Continuous Delivery for Modern Apps: Front and Center at SpringOne Platform

Pat Johnson
6 min readAug 26, 2019


SpringOne Platform 2019 is the place to be if you’re developing and delivering modern software. I want to share my cut of the many sessions that will help development and platform teams to deliver software better, faster, and safer. (Still haven’t registered? Do it here.)

SpringOne Platform: Get hands-on with modern software. October 7–10, Austin, TX

You’ll hear from technical experts who will share their know-how and experiences, including modern practices of companies like Cardinal Health, Cerner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, General Motors, Fidelity Investments, Fiserv, JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, and T-Mobile. These aren’t startups from the Valley either — they are leading household names that have modernized at enterprise scale.

These sessions cover the methods, automation, culture, and innovative thinking it takes to continuously deliver more value to end customers.

Modern Methods for Cloud Native Continuous Delivery

Delivering modern software means infusing resilience into the whole system through the way you build, test, deploy, and run your software. Here are some sessions that will showcase the latest methods and techniques in cloud-native continuous delivery.

In the session Pack to the Future: Cloud-Native Buildpacks on k8s, “you’ll learn how to use the pack CLI to go from source to image in seconds and patch a pod even faster.” See for yourself how this is a big productivity boost for developers with more secure images for K8s environments. In fact, Cloud-Native Buildpacks is the foundation for the newly released Pivotal Build Service, which adds a layer of automation and control that enterprises need to operate at scale.

Next up: all the details on feature flags using FF4J framework for Spring/SpringBoot apps from Cardinal Health. Feature flags, the ability to gradually release and test new features in a small blast radius, have been around for a while, but they are growing more important. This session digs into how to implement feature toggling using FF4J, a great Java-based, open-source framework that works well with microservices and Spring Boot.

You can follow your feature testing with safe deployments using Spinnaker’s automated canary analysis. You’ll learn how Spinnaker, a stateful, multi-cloud continuous delivery platform, can analyze metrics from baseline and canary deployments to determine the best deployment strategy. If you haven’t heard much about Spinnaker, you’ll have many opportunities to see it in action at SpringOne this year.

For example, you can check out this session: Highly Available and Resilient Multi-Site Deployments Using Spinnaker. Here you’ll learn how Site Reliability Engineering principles can be applied to designing a multi-region, resilient environment. And how you can use tools like Spinnaker to maintain uptime even if a region-wide outage occurs.

With modern, distributed systems comes complexity that can lead to chaos. That’s why chaos engineering, the practice of systematically verifying that a system can tolerate failure, should be on the test plan for your microservices apps. Come see how T-Mobile is putting chaos engineering to work in the real world — from injecting failures to game days. Chaos engineering is not just for unicorns.

Automation for All the Things, All the Time

You can’t deliver modern applications without automation. As attested by the latest Accelerate State of DevOps Report, “…automation is truly a sound investment.” You’ll see that relentless pursuit of automation is a regular session theme at SpringOne Platform.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will share their “Automation Station,” which enables their development teams to onboard with Pivotal Container Service (PKS) clusters automatically. In this session, they will demonstrate how to define PKS cluster details as a single YAML file and provision PKS clusters using a Concourse pipeline. (You’ll hear a lot more about Concourse at SpringOne too!) They also cover how to automate LDAP access and secrets management.

Where else can automation help? Fiserv (formerly First Data) believes that automation starts in development. They had addressed the need for speed with microservice architectures, but realized that “…the overall complexity of your application landscape increases unless a high grade of automation is put in place to manage the complexity.”

Fiserv will share how they automate with Spring Initializr—to save time during microservice creation, as well as for creating other artifacts like Concourse and Spinnaker pipelines, PCF manifest files, and more.

JPMorgan Chase knows the reality of managing microservice deployments at scale. They had accelerated their delivery to more than 6000 deployments a day, but they needed to scale deployments even more and manage all those deployed services more effectively. You’ll learn how they partnered with Pivotal to transition their deployment tooling to Spinnaker and how they are empowering developers with this powerful tool.

