Speaker

Henry Quinn

Henry Quinn

DevOps Engineer @ Clarity Software Solutions

New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Henry Quinn is a DevOps Engineer with Clarity Software Solutions and a Board Member of New Haven IO. His most recent passion has been about process automation in the name of better developer experience. When he's not turning coffee into tools, he's usually rock climbing, cooking, or playing fantasy football.

https://henryneeds.coffee || https://newhaven.io

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology

Topics

  • DevOps
  • Community Building
  • Process Automation

Leading a Digital Transformation at the Speed of Government

There were a lot of things asked of me as a one man dev shop within the District of Connecticut, but the most outrageous one was to scale out a legacy ColdFusion application into something that could be used by courts across the country.

Along the way I managed myself how to use Docker, OpenShift, and eventually ColdFusion. (/rimshot)

Most importantly, though, I learned how big an impact culture has on the success of big objectives. I had the time of my life flying all over the country to speak at internal gov-tech conferences and attend meetings with important folks in D.C. But when it came time to sit down and do the work, I was miserable.

A fun project only provides so much motivation when there’s little to no team cohesion, an ingrained culture of indifference, and no sort of mentorship model in place. Regardless, I suffered through it and got the project to a point where I could hand it off before moving on in my career.

However, it taught me important lessons about how to position a team towards tackling outlandishly large goals. The technical know-how is important, but is by no means the most important part of molding a nimble and effective team. Let me share with you what I learned and how it’s helping my team at Clarity thrive.

The Tech Debt of Monopoly House Rules

If you follow the rules that come with Monopoly, you can play a game in under two hours. But because people think playing it takes forever, they institute house rules.

Those house rules may sound like they speed the game up, but they actually are what turn a fun game with friends into an agonizing experience that often ends in hatred.

Game designers hone their craft over decades of game design, play testing, and refining. They often get to release their games once, so they take the time to get them right before shipping their final drafts to manufacturing.

In our sector, we call this “tech debt.” Or rather, a lack of tech debt. Taking the time to do things correctly has graced us with incredible board games like Settlers of Catan, Gloomhaven, and yes - even Monopoly.

We could all take a page out of the book of prominent game designers and thoroughly work through our solutions to make sure we’re shipping feature complete products that buy us back more time for future innovation.

DevOpsDays Austin 2020

May 2020 Austin, Texas, United States

DevOpsDays Seattle 2020

April 2020 Seattle, Washington, United States

Henry Quinn

DevOps Engineer @ Clarity Software Solutions

New Haven, Connecticut, United States