When It Comes to DevOps, You Have to Start Small
When you’re instituting a new methodology or practice within your organization, taking things slowly can be a difficult proposition. If you know you want to become agile, why not just push hard right away to make sure each and every team follows agile practices?
Of course, it’s never that easy. If you want DevOps to be a major focus in order to improve communication and collaboration between development and operations, you can’t just make that happen with the wave of a wand and a couple of key buzzwords.
Anders Wallgren, chief technical officer of Electric Cloud, recently spoke with StickyMinds about how you have to start small in these situations in order to properly fold the right ideas into individual teams. Without a smart and patient game plan, you can end up with far more problems than what you started with.
“You have to cultivate very carefully the grassroots movements that are in favor of DevOps along with the more managerial, executive kind of sponsorship that you need to make that happen on a large scale and in a large company,” Wallgren explains. “I think you have to start small. If agile has taught us anything right, it's “divide and conquer”: Break ethics down into stories, break stories down into smaller things that you can work on, don't have eighteen-month releases, have two-week cadences.”
Wallgren points to a large bank that Electric Cloud works with where they have thousands of applications to think about. For a company of that size, it's not a question of leaving work on Friday afternoon, doing waterfall, then strolling on in the next week and being DevOps. There are different processes, practices, and people at play that can’t be changed in a weekend.
“It's very common that you get yourself into patterns where everybody's doing local optimizations on the part of the problem that they can see,” Wallgren continues. “But we're missing out on the big global optimizations that we can do to really turn organizations—specially legacy-oriented organizations—into high performing DevOps organizations.”
You need leaders—both at the ground level and at the very top—to guarantee that a movement toward DevOps in an organization that works on multiple applications can run smoothly. There are going to be plenty of hurdles to clear along the way, but if you’re making a move toward DevOps with the goal of becoming more efficient, the process can’t be rushed.