Full disclosure
• These are my
personal observations
• They do not represent
my past or current
employers’
• And they may ...
What shall we talk about?

ANECDOTES AND
OBSERVATIONS
Anecdote #1

STORY OF MY LIFE
… in the beginning
• I’ve been programming since forever
• … but also interested in hardware, IT…
• … and esoterica
Enter: Delver
• Where I was happily
banging at code
Enter: Delver
• Where I was happily
banging at code
– and at production
systems at 3AM
Enter: Delver
• Where I was happily
banging at code
– and at production
systems at 3AM
– every single day
Enter: Delver
• Where I was happily
banging at code
– and at production
systems at 3AM
– every single day

• Net result:
–...
Dramatic Pause
• Next thing you
know…
The Reveal
• Next thing you
know…
• This happens
• Product pivots ensue…
• Product pivots ensue some more…
Until finally…
• I couldn’t face another product pivot
• I was left with two options:
– Leave the company
– Do something r...
An experiment
• So it turns out I
actually did a lot of…
–
–
–
–

Production debugging
IT infrastructure
Software infrastr...
An experiment
• So it turns out I
actually did a lot of…
–
–
–
–

Production debugging
IT infrastructure
Software infrastr...
An experiment
• This was early 2009
– DevOps wasn’t a
“thing” yet

• I had free rein to
define my own job
– And buy-in fro...
An experiment
• What I ended up doing:
– Specifications for
monitoring, logging
– Deployment automation
– Production suppo...
Observation #1

ENGINEERING IS ENGINEERING
IS ENGINEERING
DevOps is at its best
• … when software
engineers develop
an operational bent

• … when system
administrators dig
code
QUESTIONS SO FAR?
Anecdote #2
• A recruiter once asked me,
– “How should I hire DevOps people?”

• To which I replied…
Anecdote #2
• A recruiter once asked me,
– “How should I hire DevOps people?”

• To which I replied…
– “Just stick DevOps ...
Something wondrous happens
• DevOps becomes a
thing!
• Easier to explain
– Others have already
done it better

• Easier to...
But then…
Remember back, oh, five years?
• QA was considered R&D’s idiot kid brother
– I don’t think that’s the case
– But it was, a...
It’s kinda the same
• Everyone needs “DevOps” these days
• But as it gains mainstream acceptance…
– Viable candidates are ...
Recap
• The best DevOps engineers are already taken.
• But you need them anyway. How to get them?

• A more compelling que...
Recruiting 101
• Should we aim for…
Recruiting 101
• Should we aim for…
sysadmins?
Recruiting 101
• Should we aim for…
sysadmins?
• Probably not
– Too focused on
infrastructure, IT
– Software eng. and
arch...
Recruiting 101
• Should we aim for…
Recruiting 101
• Should we aim for…
software engineers?
Recruiting 101
• Probably not.
– Technology requirements too specific
– Solely focused on software development
Recruiting 101
• Maybe we should throw in the towel?
Recruiting 101
• Maybe we should throw in the towel?
– and aim for DevOps
Recruiting 101
• Maybe we should throw in the towel?
– and aim for DevOps

• Won’t work.
– Only applies to
seniors
– Who a...
Observation #2

YOU CAN’T HIRE FOR DEVOPS BECAUSE

DEVOPS IS NOT A ROLE
Explain yourself, sir!
• Conway’s law, my interpretation:
“Software architecture inevitably reflects the
structure and pro...
Kicking the hornet’s nest
• Likewise,
“System infrastructure inevitably reflects the
structure and process of the R&D orga...
Getting to the point
• Architecture and DevOps aren’t roles
• But rather, different views of the
organization
• Both try t...
Let’s play a game

ANY OF THESE FAMILIAR?
Any of these familiar?
• This is Shirley.
• She’s on the QA team.
• She’s got a real knack
for spotting blockers
• Especia...
Any of these familiar?
• This is Ruth.
• She leads the backend team.
• She knows her Unix
and can handle the
production se...
Any of these familiar?
• This is John.
• He’s the badass team
lead across the hall.
• When shit hits the fan,
he’s always ...
What’s in common?
• Every organization has such people
• They perform one or more DevOps
functions
• In other words, you a...
Observation #2, epilogue
• Don’t hire DevOps. Train them.
• You’re looking for smart juniors
– You already know how to spo...
Takeaways
• Engineering is engineering is engineering
– Same skills, different perspectives

• DevOps is not a role
– It’s...
QUESTIONS?
Thank you for your time!
• I love me some feedback!
– Lively debate always
welcome
– Hate mail is cool too

• Get in touch...
DevOps Redux
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DevOps Redux

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Over the last couple of years the term "DevOps" has become so ridiculously overloaded: an industry trend, a cultural shift, a set of methodologies, a set of tools, an organizational function, ad infinitum. Over the last few years I've gone through a circuitous journey through different roles and functions within several R&D organizations, and would love to share my perceptions on DevOps from a software developer's perspective -- and maybe provide a few insights into how it could be done better.

