The growth in the need for DevOps workers is highlighted by it coming in 2nd in the Glassdoor’s annual list for the best technology positions in the United States. It’s an exciting field given that it supports the move to Agile development where software must be released faster than ever before.
The role of a DevOps administrator is an evolving one because organizations continue to wrestle with what the best processes and structures are. Proper implementation and refinement along the way are two significant hurdles to overcome.
Let’s now look at the 10 bad habits that DevOps administrators need to be mindful of during their ongoing implementation process.
1. DevOps Because Everyone Else Is Doing It
DevOps is a catchphrase right now. Software companies are scrambling to implement it. Some are overlooking that taking a gradual approach with one team, experimenting, and getting a process down is more important than everyone switching over together. There’s a good amount of prep work that must go into the operations and workflow before its ready for DevOps. Skipping that exploratory setup phase is a big mistake. Prep well, develop a workflow, get approval, and then show it to other teams. Walk, don’t run!
2. Not Accepting That Failing is Part of the Job
It’s better to fail and try again than to do the wrong thing and stick with it. A DevOps administrator must accept that failure is part of their role. If they’re doing their job, trials with new approaches and software implementations won’t always turn out right. Sometimes code won’t do what it should've, or software won’t live up to its hype. Keep proceeding towards a successful outcome and remember that we learn from our failures.
3. Developers and Operators in Conflict
Before DevOps, the operators and developers were often kept separate and behaved accordingly. Developers didn’t like anyone touching their code and the operators needed to update it to make it real-world relevant. Getting everyone on the same page, which is necessary in the DevOps world, takes longer than implementers think. It is essential to understand that the "Them vs. Us" approach won't have positive outcomes. Collaborate frequently to reach better results.
4. Failure to Establish Standards for Delivery
Delivering on software release goals based on agreed timelines and broad mandates is easier when everyone is on the same page. When not setting standards for what is expected and sticking to a structured release plan, the development of software might not provide the anticipated results.
When deciding on a set number of major and a limited number of minor releases that year, developers can discuss and agree on what features and fixes will go into each release. With tighter release dates and improved clarity, the whole team knows what's expected. Tracking metrics becomes easier too because everyone is clear on their individual responsibilities.
5. Not Breaking Up the Silos
Silos are clusters of team members (and individuals) who work in isolation. They’re so focused on their individual responsibilities that they often don’t consider the bigger picture. When creating software with a vast number of features, a close-minded viewpoint could be deadly.
Another problem that you might encounter with regard to Silos is the security of the whole network; as breach of a single Silo could lead to failure of the whole project. If your company uses a single network for communication it’s best to ensure that network’s virtual security. One of the best ways to protect all your communications is by using a VPN service as it encrypt all data flow over the network and so creates a secure tunnel that’s virtually impenetrable.
6. Not Agile
The worst offender with regard to software developers is the manager who hasn’t released any software because “It’s not ready yet.” No alpha, no beta. Nothing. Continually putting off releases for testing out of fear that it’s not good enough.
A switch to Agile methodologies flies in the face of this kind of thinking. Going from occasional or never released timeframes to an agile framework of rapid development and frequent software releases isn’t easy. Moving the entire organization to adopt Agile is a complicated and significant step toward the growth of the organization. It requires the buy-in from everyone.
7. Trying to Run Too Fast and Go Full DevOps Overnight
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make, is changing the workflow to be entirely DevOps. When the workflow, tools, and methodologies all must change overnight, it’s too much, too fast for some people. Being overburdened with change turns rubs people the wrong way. This can affect people around them and in turn change their attitude towards DevOps.
Make smaller changes to update parts of the workflow. Get that working correctly. Then broaden the initiative. Don’t try to do it all at once.
8. Security as an Afterthought
Security is often one part of the development that gets pushed back for later implementation to meet the release deadline. This short sighted approach can lead to a subsequent security breach. Security is critical to any software application. It needs to be integral to each new release – major or minor – not tacked at the end of the whole process. You can expect smooth releases only when all people working with the code have a team-based mindset.
9. Miscommunication Between Business Execs and IT
DevOps and the whole IT staff serve the business, not the other way around. When the business executives don’t have a handle on what features are essential when requesting them from the DevOps administrator, there’s a fundamental disconnect in the enterprise. Similarly, when requests aren’t logically organized the DevOps face confusing mandates.
The business executives and the DevOps department must get together regularly to review the strategy for future software releases. Only this way can they agree on a realistic plan that is viable for the coding team and business-oriented senior management.
10. Software Tools Don’t Equal DevOps Sophistication
It's true that DevOps work often includes using appropriate tools, creating systems and processes that facilitate everyone working in unison towards the goal of better software and timely releases. Automation is useful, but cooperation is vital. Tools don’t include the human element, and ultimately, it is people working with people towards common goals that matters.
If your team can avoid at least a few of these bad habits, the whole organization will benefit from it.