Eloqua Devops: Free Eloqua devops certification course

Jan 28, 2020

Eloqua Devops crash course

(DISCLAIMER – The examples used in here are satirical; past, present and future employers – I really enjoy my job and it’s more than a job to me but I have to let my sense of humour out once a while)

By the end of this post you will be able to apply for a free certified Eloqua devops certificate which you can proudly display on LinkedIn and your resume. This course will give you an insight into a day in the life of an Eloqua developer in a Eloqua devops team. Hopefully the examples in this will:

  • Raise a smile to any of you that are Eloqua devops
  • Help you better understand your Eloqua support team if you are in marketing or management

Eloqua Devops is a thankless role – there I said it.  Basically you get all the really hard stuff handed over to you.


Eloqua Devops Agile Methodology

To deliver it, Eloqua devops typically uses an approach methodology called Agile.

Agile is a weird one because it seems every organization you go to does it differently.

You could go on an agile project manager course and become a scrum master or you could save you money because I will teach you everything you need to know. The key components of Agile development are:


Agile item Description
Sprint A sprint is a period of time Eloqua devops is given to get things done in Eloqua.  I have found that three weeks is usually the best.
Sprint item A sprint item is a thing that the Eloqua devops team needs to get done like an integration update, Eloqua landing page, etc.  Every sprint item contains a user story is given a name and an id and has some acceptance criteria so we know that we can close the sprint item.
User story

A user story contains three things:

  • Role
  • Goal
  • Purpose

For example, as someone that has no idea what Eloqua does (ROLE) I want Eloqua to Define the meaning of life (GOAL) so that I can get a promotion from the CEO because he read about this is a magazine (PURPOSE).

Estimate Each sprint item also comes with an estimate of the amount of effort it will take to complete.  1 is very little work and then the points allocated go higher the more complex/time consuming it is.  A lot of time is wasted (spent) on getting estimates for sprint items during sprint planning.
Sprint planning Sprint planning, conveniently held at the start of the last week of the sprint is the meeting(s) when the Eloqua devops team all decide what sprint items we are going to do during the sprint.
Daily stand up Every morning the Eloqua devops team has a stand up.  During this stand up we are supposed to talk about what we did yesterday, if there are any blockers and what we are doing today, it lasts 15 minutes.  Realistically no-one cares what other people are doing so if this isn’t face to face they play with their phones until its their turn to speak.
Sprint demo The sprint demo, held in the middle of the last week of the sprint is where the Eloqua Devops team all share one powerpoint deck to talk about what they did during the sprint which isn’t over.  The project manager starts with a load of slides with charts and graphs that no-one has a clue what they mean.  Then each of the dev ops team members has a slide to demo the sprint items they delivered.
Sprint retro The sprint retro when the entire devops team sit together and talk about how they think the sprint went.  Usually there is some sort of random theme introduced at the beginning but the end result is usually the same Eloqua devops members moaning about the same things.


Eloqua devops agile development team members

Eloqua devops Scrum Master

The Eloqua Devops scrum master is the person that makes sure we attend all the agile meetings and is the appointed leader of all things agile.  They are agile in all things except sprint items, estimates, sprint planning, daily stand up, sprint demo and sprint retro.  They also produce all sorts of graphs and charts, the type that senior management like to look at all day and then congratulate themselves because the graphs go in the right direction for profit.

Eloqua devops product owner

The Eloqua devops product owner is usually fun, witty, approachable and is very useful.  They are the Eloqua devops sh*t magnet.  When we get stuck with security issues or external deliverables not coming in they are the knight in shining armour.  They deal with all the politics stuff and get things moved so the Eloqua devops can deliver.

Eloqua devops team manager

The Eloqua devops team manager is there because every team needs a manager.  They are another escalation point, typically as far as Eloqua platform problems are concerned and how the clout to get Oracle SRs escalated.  They also deal with team admin like time off, courses, things like that.

These are the workers, bitter, jaded, magnificent b*stards – enough said really.

Eloqua devops sprint cycle

The remainder of this post will take you through exactly what happens during a three week sprint from the perspective of an Eloqua Devops team member.

Eloqua Devops Agile Approach

I don’t always do agile

Before we begin we need to talk about the Eloqua devops agile approach.  We have a sprint board with a load of sprint items in and every sprint item is to be delivered in that sprint, nothing brought in (Kanban – bad), just like waterfall. Most Eloqua devops teams are being converted from waterfall because senior management agree with midwives.  Using the new agile approach 9 women give birth to a baby in 1 month.

But when I do it’s like waterfall

Eloqua devops sprint planning

Sprint planning

Before an Eloqua devops team can start doing any work on sprint items they need to go through sprint planning.  Sprint planning is an essential part of agile that everyone takes very seriously (if you aren’t an Eloqua devops team member). Sadly the first phase is on sprint item refinement so everyone has to listen into to everyone’s stories, so they know what’s going on and it usually wipes out a full day of the last week of the sprint.

In less than two hours

Eloqua devops sprint planning (actual meeting)

Welcome to sprint planning

Now we are all caught up with the stories for sprint items we need to go over them again, line by line and this time allocate points which represent the complexity of each sprint item.  Everyone has to attend this meeting, it’s showtime for the Eloqua devops scrum master. You listen into the story and then everyone in the Eloqua devops team has to allocate points based on how complex / time it will take to get done.

Where the stories are made up and the points don’t matter

Eloqua devops estimates

Everyone clicks a number on the estimates screen to ensure no one is copying each other.  The truth is none of the Eloqua devops team really know how long anything will take or how complex a sprint item will be because there are way too many factors outside of your control. Just click 8 if it sounds naughty, 5 if it sounds ok and 3 if it looks easy. 

