DevOps as a Culture

Catherine Murphy-O'Connor
Catherine Murphy-O'Connor
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DevOps is a culture, not a role. It creates a new mindset on how everyone should be engaged in working the right way

In today’s world, development teams have become the backbone of many companies; both dev and operations teams are required to do more than ever before. There is more and more pressure to move quicker and be more agile without sacrificing other issues such as infosec or reliability

Almost all IT/software organizations have a chronic conflict between development and operations. This creates a downward spiral, resulting in even slower time to market for new features, products and services.

Quality is often reduced, but the most complicated task is to stabilize technical debt. For technical debt we understand the problems that get increasingly more difficult to fix over time reducing your possibilities in the future.

Also, development and operations goals are not always the same and may have dramatically opposed goals and incentives. Development teams are responsible for deploying features very fast. On the other hand, operations are responsible for providing customers with a stable and reliable IT service, making it complex for anyone to introduce changes that can jeopardize everything.

However, implementing a DevOps culture combines the dev team with the operations one (and others such as infosec) in an effort to create software quicker and better. It is a big shift from traditional IT culture; rather than having the dev and ops teams working separately, it facilitates communication between them by having them share common goals. Everyone has to paddle in the same direction for DevOps to work.

So how do you begin to measure these new cultural impacts? Easy answer: Start small with specific tasks and projects.

You can’t change the whole program, but you can start by getting a few of your sub teams going in the correct direction. It can be advantageous to bring in someone from the outside to automate a few tests and guide the team with handy experience as a start for growing DevOps within the organization.

Finally, start small with the cultural shift, too. It is imposible to convince everyone at the beginning In fact, by winning over smaller groups with specific projects, you will develop ‘pushers’ who can help promote this new culture elsewhere in the organization, creating a multiplier effect.

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