Software Executive Magazine

February/March 2018

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Page 35 of 43

What Software Companies Get Wrong About DevOps DevOps is just as much about cultural transformation as it is about tools and technology. G O R D O N H A F F Technology Evangelist, Red Hat TRYING TO RETROFIT DEVOPS INTO EXISTING PROCESSES Many DevOps best practices have much in common with how many open-source projects operate: agile, iterative fast releases, continuous integration, ongoing improve- ment. This is different from traditional enterprise devel- opment and operational models. Although many shops have adopted agile methodologies in one form or another, software requirements gathering and overall approaches to writing software are still often built around a lot of for- mal processes and heavyweight tooling that isn't a good match for DevOps. In a similar vein, traditional IT oper- ations prioritize stability over introducing new features and services. The trick is to put the right testing, software architecture design, and deployment patterns (such as blue-green deployments) in place to minimize risk while accelerating the pace of change. NOT PUTTING (THE RIGHT) METRICS IN PLACE Perhaps the most common number you see touted to indicate DevOps success is the frequency of deploy- ments. It's not a bad number to use as a metric. But you also move beyond that. What is truly important to you from a business perspective that you're trying to ac- complish with DevOps? Cost efficiency? Happier cus- NOT CONSIDERING CULTURAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES You can't buy DevOps. Some even say that DevOps isn't really about tools and technology at all but, rather, is fundamentally about radical cultural transformation. For example, Parker Yates argues that "DevOps has too many cultural implications to convert believers over a long period of time; DevOps requires reorganization, not a subtle shift." Personally, I'm more inclined to echo Andi Mann of Splunk when he writes: "Talk of DevOps almost immediately focuses on culture — like having empathy for fellow workers, being flexible and adapt- able, seeking continuous improvement, building rela- tionships, etc. However, while critically important in DevOps, culture is an outcome, not an input, and such attributes are mostly either innate or acquired slowly. Culture cannot easily be taught." Such debates notwithstanding, there's broad agree- ment that DevOps will only be effective if at least as much attention is paid to people as to technology. This includes embracing organizational values like transpar- ency and collaboration and putting in place incentive systems that reward iteration and experimentation. You want to do DevOps. You've read all the studies about how great it is. You want your company to save money and roll out new or improved software services more quickly because doing so will directly benefit your bottom line. You've got the right idea. But software companies don't always get DevOps right on the first try. Here are some of the common failings. DEVELOPER RESOURCES Framework By G. Haff WHAT SOFTWARE COMPANIES GET WRONG ABOUT DEVOPS SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 36

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