DevOps in practice

When it comes to adopting DevOps, practice makes perfect.

By J. Paul Reed
September 25, 2015
Loom Loom (source: O'Reilly)


Practice makes perfect.

It’s an adage we hear from an early age, usually around the time we start learning to tie our shoes, ride a bike, or play an instrument. As DevOps gets ready to celebrate its fifth birthday,1 DevOps practitioners and the movement itself are starting to hear this familiar phrase.

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It can be easy to forget that deliberately practicing a skill to hone and make our own is a time-honored technique. It can be hard to find the time for the necessary focused practice, as work, family, projects, and circumstance all impact our ability to find the time and space to do so. It can also be difficult when that “we” is a large organization, comprised of many different facets and personalities, with various motivations and incentives floating about.

Contained herein are two stories of organizations figuring out what “DevOps” means to them. Based on a series of interviews with people at different levels of the organization and working on various teams, we get to see them undertake the tasks of discovering what DevOps means in the context of their own organizational cultures. We also get to see them wrestle with how it looks functionally within their companies, expressed in the structure of their teams, and the path code takes from commit to customer. The characters in our story may surprise you, as they’re not in the list of companies that generally come to mind when the phrase “DevOps posterchildren” is uttered.

Much is made of the fact that DevOps is about both “tools and culture! Tools and culture!” But as we shall see, while tools and culture are both important, perhaps the most important aspect to take note of is the journey itself.

1Patrick Debois, widely considered to be the father of the word “DevOps,” held the first DevOps Days in Ghent, Belgium, in October 2009.

Post topics: Operations