OMG! If I hear one more person spout off about how to do DevOps the “right way” by attending conference XYZ or hiring some $300 an hour consultant I am going to pull what little remaining hair I have out. There is no better way to know you are doing something wrong than to start bringing in an army of consultants and attending overpriced conferences where every vendor from here to Timbuktoo is trying to sell you something. Tools don’t solve bad processes – period. Why are people making this so difficult?
DevOps (and all the other flavors such as NoOps, MightBeOps, HiThereOps [I’m joking, btw]) has recently taken the IT world by storm. You can’t sit next to some IT manager or geek on a plane without them saying the word DevOps at least once. Of course every last person you talk to has a different take on it. In short, it’s the buzzword of the year for 2012.
DevOps isn’t something you are going to teach anyone. No conference is going to tell you the “right way” to do it. It’s not going to be the same for every company. No consultant is going to come in and sprinkle magic powder over your IT department and make it into a DevOps powerhouse.
DevOps is, and should be, the way you work and interact – period. It’s letting your best and brightest do what’s right – work together, communicate openly. How hard does this have to be people? It’s about letting the Java guys actually talk and work with the database guys. It’s allowing your operations folks actually get involved with the development folks. In short, it’s about one simple, easy to understand concept – communication! There you go, I just saved you $20,000 in consultant fees. Send me a t-shirt from your company and we’ll call it even.
I recently wrote a small piece for SearchDataCenter about how I got involved in DevOps in one of the organizations I do work for. We didn’t need consultants, conferences or a slew of new hires to do it – we just simple did it. Imagine that. As an operations guy, I now have open and frank talks with the developers, the web guys, the database gurus and the network whiz. At the same time the developers tell me when I have my head screwed on wrong, and they also open up my eyes as to why we could do something one way, but it would be better to do it another. Communication, without a dozen different meetings, it’s amazing!
I have to laugh when I read about some of the practices that some folks are “selling” for DevOps – one fellow I got into a Twitter war with with advocating wholesale firing of the entire operations department. Good luck with that one buddy! Let me know when the going out of business sale happens at your company so I can pick up some desks and chairs on the cheap. There is a reason we have operations folks, and there is a reason we have development folks – but there isn’t any reason the two can’t work together on a daily basis!
Sometimes you don’t need consultants and conferences and books – sometimes you just need to value individuals and their interactions; let them talk and work together! After all, isn’t that part of the Agile manifesto?