DevOps Cultural Noise

I saw this happening with other movements before, sooner or later I knew it would happen to DevOps. Culture is so fragile. Culture is fragile because it rely on people vision. It's so easy to understand something wrong or just deliberately misappropriate from something in the wrong way.  DevOps is something hot today and more and more companies what be part of the party.  If you are familiar with the Agile movement, something it happened with it before.

There is no what or ever written on STONE DevOps Definition however for me it's 100% clear what DevOps is NOT:
  - It's not a Tool
  - It's not a Service
  - It's not a Team
  - It's not a Department
  - It's not a Certification
  - It's not a Role

IMHO my favorite one is DevOps is not a Methodology. This is particularly funny because most of the people talk about DevOps today as it was a Methodology.  This cultural noise happens a lot with things that require a proper vision plus someone at least who is capable of delivering that vision.

Tech is Pure

Tech could go into the wrong way, don't get me wrong, however, it's 100% easier to get it right compared with Culture. Culture is a popular thing nowadays, lots of companies are talking about and are interest and to be far lots of companies what to change and do things it in a better way.

Culture can be corrupted

People understanding may vary and this is where things could get tricky. For instance, let's say I consider Remediation, Centralized Log, Telemetry and Client-Side-Loadbalancing as core and mandatory aspects of a proper Microservices solution.  What happens if for somebody else just doing REST + JSON services is enough to have microservices? Notting. Well, you could rant into problems because there are strong reasons behind the need for Telemetry for instance. I don't know why but all these are technical matters and there are easy to explain and people tend to do fewer mistakes.

When the subject is culture or Management change things become way harder because something people want to change by changing nothing. It's like eating a cake and having a cake in the same place.  For an American it could sound strange unfortunately that happens a lot in Brazil.

Lost in Translation? 

If you don't speak Portuguese you will need to trust me. For those who speak it, you will get it. Let's take a look at something simple like the Wikipedia definition for DevOps in English and Portugues.

Keep in mind the definition talks about a movement. Now let's look at the Portuguese definition:

IF you don speak Portuguese: It talks about a methodology. DevOps is not a methodology. Different companies have different cultures and different levels of tech and business maturity. For instance, provision is something important and use Puppet or Chef is something more specific to each company.

In the end of the day, some issues that happened with Scrum are happening with DevOps and will happen more and more. People tend to pay so little attention to detail when is around culture and this is the issue that very strong here in brazill. The companies that perform better often are the ones who pay attention to this things.  This Cultural noise gets strong also because lots of tooling companies want to be labeled as DevOps tools or DevOps solutions to gain potential tracking.  In the way, I see it people don't want be lock it by vendors in any means. That's why unstructured platforms have been dominating the cloud-native landscape instead of PaaS solutions.

Culture First can fail!

Culture first approach makes lots of sense to me. IMHO is the right thing but it need be very tight with Business and IT otherwise it would be just a new place to start a the same old waterfall approach.  Sometimes is just a matter of time to something become a commodity and fall into the same pitfalls.  Another issue related to this is seen DevOps and JUST automation. Automation is important and you need to do it BUT it's not the ONLY thing.

The bottom line is IT REQUIRED DISCIPLINE. The best way to put it is Do what you don't want to do when you don't want to do. Time with discipline can lead you into a great path. What's is tough is IF companies fail to Agile before would they succeed with DevOps considering that is harder?  Well somethings doing Daily Scrums is consider a successfully agile adoptions. :-)

Diego Pacheco

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