Sean Hull recently wrote that RISK is the four letter word keeping Dev and Ops apart. Developers are driven by getting new features out the door. Operations, being charged with keeping things running, wants to avoid change.
Sean is absolutely correct. How each group perceives and addresses risks explains a fair amount of the Dev / Ops divide. It is exactly around this gap, that Dev and Ops need to build their relationship. Remember that both groups are part of a single organization that needs to deliver new capabilities quickly, with low risk. They are on the same team.
The question becomes, “How do we address risk in a way that makes us comfortable delivering new capabilities in line with what the business desires?” The “go slower” approach frustrates not just the developers, but also the business. What’s needed is developers co-owning the risk (wearing pages, architecting for reliability, etc) and operations building for recovery rather than preventing all failures (canary deployments, automated rollbacks, agile infrastructure, etc).
Tackling these problems together is less and less optional everyday. That reality is what motivated me to put together our upcoming webcast: The DevOps Imperative: Why Ops must change, and how.