What an 80s rock band and Berlin taught us about DevOps

Last week we went to DevOpsDays for the first time thinking we would sit quietly at the back learning from the masters. And we did learn something important but it wasn’t about how other people do things better: instead we learned something important about our ourselves. About how we have gradually changed our culture to embrace DevOps as a core principle of how we ensure quality.

Listening to other people talk about what they wanted to achieve we realised that we are on the right path. We have actually already come a really long way and already do many of the things other organisations aspire to. This is how we made it happen...

It's a journey
For us, the journey started in a belief that quality has to be at the core of everything we do. Quality isn’t something that you can achieve once and then ignore so we defined it as a company-wide journey (which gave us a great theme tune. Since it’s a journey it’s also change in slow motion and it’s only when we look back at where we have come from that we can see just how far we have travelled.

Everyone takes responsibility
Our developers have testing, documentation, support and operations written into their job descriptions. It is not something they hand over to someone else to take care of once they’ve written the code and it passes the works-on-my-machine-test.

We talk a lot about process. A lot.
We put process first, locate the “desire path” and don’t let the tools dictate the process. It amazed us that so many people still argued that the process should follow the tools.

You can't measure culture. We tried.
DevOps is at its heart about building a company culture and even if you find something you think is measureable, it’s not going to tell you anything. So be sure about what you’re trying to achieve and work towards that. Day by day.

More about DevOpsDays

“DevOpsDays is a technical conference, aimed at developers, operations and anyone else involved in technology, whether expert or beginner.” The idea of DevOpsDays originated in Antwerpen, with the first one being held in Ghent in 2009. As a community lead movement, the idea spread to other cities quickly, with over 40 cities participating in 2016.

We are looking forward to the first DevOpsDays Stockholm https://twitter.com/devopsdayssthlm in the spring of 2017!

Photo CC BY-SA 2.0 courtesy of flickr.com/photos/59159233@N04