5 DevOps tips – all don’ts!
This blog is a safe space – so let’s just say it.
DevOps is hard work and boring.
There. We said it.
To most people in tech and software, DevOps is tedium and busywork that gets in the way of the “real” work – making software.
This is why it’s often left by the wayside, or done improperly.
So, what if we told you that if you got it right, your job would be better, more fun, your business more profitable – all that kind of pie in the sky fantasy stuff?
The fact is – DevOps works. That’s why there are entire industries around it. But it requires the right mindset, the right skill set and the right people to really nail DevOps effectively.
If you can avoid the most common pitfalls, you’ll stay ahead of the competition. And in tech, you’re rarely at the top if you’re not one of the best.
Done right, DevOps delivers a fast, autonomous culture in a large organisation – where continuous product flow is the norm. But without guidance, teams will only ever pay lip service to DevOps, and never realise the potential of it. It’ll end up a box-ticking exercise, and eventually fall by the wayside again.
Don’t let that happen; in fact, don’t do a lot of things…
Here’s a top 5 list of everything not to do when you adopt the DevOps culture.
1. Don’t skimp on skills
You can’t just say “hey, we’re DevOps focused now”, and leave it at that. You’ve got to invest in it for the desired outcomes.
You’ll need people with specific skills to get DevOps running effectively. You can train and upskill members of your team, or make new hires – or seek out contractors and DevOps consultants to help a small team transition, without committing to a new full-time employee.
Keep on top of training, and make sure everyone’s on board. Like we said – it can be boring to those doing the work day in, day out – so streamline it and make it simple where it counts.
DevOps can only succeed when everyone in the team is familiar and comfortable with the tools and processes. Give tailored access to tools and functions to individual members, to keep it simple – it’s more likely that they’ll integrate it into their day this way.
2. Don’t miss the metrics
With sophisticated analytics built into modern DevOps tools, getting data isn’t the problem; using it effectively is.
One of the biggest keys to success in DevOps is keeping track of progress. And to do this, you need the right metrics. By making the relevant measurements and then adjusting processes and tools, you’ll get the best results.
And if you don’t? You’re fumbling around in the dark. With no data to base your decisions on, you’ll have no insight into what’s working. Everyone wants to see different results and at different stages, so make sure the team and leadership all agree on goals before delving into DevOps.
3. Don’t choose tech over people
Automation, smart features, and advanced technology are no substitute for people. DevOps needs buy-in from the top down, champions in the company and collaboration throughout – tech can’t provide that mindset. It can only facilitate it.
The success of DevOps depends on the bringing together of teams. Nothing happens without effective communication, collaboration, and cooperation. Culture makes companies successful, and the same goes for DevOps. That’s got to come from leadership and filter through everything you do.
And no – after work socials, a coffee machine and a ping pong table are not a company culture. But feeling safe to speak about problems and to communicate with key people across teams is a sign of a good one.
Put your people first. Run through new tech and processes with them first. Value them over the tech in play first. What’s good for your team is good for business – and for your DevOps strategies.
4. Don’t assume automation will fix everything
Automation is important – but working with legacy systems across multiple departments and siloed teams, it can be hard to know where to start. It’s easier in startups and small, agile teams, where things move quickly and teams are encouraged to fail fast. In older, larger, slower-moving firms, not so much. Automation takes time, and it may not become full or standardised over your tenure at the company.
A bad automated process is exactly the same as a bad manual process – it’s just bad.
Instead of automating, fix the manual process first: figure out where thighs fall off track, and how to improve what you already have in place. Then, seek to automate tasks within the process.
Test it on a live project that’s fairly low-stakes. You’ll need experience of it in practice, but don’t go all-in until you’ve established a framework for automation.
5. Don’t forget to rinse and repeat. Always repeat…
DevOps, completed it mate. Said nobody, ever.
DevOps is all about continuous, incremental improvement. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – or actually, it’s more like the development of an athlete. It takes dedication, drive, and a desire to be the best version of yourself. Talent alone won’t get the results; you need to constantly be working towards the goal, assessing performance accurately at each key phase, and making changes to improve weaknesses.
This goes for your product, your team, your process – everything. Good DevOps never stops. It’s not a destination, it’s a journey.
And if you need support, we’re along for the ride.
One more… Don’t forget to hire elite-level DevOps consultants
ClearHub specialises in finding the best DevOps consultants in the world; vetted, skills-checked and ready to get results.