What Should You Avoid When Doing DevOps?
As you work to improve your DevOps processes and achieve excellence, be aware of the hidden traps and anti-patterns.
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The goal of the DevOps practice is an enabling technology that allows developers (Dev) and operations teams (Ops) members to work together more efficiently by automating deployment processes — all while keeping the customers' data safe. But along this journey, companies face many common challenges and traps when implementing these principles, which we'll explore here.
The DevOps Team
The central idea behind DevOps is that there should be more collaboration and shared ownership between existing teams. Companies often struggle with adopting these practices because they create new silos and do not bring different groups closer together. This makes sense only when you think how much more efficiently something can be accomplished if everyone works towards achieving shared goals rather than having separate teams doing their own thing without any communication whatsoever.
Automating Everything at Once
Applying DevOps practices in an organization takes work. It's a complex task to bring about these changes, so you need to think strategically and prioritize tasks accordingly. Consider focusing attention on one particular area or process until you know more specifically how best to approach this new style of working together. Find quick wins by automating stuff that will have a higher impact on the company's bottom line before going after bigger projects — it may take some time, but eventually, everything should fall into place.
Engineering is all about making complex problems more straightforward. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that we need to do away with some old tools in favor of new ones — but it's important not just for the sake of being "in-trend." The right pick can help streamline your workflow and cut down on wasted time while also keeping things maintainable long-term, so you don't get overwhelmed or stuck without solutions when something goes wrong.
Speed Over Quality
Speed is great, but you have to be mindful of the quality of your work. Too often, teams will sacrifice safety for speed, and this can lead them into dangerous territory where they're shipping something without actually delivering any value or benefit to customers in return. Make sure that each stage (such as automated tests) is equally weighed along with how fast things get done on their own timeline.
Forgetting Continuous Improvement
DevOps is a never-ending process of constant review and improvement. It's tempting to take off the gloves once we've implemented all our practices, but this isn't realistic - there will always be new ways for us to improve as well.
It's not uncommon for certain members of the group to be more involved in practicing DevOps than others. This could stem from accumulated knowledge, higher levels of experience, or increased effort being put into those parts by people who have stepped up their game so much that they're now considered "heroes."
If this pattern emerges too often, then you can end up with leads teams getting stuck when one individual becomes indispensable. That means if that "hero" gets burnt out, they will be unable to continue working at their full capacity.
The most successful adopters of DevOps practices rely on sharing information efficiently within their organization and creating a workplace where collaboration thrives organically. Unfortunately, neglecting documentation or efficient data-sharing is an anti-pattern that occurs too often in software teams.
Docs can provide handy tools for developers if done right. Structuring tasks related to keeping your team updated with all changes will help keep everyone informed about what they need so there's clarity when collaborating together.
As you work to improve your DevOps processes and achieve excellence, be aware of the hidden traps and anti-patterns we've discussed. Make sure you have a solid foundation in place before starting to automate, always measure everything, and remember that communication is key. Implementing these best practices will help you avoid common pitfalls and reach the promised land of DevOps excellence.
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