Leading a Digital Transformation at the Speed of Government

A presentation at DevOpsDays Hartford 2019 in in Hartford, CT, USA by Henry Quinn

There were a lot of things asked of me as a one-person 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.

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