Implementing DevOps in a Regulated Traditionally Waterfall Environment

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 4:00pm4:45pm

Jason Victor and Peter Lega, Merck and Co., Inc.


DevOps is adopted in so many places, and its benefits are well documented, but despite this, it is not getting the same traction in regulated environments. Is it truly impossible to implement DevOps at a regulated company when someone else makes the rules? Or is it possible to both challenge the status quo and still adhere to essential compliance and risk requirements.

We will provide why regulated companies like Merck—a 125 year-old pharmaceutical company—are challenged to change course. We will explain the complexities of some of these regulations to get a better understanding of the challenge, and how the "path of most resistance" becomes the default release management strategy trap.

Join us midway on our multi-year journey to augment our traditional, waterfall methodology with DevOps/Agile culture and methodology. We will talk about our approach, our tool chain, and how we changed peoples’ minds from "that will never work" to "that's the new way to work."

We are hoping that with this talk, you will walk away from us with a set of ideas on how to implement and overcome your own companies’ obstacles to change.

Jason Victor, Merck & Co., Inc.

Jason Victor is an Associate Director in Merck’s Applied Technology department, with responsibility for organizing DevOps strategy, finding and maintaining open source partnerships, and platform architecture.

Jason has been at Merck since 2001, and since being recruited from TCNJ, has earned a Masters from Drexel University, defined the ITIL implementation at Merck, supported help desk platforms, engaged in solution and enterprise architecture for the corporate and research divisions, and now focuses on Merck’s DevOps strategy.

Peter Lega, Merck & Co., Inc.

Peter Z. Lega is Director of Emerging Technology at Merck & Company, leading the execution and tooling of the emerging technology portfolio, and cultivating creative partnerships around technology, talent, and data. Currently, Lega is working on evolving software practices to support rapid-paced global technology delivery in a regulatory environment.

Before this position, Lega led MSD’s enterprise web and mobility services. He led the construction of the Univadis Portal, serving thousands of healthcare professionals across the globe, which was recognized by the ComputerWorld Laureates program.

Prior to joining MSD, He was VP of technical architecture at c|net networks where he led development of several franchise sites (,, and He also held senior roles including Technical Director at Digital Equipment, Divisional CIO at Bear Stearns, and was a rapporteur on Digital Content for the European Commission.

Peter holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Moravian College.

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@conference {201534,
author = {Jason Victor and Peter Lega},
title = {Implementing {DevOps} in a Regulated Traditionally Waterfall Environment},
year = {2016},
address = {Boston, MA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = dec

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