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7 signs you're doing devops wrong

Adam Bertram | Dec. 8, 2015
Misconceptions and flawed implementations may have you missing the true upsides of devops

"Devops" cannot be obtained overnight with a simple check and a little training. It is a transformational approach to core processes, and it takes time, dedication, and especially a team that can implement devops practices, many of which will fly against your company's previous modes of operation.

If your company has a devops budget, you're doing devops wrong.

Sign No. 2: You equate software and tools to devops

This misapplication of devops runs in parallel to No. 1 above. IT shops acquire tools to do their jobs more effectively. It’s encoded in the job. IT shops have tools to manage clients and servers, as well as storage, compute, and networking resources. But when it comes to tools and devops, companies often get confused. To be sure, devops greatness cannot be achieved without tools. But when companies ignore other areas of devops and focus solely on the tools themselves, problems arise. Tools may be essential, but they are only part of what makes devops tick.

Various configuration management products associated with devops certainly help you build a devops culture. Without them, you undoubtedly are not practicing devops. You can code together your own tools to automate previously manual processes such as code testing, deployments, and server builds, or you can purchase tools geared to complete these tasks; either way automation is a huge part of devops. Without tools, you'd still be manually building test servers, running through runbooks, and checking off tick boxes on a checklist.

But devops consists of a number of facets that go beyond configuration management; don't focus in on only one simply because a solution exists and it's tangible. If you look for something tangible to latch onto in your journey to be a devops ninja, you will fail.

If your company bought Chef or Puppet as a cure-all for its devops needs, you're doing devops wrong.

Sign No. 3: You use checklists or runbooks to manage code deployments

To hammer the point home, automation is the crux of devops. Automation is of paramount importance in an organizational devops culture. Companies practicing devops have a strong desire to automate everything possible. Automation allows them to remove human error and standardize processes across the entire software development lifecycle.

Businesses know that automation is the seed that grows other devops principles such as establishing consistent, routine code deployments. Without automation, reliable code deployments, in particular, would not be possible. Automation is a crucial philosophy to adopt when driving toward a devops culture.

So if you find yourself having conversations with co-workers that include statements like, "We don't have time to automate," or "Let's just do it manually this time. It'll be faster," then you're not doing devops. When embarking on a new project, if automating everything possible isn't the first idea that comes to your head you're probably not at devops mastery yet.


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