A talk given at Reversim Summit 2014 on 25 February, 2014, video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Cz-dTcgTY&list=PLp33GadmS4eW5tlupTkS2uzSb024ig1iB&index=45

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DevOps Redux

  1. 1. Full disclosure • These are my personal observations • They do not represent my past or current employers’ • And they may be entirely wrong – I welcome debate! – Catch me after the talk
  2. 2. What shall we talk about? ANECDOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
  3. 3. Anecdote #1 STORY OF MY LIFE
  4. 4. … in the beginning • I’ve been programming since forever
  5. 5. • … but also interested in hardware, IT…
  6. 6. • … and esoterica
  7. 7. Enter: Delver • Where I was happily banging at code
  8. 8. Enter: Delver • Where I was happily banging at code – and at production systems at 3AM
  9. 9. Enter: Delver • Where I was happily banging at code – and at production systems at 3AM – every single day
  10. 10. Enter: Delver • Where I was happily banging at code – and at production systems at 3AM – every single day • Net result: – Complete burnout
  11. 11. Dramatic Pause • Next thing you know…
  12. 12. The Reveal • Next thing you know… • This happens
  13. 13. • Product pivots ensue…
  14. 14. • Product pivots ensue some more…
  15. 15. Until finally… • I couldn’t face another product pivot • I was left with two options: – Leave the company – Do something radically different
  16. 16. An experiment • So it turns out I actually did a lot of… – – – – Production debugging IT infrastructure Software infrastructure Automation
  17. 17. An experiment • So it turns out I actually did a lot of… – – – – Production debugging IT infrastructure Software infrastructure Automation … and liked it!
  18. 18. An experiment • This was early 2009 – DevOps wasn’t a “thing” yet • I had free rein to define my own job – And buy-in from our terrific VPs R&D, Ops – Thanks, guys!
  19. 19. An experiment • What I ended up doing: – Specifications for monitoring, logging – Deployment automation – Production support • Sharing more responsibility with R&D
  20. 20. Observation #1 ENGINEERING IS ENGINEERING IS ENGINEERING
  21. 21. DevOps is at its best • … when software engineers develop an operational bent • … when system administrators dig code
  22. 22. QUESTIONS SO FAR?
  23. 23. Anecdote #2 • A recruiter once asked me, – “How should I hire DevOps people?” • To which I replied…
  24. 24. Anecdote #2 • A recruiter once asked me, – “How should I hire DevOps people?” • To which I replied… – “Just stick DevOps in the title. They will come.”
  25. 25. Something wondrous happens • DevOps becomes a thing! • Easier to explain – Others have already done it better • Easier to hire – You’re early out the gate
  26. 26. But then…
  27. 27. Remember back, oh, five years? • QA was considered R&D’s idiot kid brother – I don’t think that’s the case – But it was, and to a degree still is, the conception – At least in Israel • It became hard to hire for QA – The candidate pool was saturated – … and ill-chosen
  28. 28. It’s kinda the same • Everyone needs “DevOps” these days • But as it gains mainstream acceptance… – Viable candidates are long gone – Recruiting can no longer meet demand – HR agencies are left with one option: artificially increase the pool
  29. 29. Recap • The best DevOps engineers are already taken. • But you need them anyway. How to get them? • A more compelling question is: – “How should I hire DevOps people who don’t know what DevOps is?”
  30. 30. Recruiting 101 • Should we aim for…
  31. 31. Recruiting 101 • Should we aim for… sysadmins?
  32. 32. Recruiting 101 • Should we aim for… sysadmins? • Probably not – Too focused on infrastructure, IT – Software eng. and architecture skills needed
  33. 33. Recruiting 101 • Should we aim for…
  34. 34. Recruiting 101 • Should we aim for… software engineers?
  35. 35. Recruiting 101 • Probably not. – Technology requirements too specific – Solely focused on software development
  36. 36. Recruiting 101 • Maybe we should throw in the towel?
  37. 37. Recruiting 101 • Maybe we should throw in the towel? – and aim for DevOps
  38. 38. Recruiting 101 • Maybe we should throw in the towel? – and aim for DevOps • Won’t work. – Only applies to seniors – Who are already taken
  39. 39. Observation #2 YOU CAN’T HIRE FOR DEVOPS BECAUSE DEVOPS IS NOT A ROLE
  40. 40. Explain yourself, sir! • Conway’s law, my interpretation: “Software architecture inevitably reflects the structure and process of the organization that spawned it.”
  41. 41. Kicking the hornet’s nest • Likewise, “System infrastructure inevitably reflects the structure and process of the R&D organization it supports.”
  42. 42. Getting to the point • Architecture and DevOps aren’t roles • But rather, different views of the organization • Both try to model your organization as it applies to their respective domains • In other words, they’re aspects
  43. 43. Let’s play a game ANY OF THESE FAMILIAR?
  44. 44. Any of these familiar? • This is Shirley. • She’s on the QA team. • She’s got a real knack for spotting blockers • Especially just before, during or after a deployment
  45. 45. Any of these familiar? • This is Ruth. • She leads the backend team. • She knows her Unix and can handle the production servers better than anyone.
  46. 46. Any of these familiar? • This is John. • He’s the badass team lead across the hall. • When shit hits the fan, he’s always on-board • And is singlemindedly determined to get back up and running
  47. 47. What’s in common? • Every organization has such people • They perform one or more DevOps functions • In other words, you already have DevOps in your organization • Does it merit a specialized position?
  48. 48. Observation #2, epilogue • Don’t hire DevOps. Train them. • You’re looking for smart juniors – You already know how to spot them – Challenge them with real responsibility and watch them grow – Water frequently – Profit
  49. 49. Takeaways • Engineering is engineering is engineering – Same skills, different perspectives • DevOps is not a role – It’s incredibly hard to hire DevOps… – Because we’re doing it wrong – Focus on the operational challenge, not the title
  50. 50. QUESTIONS?
  51. 51. Thank you for your time! • I love me some feedback! – Lively debate always welcome – Hate mail is cool too • Get in touch: – @tomerg – tomer@tomergabel.com

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