Step 1 of building a DevOps Culture

John Hildebrand just wrote a great post on whether DevOps is a load of BS. I largely agree with the post, that DevOps has been driven by developers find their own way to handle operational tasks associate with maintaining an application. As Jon pointed out, in greenfield deployment this is much easier than established corporations with existing applications that haven’t been written to be cloud native from the start.

So, if you’re still along for the ride so far, what is an established organization with developers and operations teams to do? I think we all agree at this point that DevOps is a culture, not a set of tools. Communication and empathy are key to DevOps succeeding an any organization.

The very first step should be to get developers and operations teams in the same room together every day. I am not saying to merge the teams (yet), but there needs to be open communication each and every day. Many developer teams have what are called standups, even if they are formed around Agile principles (or maybe they think they are). Give operations teams equal time each day in the standup to talk about what they are working on, what their challenges are. This opens up communications between the teams as now each understand what the other is up against on a day to day basis. Developers may not have insight into the struggles of an SSAE 16 or HIPAA audit, just as operations teams may not know about the struggles developers are going through to enable encryption end to end in their application.

This, again is a first step, something you can do today (or tomorrow) with minimal impact to existing organizational structures and SOPs. Would love to hear your thoughts! Ping me on Twitter @jfrappier.

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