Starbucks Announces #DevOpsTogether

Program Aims to Stimulate Conversation, Empathy and Compassion between Developers and Operations

SEATTLE (April 1, 2015) — Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced a new initiative, #DevOpsTogether, to broaden the dialogue between software developers and IT operations staff.

The technology industry is populated by a diversity of roles, which (along with caffeine) fuels our triumphs as well as our failures. Yet the gulf between developers and operations is not a topic we readily discuss. It’s time to start and ask what more we can do together.


To stimulate conversation and compassion around this challenging issue, Starbucks baristas today will write “DevOpsTogether” on qualifying Starbucks cups (Includes Venti, Super Venti and Super Big Gulp-sized drinks. Obviously, decaffeinated beverages and the floofy drinks do not meet the standards of either Dev or Ops). Customers will also be invited to join the discussion in daily stand-ups at their local Starbucks or on the Slack channel #devopstogether. In select stores, a hug spot will be available for customers to hug each other in full DevOps style.

It Began With One Voice

As deployment tragedies have unfolded in IT departments around the world, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks didn’t remain a silent bystander. Howard Schultz voiced his concerns with IT employees in the company’s Seattle headquarters and started a discussion about DevOps.

Despite raw emotion, “we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues,” Schultz said. “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”

Employees were not silent. For more than an hour, at an all-hands IT meeting at Starbucks headquarters, employees representing various roles, titles and departments passed a microphone and shared personal stories.

“The developer and operations divide in IT is almost like humidity at times. You can’t see it, but you feel it,” said one employee.

“In some ways the chasm between developers and operations is easier to bridge than race in America, yet in other ways is even more intractable,” said Schultz. “But this is a better topic for Starbucks than the minimum wage for baristas or the lack of a professional basketball team in Seattle, so we hope this one sticks.”

DevOps Together is not a solution, Schultz acknowledged, “but it is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive IT industry — one conversation at a time.”

Broad Industry Support

Notable industry participants have lent their support to this initiative:

Father of DevOps:

“I have tears in my eyes. A major corporation adopting this idea I had when drunk is a highlight of my career. I would like to remind people that I am available for speaking engagements and consulting.”

Other Father of DevOps:

“While we are still unsure about the real father of this baby, I am thrilled that we can practice DevOps together with strangers at random places.”


“We support this initiative and announce a special edition Amazon Dash for DevOps Together that features two buttons to summon Dev, Ops or DevOps. Amazon will horde the resulting data about DevOps usage and not share it with anyone.”


“This is really about the ITIL vision promulgated by BMC who received it as a gift from the British in 1776. We are offering all Starbucks baristas a 30-day trial license to BMC Remedy in support of the initiative.”


“We are very excited about this initiative. We think this is exactly what industry needs even though we do not understand much of it. We are pleased to appoint a new VP of DevOps Together to do important things in this space.”


“While we lead the industry in Interstellar DevOps, we think DevOps Together is a good start. Cisco has never been better positioned when it comes to InterstellarHybrid DevOps. Also, pay no attention to our networking business; look, it is the Internet of all thingies.”


“You may not have noticed, but coffee cups are containers too.”

Enterprise DevOps Council:

“We may change the name of our ninja certification to barista. Our regents are also switching from decaf to regular coffee.”


“Instead of a hashtag on the coffee cup, how about an ad? Or maybe a robot could hand you the cup and then give you a hug? We’re pretty sure the bug that resulted in that horrible accident while in beta has been fixed.”


“HP remains on track to split itself into two companies by the end of this year (aka Hugs and PCs). Our deep understanding of the potential of DevOps has led us to rename our two new companies Dev and Ops, realizing a level of synergy only HP can achieve.”


“As with any IBM initiative, we will invest $1 billion in DevOps. Hopefully it will make our mainframes more relevant.”

The ITIL Foundation:

“As the leading provider of confusion to the industry since the invention of ITIL in Portugal in 1432, we are the stewards of this initiative. We are delighted to announce the availability of ITIL books in Starbucks stores, on the anachronism shelf alongside the CDs.”


“Here is a blog post of how you can do this on Azure.”

OpenStack Foundation:

“This can’t be any worse than our current trajectory.”


“This is bullshit, just like cloud. But we’re happy to charge you through the nose if you want some DevOps. Just call your Oracle salesman.”


“We’ll make every barista a CTO.”


“As the only open source company that makes money, we are going to have to charge you for DevOps in the form of our new Red Hat Enterprise DevOps.”




“It is not a coincidence that DevOps has a V in it.”

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 21,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or hug your respective Dev or Ops person.

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