A summary of our second Moogsoft engineering Twitch Stream chatting about all things DevOps.
Hello humans! Last week we hosted our second episode of Have You Herd?, the official channel of the Moogsoft Engineering team, and this round I was joined by Joshua Zangari, Joe Nye, Thom Duran, BJ Maldonado all representing our SRE team, Sean Molloy, our resident architect, and Alex Zuliqiaer our SDET extraordinaire.
This round we get into all things DevOps like… How do you contribute to a DevOps culture as an IC? What pipelines and tools should a company have set up? What kind of skills should you have to market as a DevOps leading engineer?
Read on below for a high-level summary, or listen in on the full conversation here!
What is the DevOps culture like and how to get involved
One team, one dream. As we talked about in our prior episode and more so in this one - the DevOps culture is about the collective we. A team built on trust and blamelessness from the tops down, and bottoms up. A team that prefers not to look backwards at who did something wrong, but instead look forward to why and how it can be prevented again. This foundation in culture unlocks how you can move faster, how you can enable each other to do better because of your expertise, and how you can empower others.
As our group was heavily weighted with SREs, there was much applause around empowering developers to just go out and do what they need to do. DevOps pushes the culture of autonomy by empowering developers to push to production, developing frameworks so they can test their own code, and equipping them with the tools that they need to make delivery more feasible. A great analogy that BJ, previously inceptioned by Josh, brought to the table is…
"Giving a developer restricted access to production is like going bowling with the bumper lanes up. Taking a kid bowling with those bumpers up, they’re not going to care when and where they throw the bowling ball. They’re just going to let it go left and right and eventually the ball will get to the bowling pins. However, take off the bumpers and they're going to be a lot more intentional about how they're delivering the bowling ball."
Things a company should consider when transitioning to a DevOps culture
Build the culture first, the technology and tools can follow. Translated into words by Sean, “DevOps existed before Jenkins. Just to be clear, Jenkins doesn't make you DevOps”. That being said, here’s a short list from the group on what a company should consider when transitioning to a DevOps culture:
Do it for the right reasons. Making a transition to DevOps may be a big move depending on your current organization, so know why you are making the changes and be able to communicate that to your teams so they are bought in from the start.
Do away with toxic egos, they will always be a wall to the efficiency of DevOps and how it operates. An ego mindset can be infectious and permeate the culture in the opposite motion of the blameless, team centered culture you are trying to build.
Be willing to accept the new definition of predictability moving from “predictable” outcomes based on waterfall dates to predictable velocity in deployments. Higher velocity = quicker feedback = faster MTTV (mean time to value).
Give your teams the visibility they need to do their jobs. This includes making sure you have Observability tools in place to get eyes on everything, as well as ensuring the access to said visibility isn’t restricted. Trust your team and give them what they need to get their jobs done.
Leave room for professional development. If your teams are always chugging and don’t have time to learn, then you’re not building a true DevOps culture!
Also DevOps culture isn’t for everyone and that is a-okay! There are plenty of industries, companies, and businesses where a DevOps culture is not the right fit and just because it’s the trend now does not mean it needs to be the trend for you.
What skills you need to “become” a DevOps engineer
Move aside hard skills, what those hiring should look for is all down to the soft skills here. As Thom put it so gently, “I can teach someone tech. I cannot teach them to be hungry, I cannot teach them to be curious, and I can't teach them to care.”
First and foremost, make sure you are leading with an eagerness to learn, desire to make things better for the collective whole (cough automate toil for the greater good), and don’t be afraid to connect across teams, tools, and systems to find new solutions.
And obviously technical skills are important but in that vein, focus on breadth of knowledge over depth. As Josh’s grandpa told him -- “a jack of all trades may be a master of none, but it’s still better than a master of one”.
Join us for our next stream!
Looking ahead to our next stream, join us as we talk about the evolution of development and observability over the transition from bare metal to the cloud, and what we think could be the next wave after the transition to cloud.
Well, that’s all for this round-up! Thank you for reading along and hope you get to listen as well. Want us to cover a specific topic? Have questions for the group? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the next stream - MOO!
About the author
Minami (Coirin) Rojas
Minami leads Digital Growth at Moogsoft. She's been a proven leader with experience optimizing B2B SaaS scaled revenue through web and self-service online acquisition channels. Outside of the business world - amateur photographer, travel lover, and mini-daschund dog mom.