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DXC Technology runs the mission-critical systems that keep the world moving. The firm helps global companies manage their systems and operations while modernizing IT, optimizing data architectures, and ensuring security and scalability across public, private, and hybrid clouds.
Employing tens of thousands of developers, DXC creates and maintains applications for customers so they can focus on what they do best, whether that’s building cars, generating power, or operating trains. Likewise, DXC wants their developers to focus on what they do best: building brilliant software that works.
“DXC is on a transformation journey,” says DXC chief technologist of Innovations and Ecosystems and Distinguished Engineer Faisal Siddiqi. “The ‘new DXC’ is about taking care of people, focusing on customers, optimizing costs and seizing the market—and GitHub helps DXC do all of these.”
DXC’s investment in GitHub Enterprise enables its developers to work better and to share great work and expertise. “When a developer needs to solve a problem for a customer — say, an integration between a sales database and an invoicing system — we want them to check to see if someone else has already developed a solution,” says Siddiqi.
With GitHub, DXC has a central place for all of its developers to share their work with each other, regardless of what customer account they are working on and in a manner that protects the intellectual property of the customer.
The ‘new DXC’ is about taking care of people, focusing on customers, optimizing costs and seizing the market—and GitHub helps DXC do all of these.
“GitHub is our system of record for application code, automation, documentation and all of our DXC IP,” says DXC DevOps principal and Distinguished Technologist Olivier Jacques. “It’s the center of the universe for our technical employees. It helps us nurture and take care of the tens of thousands of world class developers we have in DXC.”
GitHub gives DXC developers a single index of all the code they create. If a developer needs to find a way to bridge two pieces of software, they can search DXC’s GitHub for a solution before writing their own. “It enables us to do things like establish a set of policies to encourage code reuse,” Siddiqi says.
The upshot of sharing code internally through GitHub is that DXC can build applications faster for customers, especially important in times of fast-changing market dynamics. Former DXC Fellow, VP and CTO of Modern Apps and Cloud Native Chris Swan says products initially thought to take six months ended up taking six weeks. “Customers were expecting to have to lay a lot of foundations for themselves before they could build their house,” Swan explains. “But we were able to come along and say ‘We’ve done all that already. Just put up the timber frame and sides.’” As a result, DXC’s customers can get to market faster and be more competitive.
Innersource, the practice of using open source methods internally, which GitHub fosters, has been a stepping stone towards doing more open source work. DXC is increasingly open sourcing work that can then be used by customers, strengthening the partnership because the customer’s developers can enhance the work. “Sometimes the most expedient way for us to get products into the hands of the customer is for it to be a public GitHub repo,” Jacques says.
Using GitHub helps developers get to work faster and work smarter. Beyond innersource, DXC has leveraged GitHub’s automation and extensibility. For example, the team built a system for previewing how Markdown text will look once it is published to a GitHub Page. They’ve also built a GitHub app that, using AWS cloud and natural language processing, helps users automatically set up accounts for tools like Jira, saving them the need to open support tickets and system administrators the trouble of manually setting up new accounts.
DXC also leverages code scanning and secret scanning to help ensure the security of their code and check to make sure best practices are followed. “It’s good for maintaining good cyber hygiene,” Jacques says.
To help customers and partners learn to use the GitHub platform, DXC hosts Online DevOps Dojo courses to walk users through how to fork a repo on GitHub, show them how to do a pull request, and introduce core DevOps principles and processes. “The courses help people understand that if they want to use someone else in the company’s code, they don’t have to ask permission,” Swan says. “If they want to improve the code, they don’t have to ask anyone for permission. They just fork it and make their changes. The only time they need to ask permission is when they make a pull request to contribute those changes back to the original project.”
DXC created the Online DevOps Dojo courses to help employees and customers adjust to an innersource and DevOps-centric approach to working. “We needed to get our global DXC technical community on board with this approach,” Swan says. “It wasn’t going to work with in-person workshops. It would have taken too many lifetimes.”
All of the content for the Dojo courses is hosted on GitHub. “We’re using GitHub to help people learn how to use GitHub,” Swan says. “It’s a little bit meta.”
DXC technical lead Tom Halpin, who was part of the team that developed the courses with Jacques, says he didn’t want to explain how to do DevOps with a slide deck. “PowerPoint isn’t the ideal delivery mechanism to help people understand DevOps,” he says. “That is why we open sourced portions of DXC’s DevOps Dojo: to allow people to try DevOps tools and explore the culture and methodologies for themselves.”
Those methodologies are paying off. “Using GitHub improves the ability to build the right applications the first time, enabling DXC to be successful in the market,” Jacques says. “It also supports a global network of developers — specifically, a virtual workforce — meaning the most talented developers with the right skills can be applied to a project wherever they are located. The customer has a team with world-class skills working on the project.”
GitHub streamlines workflows and surfaces knowledge across the company, boosting expertise. For example, Halpin says a colleague had a question about the web testing framework Cypress. Halpin did a search in DXC GitHub for the product, and easily found an employee who was working with it. He was able to quickly connect the two so they could help each other. “That’s what GitHub does,” Halpin says. “It helps us unlock the intellectual capacity of DXC.”
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