Chapter 11. Building a Culture for Network Automation

The network industry is heavily product-driven, perhaps more than nearly any other technology discipline. Very rarely do we hear about “revolutionary” new IT processes or stories of how an organization won against its competitors because of its great IT team; it’s always the shiny new hardware or software products that grab the headlines.

However, new products—even “revolutionary” ones—don’t solve business problems on their own. The advent of x86 virtualization technologies is arguably one of the biggest disruptions we’ve ever seen in IT, yet 10 years later despite this disruption, we’re still taking weeks or even months to provision virtual machines. Clearly, our problems aren’t limited to the technology we use. Maybe we need a change in our culture as well. That’s what this chapter is about—why a good culture is a crucial, foundational element for network automation, and how to get there.

It’s also easy to over-rotate on topics of culture and think that it’s the sole cause of all of our problems. The reality is that we need a balance of good people, good process, and good technology in order to win. The cultural change discussed in this chapter is all about satisfying our desire to get things done and work on a team of similarly minded individuals.

In this chapter you won’t read about how many hugs your engineers should be giving per day, or why it’s important for a company to have an indoor ...

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