And here’s another take on accelerating the developer journey to the cloud from Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is delivering faster value to their customers through adopting a cloud stack and Concourse automation pipelines. They will share how they are supporting over 10,000 engineers globally with governance and operations capabilities built into their application delivery lifecycle.

Bottom line: Your automation strategy needs to be top of mind for modern application delivery. You have to find the CI/CD that fits your business, like what’s covered in the session Square Pegs, Square Holes. Modern tools such as Cloud-native Buildpacks, Concourse, Spinnaker, and Pivotal Platform can pave the way to end-to-end automation for application delivery. In this session, you’ll see this automation toolchain at work and discover techniques that can increase the quality of your deployments.

Is Your Culture Woke for Continuous Delivery?

I know you have heard this before, but I will say it again: culture is the #1 thing you need to get right if you are going to truly transform how you develop and deliver software. What does this really mean, though? What should you be thinking about? SpringOne sessions have got you covered.

Let’s start with creating a shared understanding between applications teams and platform teams. In the session 4 Questions to Ask Your Dev Team, you’ll learn how to build the collaboration practices that will help site reliability engineering and continuous delivery thrive in your organization.

How about putting practices in place that reduce fear and build trust so that you can deploy on Friday! In a continuous delivery world, you should be ready to deliver at any time, even on a Friday. But what do you need in place to support that? This session will cover the techniques that can give DevOps teams the confidence to release on demand.

Isolated teams are an anti-pattern to continuous delivery. You have to bring development, security, and operations together in your app lifecycle. In this session Building a DevSecOps Pipeline Around Your Spring Boot Application, you’ll learn how to implement a predictable, secure workflow from development to production. You’ll get insights into the culture and process changes needed to make this happen.

Finally, are you building the inclusive, diverse teams that can help you deliver better products and services? In the session A Crisis of Diversity and Inclusion in DevOps, you’ll learn about toxic workplaces that don’t support diversity and how to build an inclusive workforce that will collectively enable your business to excel.

Innovative Thinking Driving Continuous Improvement

I’ve coined this section as ‘innovative thinking’ to represent sessions that show companies thinking on their feet and employing some cool techniques in software delivery.

First up is a General Motors case study of how they had to move quickly to meet new data privacy laws in China or stop selling cars there. They had to update their infotainment systems that made web service calls to the cloud to use servers in China instead. They relied on Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, Concourse, and Pivotal Platform to move fast, build a new foundation in China, and deploy with confidence.

Next, you should check out this end-to-end supply chain transformation from PepsiCo enabling them to deliver greater consumer intimacy. In this session you’ll learn how they partnered with Pivotal as part of their process to automate and merge their business models with new thinking and technologies. They’ll show their early results, such as 98% faster deployments, 6X faster time-to-market, and CI/CD automation saving 6 weeks per app.

Finally, keeping a cloud platform updated consistently and frequently enough can be a big effort for platform engineering teams — and one that can prove risky if security patches don’t get applied in time. Cerner has cracked the code by treating their platform as a product. In this session, you’ll learn how Cerner can continuously deliver updates to production within 7–21 days, tracking version updates and config changes all through GitOps workflows.

Start Planning Your SpringOne Platform Agenda Now

I want to caveat that I couldn’t cover all the relevant sessions here. But I encourage you to review the SpringOne Platform session catalog to see the full breadth of goodness — the DevOps and CI/CD categories are good starting places.

I can’t wait to see these sessions in person. Plus, you’ll get to talk to Pivotal and other experts about continuous delivery and DevOps practices, Concourse CI, Spinnaker CD, Build Service and so much more.

Here’s how you register! Hope to see you in Austin, Oct 7!



Pat Johnson

DevOps, continuous delivery advocate, plus writer, traveler, singer, foodie. All my opinions are my own.