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To DevOps or not to DevOps (its no longer an option)

Posted by bcmoney on October 12, 2019 in DevOps with No Comments

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Although I would tend to agree with 6 out of 7 points in the above opinion piece… shipping should not be optional and in DevOps its not a company nor “business” decision rather a delivery team decision (they’re mistaking Agile for DevOps there)… for instance Scrum insists on “potentially shippable” increments each 1-4 week Sprint/cycle, we chose 2-weeks as our timebox, but then the decision is deferred to the Product Owner as to whether or not the company desires releasing whatever has been completed.

7 DevOps Myths Busted
No offense to its author, Sara Miteva (she seems like an ambitious person with a passion for both Marketing & Technology from her recent bootcamps), but just like you would not take Medical advice from a really good painter, one should look to the trenches of IT for technical perspectives and ideas for solutions in terms of both the definition of DevOps, and how to acheive it:

Companies who entrust their delivery teams to build reliable Continuous Delivery & Deployment automated pipelines following the DevOps model that best suits the team, actually achieve single-piece flow (micro-sized, incremental, “non-existent risk” releases) rather than putting arbitrary wait times resulting larger/unpredictable/riskier batch sizes or ill-informed bureaucracy/red-tape in their way (which DORA and similar research initiatives have shown) are arguably > 200x more productive in terms of platform stability and change efficiency (as measured in Lead Times, arguably the most important metric other than not accumulating let alone paying down of Technical Debt):

Sometimes folks removed from the work can reach indecision on whether its safe to proceed so better to remove the “pain of deciding” away and move that decision into the request process not release process, so if its been requested it goes when ready, if no longer needed it gets removed or flagged off….  summary “if its not important enough to ship immediately upon completion, its probably not going to have any noticeable impact on company performance, and so… should we really be working on such things”

As we know sometimes the answer’s still “yes that is worth working on” if only to avoid “Feature Factory-ism” (to make up a term), and of course to take a proactive TechDebt paydown approach whose benefits are the hardest to measure, but who is in a better position to decide those, the team implementing or someone 2-3 degrees removed from the work (or suffering/toil when things inevitably go wrong if TechDebt is allowed to accumulate)…

Some things I think we would pretty much all agree on…
the current code sucks (but “mostly works”)
every line in the entire codebase once started out as a PR at one point or another…  or else it wouldn’t have made it into our git repo
if we had our way, we would change most of that code to be better (readable/maintainble, design patterns, UX/A11Y, Performance, Security, etc)?!

almost anything is better than what we have now…
we’ve all gotten better at coding/reviewing/fixing over the past 4 years
we have a tendency to as Wilson Philips said “Hold On for one more day” and squirrel away code, far too often suffering in silence, leaving big gaps in when the rest of the team can checkout progress and provide feedback
Continuous Integration is more than just an ideal to strive for, its become industry standard practice for a reason… everyone integrates what they’ve got all the time (daily at least, but more frequently is in fact better)
the opposite of “Continuous Integration” is “Sporadic Divergence”
to change the code and make it better, first you need a PR
if a PR is incomplete, we trust the reviewers to flag any of the more concerning imperfections, so that additional things can be improved… should be considered bonus if PR submitter points out some areas themselves they already know need further improving.

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