What is it?
One definition could be:
Delivery engineering team enables others to deliver business value faster.
Others, in this context, relates to product/project software delivery teams.
It seems to be a fairly new term, judging by the lack of definition in google or a recent tweet from #devopsdays in Melbourne:
Another, maybe more common name seems to be “tooling team”.
It’s definitely not a “devops team”.
In the delivery engineering team, that I am a part of, some of the metrics we are trying to improve are:
- CI Build time
- Deploy time
- New server creation time
- New production like environment creation time
- New developer laptop setup time
I guess there are many ways to go about moving above, but in the teams I’ve worked with, the day to day often was:
- Moving software from a legacy platform to a new one. (Think AWS/docker migration)
- Creating tools and practices to support the above.
- Technology evangelism, training & support for product teams.
The product teams should have full freedom and responsibility to run their apps in production.
So it’s not the responsibility of a delivery engineering team to:
- Upgrade frameworks and libraries used by a product team. The product team itself should do it.
- Carry a pager, be on-call as support for production systems (unless those are the systems that delivery engineering team is a custodian of, for example CI server)
- Be a gate keeper on a path to production. The product teams themselves can decide what and when to release.
Techniques & Practices
Some of the techniques and practices important for a delivery engineering team:
Do you need a delivery engineering team?
You most likely need delivery engineering, and if you are big enough, you may decide to form a team around it. The size I have experience with and seems to work OK, is one small delivery engineering team for roughly three product teams. To use spotify terminology, delivery engineering team is part of a tribe and supports squads.
To sum up
This is based on my experience, what do you think? :–)
Are you a member of delivery engineering team? What do you think is important to share?
Are you a “customer” of delivery engineering team, for example a member of product team? What are your toughts on having a delivery engineering team?