Becoming Agile - takes time (and buy-in)

Brett Gillett

I’ve been teaching AWS courses for more than five years now - teaching is Curious Orbit’s origin story. It was the vehicle I used to start the consulting and managed services part of the business.

I still do a ton of training and love it. I say to anyone who will listen that we’re better consultants because we teach and better teachers because we are consultants.

Although the technology (and courseware) has changed dramatically over the last five years, there’s one constant - no, it’s not baseball - it’s agility. In every course, at least one slide talks about how organizations can improve their ability to adapt to changing market conditions and stay competitive by adopting AWS.

In a traditional hardware-based model, we have to purchase gear, wait for it to show up, rack it, connect it and power it on before building anything. All of this waiting means getting solutions to market can take months or longer. True story, one of our clients has been waiting for physical gear since late 2021!

In the software-based model of AWS, where essentially everything is just an API call, and even better, a single vendor manages those APIs - in this case, AWS - we can move significantly faster than we can in the traditional environment. So here’s another true story. My first AWS experience was deploying a security solution on the AWS platform. We did it in a single weekend, and I thought to myself - this is the future!

Sounds fantastic, right? There’s only one problem, and you won’t see it in the training slides or hear about it from your technology friends (or sales folks) - becoming agile takes time.

Again - agility takes time - that statement feels like the exact opposite of how it should, right? Let me explain; agility isn’t just a piece of software you install or flip a switch. It takes buy-in, ideally from upper management, and it takes an understanding that you have to have the patience to move slowly (writing templates and automation scripts, etc.) in order to move fast.

You need to evaluate your current processes. First, you need to understand what is taking up everyone’s time and then figure out where it makes sense to spend your limited resources - intelligent people doing the right things at the right time is hard work.

Agility is the final goal. You need to deliver your products and services faster than your competitors, and you need to be able to quickly adjust course when technology (or the market) changes.

It’s just not as easy as it sounds in the slides.

Now get out there and build great stuff.

Brett Gillett


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