In the traditional application development world, Development teams were in charge of gathering business requirements for a software program and writing code. Then a separate Quality Assurance team tested the program in a separate environment. If requirements were met, they released the code for Operations to deploy. Each time a software program is 'thrown over the wall' to an independent team, it adds the potential for a bottleneck in the entire process.

DevOps addresses these challenges by bringing people together with shared responsibility for maintaining the system that runs the software and preparing the software to run on that system with increased quality, feedback and automation. This means that you need to bring together a cross-functional, full-stack team that is able to build, test, and run their product.

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The Three Ways

The DevOps movement at Target is the intersection of the three values so we witness seamless delivery of product.


Collaboration means connecting with the right people and systems to deliver effective solutions that meet the customer's need. Target has invested in tools such as Hipchat to enable seamless and real-time collaboration.

Example: DevOps advocates developers, testers and operations come together in a seamless manner to deliver value to the customer.


Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In our context, it involves understanding that each one of us are part of a larger ecosystem of people and technologies and our actions have an impact (positive or negative) on others.

Example: Sanjeev has been working on a piece of code for three weeks in isolation, not checking it into the source code management system. He is leaving for a three week trip and merges the code into production minutes before leaving. The result includes a weekend outage disrupting the lives of three others who must try to correct the outage, including a father missing his son’s big cricket game.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning recognizes that the best way to learn something is by doing it. This involves overcoming the fear of getting something perfect, the first time, and learning through the process of iteration.

Example: A way for developers to learn about the behavior of a product or service is to spin up an independent, local instance where they can try things out.

DevOps Offerings

Crowdsourcing Technology Governance
In the past, architecture choices, ensuring quality, and security and compliance technologies were the ways to enforce governance through tollgates, centralized approvals, and silos. Three years ago Target started recommend_tech, a git repo, which uses crowdsourcing to make technology choices at Target.

This is one example of how Target is moving away from traditional governance to more of a guidance model by crowdsourcing our technology choices, which allows our IT organization to respond to change more quickly. This is essential in empowering your engineering team, and to stay up to speed with the rate of change in technology today.
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What is Technical Coaching? The Art, Science, and Culture Of Engineering Enablement

Software engineering may be difficult, but fostering a working environment that enables skilled engineers to perform their best can sometimes seem downright impossible. Every day, many engineering teams are battling a messy whirlwind of forces like unmovable deadlines, impostor syndrome, psychological safety issues, personnel/leadership conflicts, fierce technological preferences, and more. With teams more distributed all over the world than ever before, cultural differences can exacerbate many of these difficulties.

As a software engineering coach, my job is to not only introduce new technology to software teams, but to strengthen their working relationships within their organization. Coaches aren’t simply technical instructors. Rather, they are change agents that guide a team towards better outcomes for their project as well as their interactions with one another.

In this presentation, I will discuss tips, tricks, and techniques that technical leaders and managers alike can utilize to better coach engineering teams, including concepts like the definition of empathy (and, more importantly, what doesn't count), the trust-influence relationship model, introducing new technologies in a meaningful and consumable way, and a 5-step process to provide teams confidence to own their new solutions moving forward

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Test Driven Development Workshop

Test Driven Development (TDD) is a skill many teams want to build to improve code quality, reduce defects and risk, and have more comprehensive tests. While understanding TDD as a concept is easy, putting it into practice can be difficult.

Teams will have the opportunity to mob on their product backlog with support from experienced coaches. Team members will complete several TDD cycles to provide the foundational skills necessary to adopt the practice as a team.

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Bring your coach(es) into Target to be immersed with our coaching staff in the daily operations and coaching of teams in Target’s Dojo. The engagement includes dedicated time with our coaches, observing our coaches in the Dojo, talking to leaders throughout the company. A variety of topics can be tailored to the specific struggles your company may have.

We recommend shadowing with our team prior to setting up an immersive learning experience or starting coaching in your organization, so that your coaching team can be better prepared to lead at your organization right from the start.

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Dojo to Go

Trying to sell your leadership on setting up a full immersive learning experience can be a hard sell. Rather than trying to convince them, show them how much it can help. Let us bring our Dojo to you and have an experience like none other. Target coaches will come to you and provide you with the Dojo experience right at your location for one of your teams.

Dojo to Go will not only show your leadership how great an immersive learning experience can be, but it will also give your coaches an opportunity to observe how to facilitate an experience while giving one team an experience of a lifetime.

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On-Site Coaching

Visiting Target's location and shadowing coaches is a great way to learn, but sometimes you need a little extra help back in your space to implement what you learn, or you need a new and different perspective for some of your current activities. Whether it is attempting to skill up your coaches, coaching teams, working with leadership, or a variety of other activities, our coaches can assist you with your coaching needs.

Having one or more of Target's experienced coaches available on-site can be rewarding experience for all those involved. Every coaching experience is different and can be customized to your specific requests.

In alignment with our overall philosophy, we typically limit these engagements to about 2 consecutive weeks or less. The reason for this is that we believe in building self-sustaining organizations versus relying on our coaches. During the on-site coaching, we will skill up your coaches, leaders, etc. to handle future coaching needs within your own organization.

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Coaching Q&A

So, you already have coaching set up or are thinking of starting a team of coaches, but you have questions about where to start, what works or doesn't work at a large organization, and a million other questions. How do you get pointed in the right direction? Instead of jumping into a big engagement, what if you could talk to people who have gone through what you are going through now, and get some answers to those questions?

Coaching Q&A is meant to help you through those questions. When you have questions, simply let us know and we will connect you with coaches, leaders, experts within Target to answer your questions. Whether it is Product, Agile, Software Engineering, Architecture, Role Definition, organizational hierarchy & structure, or a slew of other topics, get connected with people who can share their experiences from their journeys and help get you pointed in the right direction.

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