with the equivalent of a shoulder-shrug and ‘that’s just how it is’ with regard to our security?

The Juniper incidents are reported by Ars Technica and on the Juniper Forums, but they are far from the only company uncovering software vulnerabilities, just the latest to flow past me.

It feels likely that the more security outrages that are reported, the more people will become acclimatised to the idea that nothing is secure.

I guess it would be the similar to the mere exposure effect,  what I am imagining is a sort of familiarity which leads us to gloss over todays privacy concerns, there is another way to express this, ‘security desensitisation‘.

IP Expo 2015 Visit

I recently took time out to go along to IP Expo 2015 at ExCel London, there were a lot of interesting vendors there, from big to small, seems to be less of the “Web” than one might expect, no Google et al..

I’ve written up some more thoughts and observations from IP Expo over on the Skelton Thatcher Consulting website at

It’s always interesting to go out and meet other people and companies in the wider tech world, and shows like IP Expo provide a great opportunity to network, and check out the thinking and real-world tales from numerous different people.

But by far the most impressive thing I actually got to try out was an Occulus rift headset, with Elite Dangerous, the modern incarnation of the ’80s classic wireframe sprawling space sim. So much so that I’ll be looking for an Occulus as soon as they’re more easily available, i.e. the consumer release.

For a bigger slice of the show check my other blog piece out.

How to Modify ITIL to Accommodate DevOps

This is an interesting article although I’m not quite convinced modifying ITIL is the correct place to start the debate, I think I prefer the concept of adding useful parts of ITIL to other methodologies, to suit the business requirements.

Of particular interest is the consideration of how, or if to implement ITIL in organisations where it is not in place, seems this could be the opportunity to cherry-pick some ITIL framework ideas and mould them into supporting and complementing Agile to organise and improve the reactive capabilities of IT Ops.

However you slice it, smoothing the flow through IT is the endgame.

IT User Support Management Practice

If an IT management idea could ever be said to be “exciting”, then perhaps DevOps is a strong candidate. Its basic idea is to replace the traditional separation of “Development” and “IT” or “Operations” with a single function. This restructure has laudable goals; no more developers having to commission and wait for test and production servers to be built, because the commissioning and building happen in the same place. No more Operations techs in apoplexy because the developers have unilaterally published code with pretty much no thought for capacity, nor demand, storage, backup, nor security issues. With DevOps, we’re all in this together, chaps. But how does that square with ITIL, if at all?

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Running IT Infrastructure

What is IT Infrastructure?

This question can be approached from a number of angles, and whilst it is useful to have a standard definition, I think it is best directly addressed from the ground in any particular organisation. The definition may be shaped by segmentation of responsibility, function, and could be influenced by the degree of teamwork, trust and comfort across technology disciplines.

An important pillar supporting good engineering and infrastructure management strategy is well expressed as “3Ms” i.e. “Monitor, Measure, Manage”.

This approach can be used to enable better issue reporting, which in turn can be fed into capacity planning, staff resourcing and allows us to define quality metrics and build a strategy for infrastructure improvement.

Continue reading “Running IT Infrastructure”