The Implicit Optimism of #DevOps

One of my favorite podcasts lately is DevOps Café; John Willis and Damon Edwards do a great job of talking about the various trends in IT management, and have really opened my eyes to a lot of different ways of thinking about problems in enterprise systems administration. On a recent podcast, John interviewed Damon about his #DOES15 presentation, “DevOps Kaizen: Practical Steps to Start & Sustain a Transformation“. During that conversation, Damon mentioned a phrase that really resonated with me: Be Good at Getting Better.

At the heart of the DevOps philosophy is the desire to improve delivery of services through removal of cultural blockages. Success isn’t measured by the amount of code pushed out the door or the number of releases; it’s the ability to continuously improve over time. Companies that experiment (even with ideas that don’t work) learn a different way to approach any problem that they face. The freedom to experiment means that failure is not an outcome; it’s a method of improvement.

The optimism of that appeals to me; I think if you’re focusing on continuous improvement, then you’ve implicitly accepted two fundamental principles of optimism:

  1. Change is necessary for growth, and
  2. Things CAN improve (you just need to figure out how).

There’s some beauty in that; if you’re an organization facing overwhelming technical debt, it’s not uncommon to sink into a spiral of despair, where changes are infrequent for fear of breaking something. Mistrust breeds, as organizations point fingers at other teams for “failing to deliver”. You quit working toward solutions, and instead focus on fighting fires and maintaining some sort of desperate last stand.

You’re better than that.

DevOps is a cultural change; it’s an optimistic philosophy focused on changing IT culture while being open to different strategies for doing so. If you can commit to Be Good at Getting Better, you can change. It may be slow, it may be frustrating, but every day is an opportunity to incrementally move the ball forward in delivering quality business services. The trick is not to focus on where to begin, but simply to begin.


September 7, 2016 · stuart · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: DevOps, SQLServerPedia Syndication

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