This is the eighth blog in the Field Notes from a DevOps Cultural Anthropologist series. It is the aboriginal in a two-part blog alternation on the Ops ancillary of the DevOps house. The aboriginal blog focuses on managing an Ops focused DevOps career and the additional is an account with leaders from the Ops-focused G2 Technology Group, a abundant and avant-garde Boston-based DevOps managed casework company.
I accept I accept had a appealing accepted DevOps career. Back I go to DevOps conferences, I get the consequence that I am one of abounding Ops-focused DevOps consultants who accept followed the aforementioned operations focused aisle that I have. I fell in adulation with Linux, had an activity with TCP/IP networking, ashamed adamantine on Puppet, accept been in a advantageous alliance with the Cloud/AWS back it aboriginal came out, and now adopting two billow kids, PaaS and Continuous Delivery. These adventures are what accomplish us DevOps engineers, both on our resumes and as people. I accept begin they are absolutely altered from the adventures of the developer-focused DevOps engineers, who are the majority in the DevOps community.
In my role as a chief DevOps consultant, I am generally commutual with audience who accept way added development acquaintance than I have. My amount add is my 19 years of operations experience. My career started as a architect to the FAA at their Air Traffic Control Administration facility. It had a authorization of six 9s (99.9999%) uptime. I formed there for 7 years and abstruse from actually some of the best operations bodies you could anytime achievement to assignment with. I await on the training I accustomed there daily. But, there is a alienation amid the Ops focused DevOps bodies and the Dev focused. In clandestine conversations with my colleagues, we allotment that we are both abashed by anniversary other’s strengths. I for one accept struggled with acceptable a acceptable programmer. It’s aloof not in me; it was not allotment of my training or education. At best, I am a scripter, not a programmer. I excel at systems engineering, networking and artistic botheration solving. In my darker moments, abnormally back I am amidst by software architects, I catechism if my accomplishments and abilities are acceptable abundant to accord to the approaching of DevOps.
It’s unclear. I achievement that there will consistently be a advising charge for ops-heavy DevOps consulting. With that said, there is an actual actuality that I charge to apprentice a programming language, in adjustment to be a accurate DevOps engineer. Jenkins makes use of Groovy heavily, and the new Pipeline as Code DSL was accounting in Groovy. Groovy is actual complete and is advised “a reasonable JVM accent for DevOps”. It is a simple, dynamically typed accent for the JVM. Its syntax and appearance are agnate to that of Ruby. My aide at CloudBees Victor Farcic says, “For Ops, I would alpha with Python, it is already installed on about every Linux administration and is accessible to learn”. He continues, “My admonition is to apprentice Dev so that you can absolutely become a DevOps”.
This appears to be acceptable admonition at aboriginal blush. I had, however, a contempo chat with Dr. Bill MacMillan, a political economist who fatigued the allowances of job or role specialization in DevOps. He said, that at his aggregation Prattle it is bigger to accept the abstracts scientists focused on abstracts science, and the developers focused on development. He said that focusins on one job frees his aggregation up to alike and acquaint better. An apprehension for advisers to be multi-disciplinary agency that his agents would be jacks of all trades, but masters of none…which is absolutely not what he wants for his startup. He wants adept technologists with audible strengths.
Dr. MacMillan connected giving a basketball analogy. He said, you ability accept a 7-foot behemothic that can cesspool 3 pointers, but you are bigger off accepting them beneath the bassinet communicable and putting assurance in the basket. Similarly, you ability accept a abundant point bouncer who is abundant on the outside, but you wouldn’t appetite to put them beneath the bassinet back you accept the 7-foot behemothic who will be able to awning the bassinet bigger than anyone else. Specialization of roles allows the accomplished aggregation to accomplish more. Dr. MacMillan is an economist and has advised job specialization or analysis of labor. “Job specialization is one of the key facets of the avant-garde backer abridgement and offers a ambit of abeyant advantages for workers and the companies that apply them”.
Is this accurate of DevOps? Why do we feel so abundant burden to be bigger at either Dev or Ops? Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton’s Now, Discover your Strengths aboriginal appear in 2001, advocates absorption on architecture strengths rather than absorption on weaknesses. “The approach abaft the book is that anniversary developed alone possesses a assertive cardinal of anchored accepted personal-character attributes, authentic by the authors as ‘talent themes’, which, together, aftereffect in an individual’s addiction to advance assertive abilities added calmly and excel in assertive fields in a acceptable way while declining or not actuality able to sustain success or aerial levels of capability in added fields. The authors affirmation that by anecdotic the alone backbone of the associates of the organization, its associates can be activated in added suiting positions, appropriately developing the adapted abilities easily, allowance to abate turnover, advance agent assurance and the organization’s all-embracing performance”. The axial bulletin in Now, Discover your Strengths is actual agnate to what Dr. MacMillan says about specialization aural his team.
Yet the catechism remains. What is the adapted antithesis of abilities all-important for a DevOps engineer, or in my case a DevOps consultant? Should I comedy up to my strengths and assignment on my advising skills? Should I comedy up my systems engineering accomplishments and adept HAProxy or Terraform? Or would my DevOps consulting profession be bigger served acquirements Python? There is a meme on LinkedIn that I accept noticed afresh and it extolls the virtues of managing your career as if it were a business. I accede with it. Your career is a business and should be managed like one. If you attending at the botheration as a business administration problem, what are the best business development areas we should all be absorption on? Is it our strengths or our weaknesses?
Stay acquainted to the additional allotment in this Ops focused series. We will be interviewing Director of Operations Tom Levins and CEO Glenn Grant of Ops-focused DevOps managed casework close G2 Technology Group, to apprehend about their booty on DevOps as a career and what it’s like to be focused on the Ops ancillary of DevOps.
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