Company Background

While working together during several IT contracting roles, DevOpsGuys co-founders, James Smith and Steve Thair observed that different organisations regardless of industry still experienced the same problems with traditional approaches to software delivery and support.

With James’ experience in software development and Steve’s background in operations they soon began to appreciate that closer collaboration of these two disciplines increased the speed, efficiency and quality of software delivery as well as improving morale and motivation.

After further research into concepts such as Agile, Lean, Systems Thinking and the Theory of Constraints, they concluded that DevOps offered a new operating model for IT departments to deliver software at speed.

At the time, the DevOps movement was still in its infancy, but Steve and James aided its expansion in the UK by promoting their thoughts via blogging, speaking at events, publishing research and sharing ideas with other prominent figures in the space.

In 2013, James and Steve took their involvement one stage further and founded DevOpsGuys to assist enterprise organisations to implement DevOps at scale.

“I consider James Smith and Steve Thair to be luminaries in the DevOps space because of all their work to help large, complex organizations understand how they can adopt DevOps principles and practices.”

Gene Kim, co-author of “The DevOps Handbook” and “The Phoenix Project”

DevOpsGuys Leadership, James Smith CEO

James Smith – CEO

Prior to co-founding DevOpsGuys, James worked as a software development consultant for over 15 years.

Over this time he led teams that have designed, built and deployed some of the UK’s most popular eCommerce websites for organisations such as Dell, Pizza Hut, KFC and the RAC. Between them, these websites transact millions or orders worth over £150m in revenue every year.

One of James’ main drivers for establishing DevOpsGuys is to help fellow IT professionals to deliver software in a fast, predictable and frequent manner that facilitates rapid feedback and continuous improvement.

James is well known amongst the DevOps community and is widely regarded as a thought leader in the field. He regularly appears at many conferences including Pipeline, DevOps Enterprise Summit and Velocity.

James frequently publishes his opinions on the DevOpsGuys blog and his contributions have been quoted in research by Gartner and Forrester.

As a proud Welshman, James was responsible for headquartering the DevOpsGuys business in Cardiff which has now created over 30 new jobs as well contributing in excess of £2m into the local economy. He was also instrumental in launching a DevOps graduate intern programme in partnership with the local universities. This contribution has been recognised by DevOpsGuys winning two Welsh Start Up awards.

DevOpsGuys Leadership, Steve Thair CTO

Steve Thair – CTO

Steve has twenty five years of IT experience working for top government and corporate organisations in Australia and the UK, including BNP Paribas, Vodafone and Credit Suisse.

Prior to co-founding DevOpsGuys, Steve was the Web Operations Manager for Totaljobs and was responsible for running their online job board platform.

Steve’s passion is creating operationally excellent platforms for web applications that are secure, scalable and manageable. He is an expert across a wide range of technologies, with Microsoft web server infrastructure being a specialism.

In recognition of this expertise, Steve Thair has been made a “Regional Director” by Microsoft. Established in 1993, the program consists of 150 of the world’s top technology visionaries. Regional Directors are expert advocates who promote Microsoft products, services, and solutions by sharing their deep knowledge with groups such as customers, the press and industry analysts.

Steve blogs extensively and presents regularly at numerous meetups, webinars and conferences around the world to evangelise the benefits of DevOps. In 2014 he co-founded the WinOps Conference and Meet-Ups which are dedicated to promoting DevOps in Windows environments.


DevOpsGuys Leadership, Chris Webb Sales Director

Chris Webb – Sales Director

Chris has over twenty years of experience of client acquisition and account development for high-growth IT organisations, holding direct sales and management positions for companies such as Redstone and Adapt.

In 2008, Chris co-founded Iconnyx, a start-up managed services provider and grew revenues to over £5m before it was sold to Interoute in 2012.

Chris leads DevOpsGuys’ sales team and works with our enterprise clients to implement DevOps and deliver software at speed.

DevOpsGuys Leadership, Tom Beavan Head of Partnerships

Tom Beavan – Head of Partnerships

Tom leads DevOpsGuys’ partnerships team and is responsible for establishing and managing our relationships with strategic vendors. He works collaboratively with our partners to continually enhance our internal competency and he is also involved in developing new revenue streams from our mutual clients.

Before joining DevOpsGuys, Tom has held a variety of business development and service management roles in the IT industry, predominantly in the cloud and managed infrastructure space.

DevOpsGuys Leadership, Kate Jones Head of Client Delivery

Kate Jones – Head of Client Delivery

Kate is responsible for Service Delivery at DevOpsGuys and leads the team that provides our range of Education, Acceleration and Transformation services. She has extensive experience in Agile based software delivery and has worked on projects for leading organisations such as Aviva, IG Group and Whitbread.

Kate is passionate about providing an exceptional customer experience for our clients and assisting them wherever possible on their DevOps journey.

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