#DevOps “We are all developers”

While thinking about the Implicit Optimism of DevOps, I started running through some of the cultural axioms of DevOps; I’m not sure if anyone has put together a comprehensive list, but I have a few items that I think are important. Be good at getting better is my new mantra, and now, I’m fond of saying “We are all developers”. I remember eating lunch at SQL Saturday Atlanta 2016 listening to a database developer describing this perspective to a DBA, and hearing how strongly the DBA objected to that label. I tentatively agreed with the developer, but recently, I’ve gotten more enamored with that statement.

Having worked as both a developer and an administrator, I get it; there’s an in-group mentality. The two sides of the operational silo are often working toward very different goals; developers are tasked with promoting change (new features, service packs, etc). DBA’s are tasked with maintaining the stability of the system; change is the opposite of stability. Most technical people I know are very proud of their work, which means that there’s often a desire for accuracy in the work we do. If a DBA is trying to make a system stable, and you call them a developer (think: change instigator), then it could be perceived as insulting.

It’s not meant to be.

Efficient development (to me) revolves around the three basic principles of:

  1. Reduce – changes should be highly targeted, small in scope, and touch only what’s necessary.
  2. Reuse – any process that is repeated should be repeated consistently; and,
  3. Recycle – code should be shared with stakeholders, so that inspiration can be shared.

From that perspective, there’s lots of opportunities to apply development principles to operational problems. For my DBA readers (all three of you), think about all the jobs you’ve written to automate maintenance. Think about the index changes you’ve suggested and/or implemented. Think about the reports you’ve written to monitor the performance of your systems. Any time you’ve created something to help you perform your job more efficiently, that’s development.

DevOps is built on the principle of infrastructure as code, with an emphasis on giving developers the ability to build the stack as needed. Google calls its implementation of DevOps principles Site Reliability Engineering, and characterizes it as “what you get when you treat operations as if it’s a software problem”. Microsoft is committed to DevOps as part of its application lifecycle management (although it’s notably cloud-focused). When dealing with large-scale implementations, operations can benefit from the application of the principles of efficient development.

We are all developers; most of us have always been developers. We just called it something else.

September 13, 2016 · stuart · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: DevOps, SQLServerPedia Syndication

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