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John Mitchell
John Mitchell

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Intro to JohnTellsAll: Dev, DevOps, and Quality

John Tells All Intro

Hi everyone! My name is John Mitchell, and I'm a Dev/DevOps Engineer in California. After years of Dev and Web experience, I switched to DevOps and Cloud work over the last decade.

This blog is aimed at Developers, DevOps people, and Business.

I've developed a lot of ideas around Dev, DevOps, and Quality. "Quality" I define as the Business expectation of our work. Each group has a specific, limited viewpoint. Each group interacts with the others, but can easily get confused. Misaligned expectations cause problems.

The following is a rough index of screencasts and articles in production:

Fast Developers

(Feature) Developers build out Business features in code. "Speed" means latency between updating a feature and getting feedback on the change. Sometimes the change "works" and we can move on to a different feature. More often the change fails and we try again with a slightly different change.

Feature code is mostly stateless, so we can build extremely fast feedback loops using local unit tests. Also, test automation creates high (business-focused) quality, at the expense of speed.

Feature code uses environments, pipelines, and other resources generally managed by DevOps.

  • article: "Fast Development: Speed and Quality"
    • Run tests with Entr
    • Write feedback loop before code, e.g. Test First (TDD)
    • Use CPU not brains
      • Assert 0
      • Dev via repl
    • AI: sharp knife

Fast DevOps

DevOps Engineers support Developers by creating and managing resources, like databases and networks. They also create and maintain the CI/CD pipeline.

DevOps tasks are always stateful, and often much slower than Developer tasks.

Fast Startup

Feedback loops aren't just for Engineering. There's lots of non-technical feedback metrics we use to grow our company

  • Developer Experience (DX) features -- speed -- are business features
    • create, track, and implement DX features like any others, don't ignore them!
    • like investments in test automation, DX creates biz value forever
  • Product-Market Fit
  • Post-deploy feedback
    • business and marketing interact directly with users
    • A/B Testing
    • Feature Flags
  • JTA: Speed x Quality

    • with investment, Speed can create Quality
    • reference: Charity Majors / Honeycomb
  • Value Stream Map

    • high level, for business and eng discussion
    • visualize, measure, and communicate the delivery/value path
    • enables radical optimization and biz/eng alignment
  • JTA: Deploy-Value Map

    • lower level, tech version of Value Stream Map
    • shows effort, products, and feedback for each audience
    • Deploy Map: Dev -> PR -> Staging -> Prod
    • For each step, 1) change latency, 2) feedback latency, 3) feedback value

Feedback Loops

Feedback Loops exist everywhere, not just for
Dev/DevOps of course. Here are general resources:

  • PDSA: Deming's feedback cycle enabled Japan's explosive postwar growth
  • Scientific Method
  • alt: Grit, Ericsson
  • Gladwell's "10k hours to master anything" needs refinement
  • JTA: A-PDSA: after product created, what does that enable?


If you're interested in Dev, DevOps, and Quality, reach out to me! I'm happy to connect.

John Tells All resources

References (my YouTube videos)

Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

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