DevOps happiness is a Rubber Chicken

The Real Meaning of DevOps

Posted by Dave Anderson on January 30, 2018

The awesome and talented human Brian Guthrie recently had a great rant on twitter about The Real Meaning of DevOps. It was wonderful to have a discussion with him about it on the podcast.

Brian made some great arguments for focusing more closely on processes and methods of collaboration that embody the philosophy behind DevOps rather than the role and tools themselves

Swedish chef with chicken Basic DevOps tooling at work.

Even something as simple as a rubber chicken and a bell can just as effective as full blown ops tooling such as Chef, Kubernetes and CircleCI. Some of my favorite parts of our conversation included:

  • The difference between the learning mindsets required for early adopters of ideas vs commodification of packaged solutions for late adopters.
    • An example being, the act of truly embracing agile philosophy vs. just having a scrum master and similarly for hiring DevOps engineers that may be siloed from the rest of the team.
  • DevOps as a philosophy for an organization (a cultural shift) vs. a role or team and set of tools
  • If something hurts (like releasing code), do it more often so the team feels the pain and can produce better solutions for the problem.
  • Avoid tension between incentives given to people in operations (keep the environment stable) vs developers (ship new features) through collaboration.
  • Drive with process, tooling and collaboration towards continuous integration of code and continuous delivery of those features to production.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on cross functional teams with some folks who have truly embodied this philosophy. At the end of the day, it feels more fulfilling and empowering when working closely together with people who have both operations and development skills. As a team, we’re able to bring features to users more quickly and automate away the pain and boring stuff associated with day to day development tasks.

What do you think? Is the term DevOps often misused? What team structures has worked best for ops and development in your experience?

You can listen to this episode using the fancy widget above, read the transcripts on our podcast site or subscribe to our feed on iTunes or Google Play. Feel free to reach out to Mike, William and myself on twitter or leave some feedback on iTunes.