Inspiring the DevOps Culture

Lightning Summary

What can you do right now?

The journey to applied DevOps is a long one, mainly because people take time to change and leadership need to understand the benefit. Saying this, you can make steps on this journey right now. What can you do?

  1. Be the change: Without avoiding the cliche motivational phrases, imbibing and promoting the new culture is invaluable to show leadership, with DevOps, we deliver better quality with greater speed.
  2. Learn about automation: There are most likely manual steps that you have to painfully carry out in your delivery — document them or automate them. Tools like infrastructure as code or even simple bash scripts can enable processes to become snappier and more reliable.
We have reached our destination, the sun is setting: Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

What can you do right now?

In Part II, we discussed the results of implementing the culture of DevOps, I want to talk about three things that you can do right now to start manifesting these results. I have kept them general so that you can implement them in your projects and feel free to adjust them to your specific circumstances.

  1. Automate the manual because DevOps is about automation
    There are few regrets I have in life and one of them is not doing the right thing because it takes too long, which means that I took shortcuts. Shortcuts usually leads to a growing pile of technical debt or manual processes that come back to bite me. Look for opportunities to automate, refine or redevelop manual processes because they will help you in the long term. Most of you who are reading up to this point probably get it already, and so you have to help the business understand the value of DevOps, which brings me to my last point.
  2. Lead in adding value by implementing DevOps
    Most company and project leaders that I have worked with still don’t quite understand the abstract concepts of DevOps and so I wrote this series in the hope that it will shine a practical light on DevOps culture. Share it with those who need some help in understanding. If you show the key stakeholders how much value can be added with DevOps, by bringing better quality with greater speed, they might understand the practical value that it can bring. It is most important to relate what you do to the values of the business. Doing DevOps right is the key differentiator of the disruptors, who implement this culture naturally, to slow project traditional IT projects. Take up the flag of DevOps and plant it within your business.
  1. Empathy
    Team Building — A culture of trust is founded on the principle of having an empathetic team. This feeling can be developed by having team building activities, and it could be as fanciful as an away day or as simple as retrospectives. I was a part of one Agile delivery project which transformed the way we ran Sprint Retrospectives by running a variety of activities to get our creative problem solving skills working. It completely changed how we identified successes and areas for improvement, meaning that we were all happier working together and understood the pain points of each member of the team. Team building activities creates bonds between areas of the application lifecycle which become invaluable to a trusted delivery team.
  2. Knowledge Sharing
    Conference Attendance — We have mentioned a couple of ways to share knowledge throughout the team: “Lunch and Learns” or mob programming sessions. Another way to improve the skills within the team is to encourage them to attend conferences because they will be exposed to a number of different capabilities and technologies. It creates curiosity with new technologies which then each team member spend time to research about other areas of the application lifecycle. It reinvigorates motivation because the team feel that they are being invested in and that their skills are being developed.
Team building bonds create a trusted delivery team: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

And that’s a wrap

First of all, thank you. It takes time to read through all of what I had to say, and I appreciate that you spent your time with me. I want to quickly summarise the key points that I made throughout this series in some snappy bullets:

  • DevOps Culture: Create a connected DevOps team
    Each team member delivers value to the global business goal because they work in a collaborative, empathetic and knowledge sharing environment
  • Results: Well practised and independent
    The DevOps team is self-sufficient and each member is able to empower their role through knowledge which leads to high quality assets
  • Do it now: Lead by example
    Practical application of the DevOps principles and ways of working is the most impactful of demonstrating its value to businesses and projects

The DevOps culture is about creating an environment where we are awarded for taking risks, experimenting and sometimes failing, because, when my team is empowered with the knowledge of itself, it creates a culture of empathy to deliver my business goal faster, with better quality and more value-add.

This is what I want to give to my clients because, over and above everything else, it will be the most valuable change they can implement in their stack: DevOps done the right way.

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Nityananda Bashir

Nityananda Bashir

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A practitioner of Bhakti Yoga, a DevOps engineer and a student to deeper experiences of happiness. I share stories, thoughts and practical lessons.