DevOps at the US Patent and Trademark Office

Discussions of DevOps in government are always popular because it is a tough subject. Few have successfully cracked the code, and, even if they have, it is a slow, uphill climb with unique challenges.

Consider the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (US PTO) Fee Processing Next Generation (FPNG). It is effectively an e-commerce site run by the U.S. Government.

The US PTO is the agency in the United States that registers trademarks and awards patents. It is self-funded, meaning all of it services are paid by fees charged to its users. Anyone that wants to file for a patent, register a trademark, or conduct services related to that, comes to the FPNG. It processes $3.5B in payments annually, is used worldwide, and is subject to all of the compliance issues you would expect in a government system.

How does DevOps drive it? Simmons Lough is a tech lead at the FPNG and helps lead the DevOps transformation. He shared their experience during the All Day DevOps conference.

Simmons offered up his abbreviated definition of DevOps: “Frequent, quick software installs to production without shortcuts.”

He notes that, in government, installs to production occur about once per quarter. While recognizing that culture and collaboration are important, Simmons advocates that government needs to focus on Continuous Delivery. Too often the transition to DevOps is stuck with executives meeting to talk about DevOps and the need for cultural transformation.

Simmons presented a chart to illustrate what the U.S. government has been trying to do for the past decade (the left side) and where they need to get to now (right side). One difficulty is trying to do too much in each sprint. Smaller batches reduce risk, but it can be very difficult to get your goal for (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Sonatype Blog authored by Katie McCaskey. Read the original post at: https://blog.sonatype.com/devops-at-the-us-patent-and-trademark-office