If in doubt just click 5.

Eloqua devops estimate challenge 8

8 points, really?

Sadly things don’t always work when clicking the right number.  Either you have clicked 3 and the rest of the Eloqua devops  team has clicked 5, or worse, you click 8 and the rest of the Eloqua devops team have clicked 3. The Eloqua devops scrum master then asks you why you think that.  Instantly you realize you are screwed.  So you waffle something about security and previous issues with something similar.  It then goes to a revote.

Tell me how you came up with that number

Eloqua devops revote

Now that the entire Eloqua devops team know how to vote, the vote should sail through with everyone picking the same number. This process goes on and on, typically taking two to three two hour meetings.  At the end of the process the entire Eloqua develops team is sufficiently traumatized and now eager to get on with their Eloqua related tasks.

Eloqua develops sprint board

Not sure if sprint board is for work

The Eloqua sprint board is set up, different developers are assigned their sprint items and the Eloqua devops team see the tasks set against them, the cruel reality of the next two and half weeks kicks in.  They know there is no way these tasks will all get completed.  They also know that they don’t want the dreaded red cross of not delivering against their name in the sprint demo.

Or aspirations

Eloqua develops daily stand up

Yesterday I “worked” on X

Every morning at around 9.30am, Eloqua Devops teams around the world will start their working day with the daily stand up.  It is a small comfort knowing that every half past the hour globally there are fellow Eloqua developers about to start the day in the same way. We are supposed to just say what we have worked on yesterday, if there are any blockers and what you will work on today.  Typically it turns into a solutionizing call with disinterested parties looking at their phones unless the meeting is face to face in which case it runs as its supposed to.

Today I will “work” on Y

Eloqua devops user requriements

Specific user requirements

An Eloqua devops team member will open up their sprint item and 9 times out of ten the user requirements are sketchy at best.  This in turn means that the Eloqua developer needs to gather the rest of the requirements from the what the marketing team actually want.

That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time

Eloqua devops scope creep

I have altered the product scope

As soon as the Eloqua developer speaks to the end client to gather more specific requirements scope creep kicks in.  That thing you thought would be easy to do and a nice, quick win has just become a total disaster area. Eloqua developer: What would you like the form field question to be? Marketing: Erm, something like First Name.  Oh yeah and my manager also asked if you can make the entire website GDPR compliant, write all the content for the cookie policy, get it signed off by legal and security, then implement it.  Its to do with forms anyway so its part of the same thing.

Pray I do not alter it further

Eloqua devops / Security – IT’s answer to Romeo and Juliette

Waiting for security

The Eloqua developer puts together a design for the sprint item but because pretty much anything you are customizing has something to do with data it needs to go to security for review. There are two types of security.  There is Troy Cunnigham (https://www.linkedin.com/in/cunninghamtroy/) and then there are the others.  Sadly there is only one Troy Cunnigham and you would be very lucky to have him, he gets stuff done.  If you don’t have Troy then this process can take weeks or months.  When they do sign off, the sprint item has typically had the acceptance criteria changed to documented rather than released and no one remembers anything about it and it becomes another sprint item.

To sign off

Eloqua devops sprint item release

Worked fine in dev

The Eloqua developer finally gets the all clear to take their sprint item live.  Documentation is set, saved in the Eloqua folder and the release is made.  Unfortunately for the Eloqua devops team typically whenever something gets released into the wild users find a way of breaking it.  Hopefully it will be someone else’s problem.

Ops problems now

Last week of the sprint for Eloqua devops

Am I the only one

The final week of the sprint is the most dreaded by the Eloqua devops team because it wipes out the whole last week of the sprint.  Instead of doing actual Eloqua work to finish their sprint items, Eloqua developers spend their time talking about the things they need to deliver in the next sprint and what happened during this three-week sprint that in reality you got two weeks to deliver on.

Getting sick of meetings?

Final day of the sprint for Eloqua devops

I committed to doing this today

It’s the final day of the sprint and the Eloqua devops team are frantically trying to get their sprint items closed off but there are so many meetings it is impossible.  The end of the day comes and some of the unlucky Eloua developers know they will have the red cross of death next to their print item on the sprint demo.  It’s time to get on the defensive.  The best defence method is Donald Trump tactics.  Double down, use what-aboutism and say it is all someone else’s fault – Works every time!

But it’s the end of the day and its not done

Eloqua devops sprint demo

I wrote code, I wrote the best code.  It was deployed on time as we fixed it in record time,

Sprint demo has all the big wigs involved and it’s the Eloqua devops time to show off – which we do AND it is this only time we can tell senior management what we think – which we also do.  After a load of pointless charts and graphs each sprint item has to have a demo and a story on how smoothly it all went (didn’t go).

But the fake dishonest requirements made you think we did not close all the tasks.  When they send us requirements they do not send their best requirements.  They are sending us user errors, they are scope creep and some I assume are valid bugs.

Eloqua devops sprint retro

You want the truth?  You cant handle the truth!

The next meeting Eloqua devops has on the same day as the demo is the sprint retro.  Sprint retro is a bit like an AA meeting, boring.  Usually there is some sort of theme and then we all get asked what is going well, what we could do to make it better and what things we need to stop.  Sadly this meeting is always done in person so you cant play with your phone.  It always ends up with the same getting on their soap box and going on a the exact same 15 minute rant they went on last week, the week before and so on.

Its because of security and sign off!

Then the sprint repeats its self.  This cycle continues every day, day by day.  It never ends. I hope you have enjoyed your insight into the Eloqua devops team.  If you enjoyed this please feel free to comment and sign up for my updates. If you would like to be sent your Eloqua devops certificate which looks like this please use the form below the certificate.
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