Do you have a DevOps Culture?

Creative Commons License John Schooner

A lot of Sysadmins and developers all over the world write, meet and talk about DevOps: How to collaborate better so we can deliver business value faster. The aim of DevOps is to get rid of the traditional way of thinking in silos inherent to development and operations. But how can You find out whether your organization is ready for DevOps? Here are a few hints.

DevOps State of Mind

Ask your developers the following questions:

  • Can you describe the runtime environment of your web application?
  • Do you know the release process for your app?
  • What are the most critical issues operations is dealing with currently?
  • When is your work done?

The answers to these questions tell you whether your developers are thinking out of their “code creation” box and consider deployment of their app as part of their work. Only if they show at least some basic interest in the operations realm are they ready for DevOps. If your developers think they can just “throw their work over the fence to QA” (or the build server), or, even worse, that they’re done once they commit their code to version control, you’ve got a long way to go.

Ask your sys admins the following questions:

  • Which new features are upcoming?
  • Do you look forward to the next release?
  • When was the last time you talked to the developers?
  • Is your work creating business value?

The answers to these questions show you how the sys admins think about their work and their areas of responsibility. Only if they are involved in development to a certain degree and welcome frequent change (i.e. creating business value) are they ready for DevOps. If they only think about avoiding change and don’t care at all about what’s upcoming or what’s creating business value, you’ve got a ways to go with your sys admins as well.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a culture of talking and working together. Starting DevOps means starting a mind shift for your developers and sys admins. Only if people are ready to talk to each other and to care about each other’s work will you be able to create more business value, faster. Only then does it make sense to look at the processes and tools that support the DevOps culture.

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