DevOps Economics

Everybody is talking about DevOps now, which is good, but honestly DevOps is way bigger than what people are talking about. One of the CORE roots of devops is AUTOMATION of infrastructure - automate everything, that's true and that is so important, but that is not the only thing.

DevOps is not a framework, is not a model, is not a process - DevOps are some experiences from folks around the globe who have had success in extending agile to new frontiers like operations - some people started a movement called Agile Operations which I think is great.

DevOps is in some sense the evolution of the cultural change that agile and Lean promoted in development from the early 2000s. Now is the time to break more silos and continue to improve things. It's not easy, changing culture, but it is a necessary step for the evolution of software development.

There is no DevOps Team

How do you fight silos? If the answer is with more silos, the question must be wrong. DevOps is about culture and is about the right culture shift. There is no recipe of "right Devops" because it is a kind of desired state and there are several paths and ways to get there.  A DevOps team will just create another problem for you, believe me :-)

Beyond Automation 

Infrastructure automation is very important - making sure you have a automated pipeline from DEV to PROD is a key benefit for delivery agility and a great step to improve infrastructure/operations capabilities. Why is it not enough?
  • ·        Do you have unit tests? 
  • ·        Does your architecture scale up/out?
  • ·        How easy is it to have multiple teams doing several things at the same time?
  • ·        How much isolation you have, both in the sense of physical resources, and in the sense of teams?
  • ·        How much coordination and management do you need?
  • ·        How do your teams think? How do they work or fight with each other?

If you already have proper agile development in place that's great, if your architecture is Service Oriented, no matter if it's Microservices or not, if your culture is going well then devops is the next step for you otherwise you need to catch up with more aspects like: Architecture, Infrastructure, Tuning/Stress Testing, new ongoing models. 

An economic debt

I'm a consultant and I visit several companies. I see companies needing to catch up. For many decades people treated software without RESPECT. Companies and the entire market are still doing LOTS and LOTS of waterfall projects with FIXED SCOPE; managers and CTOs and CEOs still think software is a commodity and they don't care about quality, ways of doing things and culture.

One day this bill will come due, like a huge credit card bill where you are just paying the minimum - one day that becomes unmanageable. That is what is happening to the IT industry. Companies are struggling with simple things like: automated builds, integration tests, code reviews, proper architecture, blame culture, finger-pointing culture - and this is a side-effect of decades of bad IT choices.

IT is SICK. DevOps is great for the business but will work on IT, IT is the root cause of all evil in companies nowadays, is where all bottlenecks are, is where all the money is, is where all the WASTE is - we need to fix this.

Software never "exploded" up until now

I always wanted things to be different with IT, because in IT you can screw up several times and it takes so long for things to explode - for instance in other areas like planes or health care if you screw up, people die and then shit get serious and what do they do? Continuous improvements - they go there, look at the issues SERIOUSLY and IMPROVE to make sure that it does not happen again.

In IT there was no such thing as that until TODAY, so I believe these DECADES of bad IT habits like poor management, poor architecture, FIXED SCOPE projects are here and the BUSINESS finally will pay the BILL because it is starting to AFFECT the companies pretty badly. Better now than never :-)

A huge road ahead

There is lots of room for improvement, and I'm excited about the fact that finally things are moving, I feel we went through a DARK BLACK ERA in IT before, and now the mainstream (I mean real companies, real businesses, not IT companies like cloud providers :-) ) are about to change, or at least to acknowledge they need to change.

Diego Pacheco

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