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Andrei Dascalu
Andrei Dascalu

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To DevOps and beyond

I finally got to reading Sam Newman's "Monolith to Microservices". It's a pretty good book that underlines not only technical challenges but also organizational and cultural transformations that are needed to make the mindset switch.

What prompted me to write this was a bit of wording that made me think, mainly that Newman spoke of the "DevOps movement".

I've been contacted along the way by recruiters working to find people to fill in "DevOps" positions. As it happens in the vast majority of cases, the job description reads like a plain Ops role, simply renamed to DevOps to take advantage of the buzzword of the day.

It's difficult to explain to people that DevOps is better described as a mindset, a culture or, indeed, a movement. In many ways, it's the next transformational step leading towards agility.

While Scrum has done a good job in promoting the idea of cross-functional teams, heralding an era of dismantling silos, the process has been long and painful:

  • step 1 was the role of product owner, or in general teams adding the business component to development teams
  • step 2 was dismantling QA teams that would take development input and instead having QE specialists in every team, which was made easier by automation (in the way that QE's job is also more about coding automated tests)
  • step 3 is now, the dismantling of Ops silos and bringing in the Ops knowledge to development teams.

Of course, true transformation is much more than shifting people around. The main benefit is that knowledge isn't restricted to specialised teams and people with different backgrounds can get in touch with but also that it prevents the creation of bubbles around people

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