All companies – from retail, to media, to IoT – are increasingly becoming software companies.
Data loss, security threats, service downtime and performance issues can sink a business. As a result, DevOps has evolved from an island of marginalised system administrators to an organisation-wide cultural shift.
Companies like Netflix, Ticketmaster and Etsy understand that DevOps entails established processes, interconnected systems for monitoring and diagnosing, and org-wide vigilance about incident response.
As our businesses continue to become more software-driven, Heavybit’s community of developer-focused entrepreneurs, advisors and investors provide tips and tactics to scale your DevOps efforts:
Make DevOps Organisation Wide
DevOps is an organisation wide capability. It often starts within IT and then infiltrates marketing, R&D and other departments who all work together to automate activities to gain speed, agility and greater customer happiness.
“DevOps requires an attitude and culture-shift around what it means to deliver software in a multi-disciplinary team,” says Cliff Moon, co-founder at Opsee. “Any DevOps initiative that doesn’t come with a total restructuring of the team and a realignment of the team’s key performance indicators, will likely result in failure.”
Customer Loyalty Starts with Uptime
Let’s face it. Few employees delight at being introduced to formal call rotations. But teams buy into processes once they see the improved experience that DevOps can unlock.
“Teams buy-in to DevOps-related changes by understanding the reasons they’re happening and how it will impact their work,” says Neil Mansilla, VP of Developer Relations at Runscope. “Your team might not want to start being on-call or give up control of established systems. Nevertheless, if they can see how DevOps improves reliability and the customer experience, they’re more likely to make the change.”
Prioritise Speed AND Agility
Shipping software quickly and reliably is a competitive advantage. The only way to shorten the cycle between releases, is to build strong DevOps processes to maintain quality and performance.
“Successful DevOps initiative require not only tactical changes to how your engineering organisation writes, deploys and manages code; but also strategic changes to how your organisation views itself and how it competes, says Lenny Pruss, Principal at Redpoint Ventures. “Organisations that can’t successfully transition to a culture that prioritises delivering great software to customers with rapid iteration cycles, will ultimately be doomed to fail.”
Make Engineers Accountable for Maintaining their Code
One tactic to DevOps success is to expose your engineers to the pains of manually maintaining their own code.
Says Hiro Yoshikawa, CEO and co-founder at Treasure Data, “Make engineers participate in support and operations. By experiencing the pains of support and maintenance, engineers will naturally adopt the DevOps mindset: laying out scalable and flexible infrastructure that lends itself to automation.”
DevOps is about being Ok with the Unknown
Often times DevOps requires not only a new set of tools but also a change in development process and mindset.
“Obstacles to DevOps success usually involve fear of the unknown,” says Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder at LaunchDarkly. “For example, take continuous delivery where usable pieces of software code can be delivered more quickly, allowing the organisation to be more nimble in software development.
One tip to get over this fear is to break continuous delivery into bite size projects with quick results.”
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