What is DevOps?
People always ask, "What is DevOps?" It's not always an easy answer, the term DevOps is very ambiguous and can often mean many things to different individuals. Depending on past experiences and current viewpoints the skills, responsibilities and even the appropriate structure can differ between organizations.
DevOps as a Culture
HATech takes the position that DevOps is a culture that transcends traditional boundaries rather than another separate team that creates organizational silos. Expertise from many areas of the business that come together daily and work as a unified “team” is in our experience one of the most effective methods for adopting DevOps.
As part of this culture we define DevOps (development and operations) as the ability to deliver from product vision, with reliability, into a production environment multiple times per day, in an automated and repeatable fashion. That being said, it is not an easy transition to make and requires the organization to move through multiple stages before it arrives at this level of agility and automation. This can be tackled in a few different ways from adopting a true DevOps pattern for a particular product, or bringing the whole organization up to the same level of maturity at the same time.
Influencing Behavior with DevOps
Our vision for most of our customers is to execute in line with an agreed upon maturity model starting at a high level with the ‘Continuous What?’ DevOps model.
Making a DevOps strategy happen for your organization cannot happen without a plan on how to form the culture by influencing behavior. You can’t build a culture; it is formed through the actions and character of the organization. The ‘Continuous What?’ DevOps model maps out the strategic high-level milestones towards reaching the goal of automated delivery of features and product needs in a timely and repeatable fashion. Each of these high-level milestones are then broken down into pipelines that can be iterated on to achieve the tactical goals that HATech works with the customer to define throughout the engagement period.
The first of these tactical milestones will always be around empowering individuals to take ownership for what they produce.
People vs Process
With any DevOps implementation and staff augmentation, people are the key component of whether the adoption of a DevOps culture will be successful. Like all organization driven initiatives this starts with executive sponsorship, vision and the authority to execute. Through their experiences in moving the largest Casino Systems Engineering company through to a Cloud and DevOps based organization, HATech has always been successful when putting the people and the team above personal and selfish individual goals to guide companies in the right direction in order to properly run their DevOps services. Maturity of staff and maturity of organization, with the willingness to take ownership and encourage self-starters are the key to this adoption. Executives and management need to provide the clear vision, and then empower the team to make the vision happen. This means creating a culture where mistakes are allowed to happen and the team rally around and swarm together knowing that they will either succeed or fail as a team.