Interview: Vodafone, DevOps Excellence Awards finalist

'We have lots of interesting work lined up as well as a big focus on DevOps engineering and Cloud Migration'

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DevOps Excellence Awards 2023
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DevOps Excellence Awards 2023

DevOps is widely acknowledged as bringing agility, innovation, and resilience to businesses, providing numerous benefits within the industry.

Computing's DevOps Excellence Awards showcase outstanding achievements from organisations, personalities and solutions that have successfully applied DevOps methodologies.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony in London tonight.

Among the finalists are Vodafone and Tata Consultancy Services, who have jointly reached the shortlist for two categories:  Best AIOps/MLOps Tool and Best Implementation of DevSecOps.

We caught up with James Titcombe, Automation Domain Manager at Vodafone, to find out what makes his company different from other technology firms.

James Titcombe, Automation Domain Manager, Vodafone
James Titcombe, Automation Domain Manager, Vodafone

James is a technology leader with 22 years' experience in the banking & finance sector.  After leaving school and starting out as a software engineer in 1995, he has since held a series of technical leadership roles. This is coupled with a demonstrated track record of leading deliveries of multi-million pound change portfolios to investment and pension platforms, along with proven leadership of geographically dispersed teams, consisting of technical and non-technical colleagues.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

James Titcombe: Vodafone is one of the leading telecommunication providers in the UK. Within technology we are on a journey to evolve towards being a TechCo and, within IT, a much greater focus on software engineering, as well as agile adoption and a DevOps culture.

What makes you different from other technology companies?

JT: I suppose that we haven't traditionally been considered one, but that we are now evolving to become one. Looking at our business now and our strategy it makes complete sense for us to go on this journey and as an employee it's a really exciting space to be in.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

JT: Vodafone has had some great achievements in the last year, but it means much more if you feel that you have directly contributed. My team built a core part of the solution for the Pulse Connect product launch earlier this year which was the culmination of almost two years of work. It was fantastic to be part of something that is going to contribute to the success of the company. That and the fact my team have gone through a lot of change at the same time, but still delivered which is a great credit to my team.

What are you working on this year?

JT: We have lots of interesting work lined up as well as a big focus on DevOps engineering and Cloud Migration. We have a real opportunity to think about what we want our target architecture to look like before we embark on migrating.

Why are events like the DevOps Excellence Awards important to the IT industry?

JT: They provide validation and recognition for a lot of hard work that goes on within our industry. In my team's case, we have been through a big change which has really stretched us, and these type of events and awards are a way of validating what we've been doing and giving the team a sense of achievement. They are also an opportunity to learn and see what other teams in other contexts are doing. Seeing what other teams are getting recognised for is both interesting and a motivation to keep pushing for excellence yourself.

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