Interview with Eveline Oerhlich, Industry Analyst and Chief Research Officer at DevOps Institute

Eveline Oerlich is an industry analyst, author, speaker and business advisor focused on digital transformation. She is on our 2021 «Women in DevOps» list and was keynote speaker at the 2020 conference, where she shared her thoughts on how to skill-proof ourselves for the future.

Eveline, can you tell us a bit about your professional journey into DevOps and the path to becoming Chief Research Officer at DevOps Institute and Industry Analyst at Research In Action?

Until the summer of 2018, I was researching new operating models at Forrester Research. During an event in London, I met the CEO of the DevOps Institute and she inspired me to help them to dig into the skills and capabilities which are necessary to succeed within DevOps. That year we kicked off our first Upskilling / The Enterprise DevOps Skills research and report and we are now working on our 4th. The power of technology has changed how tech teams work, develop and deliver software and services for customers, patients, clients and employees and so must the operating models. It is exciting to see that human and cognitive skills now top the list of must-have skills for leaders and organizations wanting to adopt DevOps and other models such as SRE and Agile. I love this space and want to ask others to join us on this journey. No matter what adjacent skills and capabilities you have, the DevOps journey is big and needs many different individuals and leaders. 

Can you share some insights from your career journey that you learned the hard way?

When others do not stop talking, keep listening for gold. There is a nugget in there somewhere, and at some point you can pick up that nugget and connect. There have been many moments in my career journey where I had to listen as either my counterpart was very smart or did not think I had something to add. To their surprise, I kept listening for something they said where I could ask a question or clarification. And guess what…we entered into a conversation!

Do you have any tips for women aspiring to be DevOps professionals? 

Stop thinking about yourself as a woman, but rather as a professional within technology. That does NOT mean you stop being yourself. Bring yourself but with what is essential for the work you do. 

What do you love about DevOps?

It is about continuous improvement across so many domains and there are opportunities for so many different kinds of professionals: leaders, engineers, followers, introverts, extroverts, data scientists, marketing, product owners, strategic thinkers, tactical players…all humans. 

Who or what inspires you?

Gene Kim is my hero, I know just like everybody else. But I also love the work of Dr. Carol Dweck who wrote about mindset. Her book “Mindset” is an absolute masterpiece and sits on my nightstand.