Blog post

Towards a #DevOps master

By Joerg Fritsch | May 25, 2015 | 2 Comments

Trends and Predictions

When it comes to DevOps I observe the following types of adopters and wannabe adopters:

1. The top 1% of the companies that have no issues with adopting any technology or procedure.—Digital is in their DNA.

2. The company where ‘everyone’ is working in, that wants to increase efficacy of software development (read: CI and CD), configuration management (read: approval of provisioning of VMs and software takes unnaturally long.—They frequently have not (or not yet) implemented SCRUM or no need for it and look for ways and guides how to facilitate DevOps in their firm.

3. Startups that frequently are still looking for customers and that can do 100% DevOps because they are on a green field.

4. Enterprises that want to run world class IT and that irritate their peers with heavy lip services concerning the DevOps penetration and release cycles of their IT.

Looking at type 2 firms, what I frequently observe at clients is that every company has its own definition of DevOps. Some see it focused on Continuous Improvement (CI) / Continuous Delivery (CD), others on configuration management and again others on cultural changes and empowerment.

The enterprise then stands in front of the challenge what people do they need to hire to make DevOps projects successful and to facilitate a transition to DevOps in the next 5 to 7 years or so.
Now, thinking about SCRUM the situation was initially similar. Then the Scrum alliance came and all these cert plays (scrum master etc.) that allegedly made things easier in a way that now it is clear what skills are required and who can help to facilitate a SCRUM implementation.—Thus, would it make sense to have sort of a DevOps alliance that brings forward for example a ‘DevOps Master’ that is an analogue to the SCRUM Master?

However, this is highly disputed. On the one hand, some say a DevOps certification is not a good idea because there is no such thing as DevOps methodology or technology: https://sethvargo.com/the-ten-myths-of-devops/ ; on the other hand, Amazon has already launched a certification: http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/2015/02/aws-certified-devop-engineer.html and there are training classes already on-line for DevOps engineers. Albeit, most of these classes focus on the DevOps tool chain rather than facilitating DevOps in the firm.

But apparently this all does not do a job for the type 2 organizations.—So what then?

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2 Comments

  • Josef says:

    So what then?

    I guess the awareness that hiring someone to basically fix all problems probably won’t work.
    No matter how shiny his or her certifications are.

    What’s wrong with getting started with the existing team?

  • Joerg Fritsch says:

    @Josef , I agree that a cert play does not solve issues. When implementing DevOps you have the App Challenge (what app is the right to get started) and the Team Challenge (who should participate). But, IMHO on top of this you need someone who is carrying the torch. Some say this must be a senior stakeholder, such as a CIO, CFO or CEO. But I believe this C-level guy won’t have too much time for this. I believe that this someone should be a skilled facilitator similar to a SCRUM master. That does not mean that you need to throw any of your existing teams under the bus.