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Hi Friend,

I'm thrilled you're here. As promised, below you'll find my Top 10 DevOps Tips for you and your organization. Believe me, these are just the tip of the iceberg. But don't sweat it! I've got you covered. I promise to keep you posted each month on the latest updates in DevOps through my newsletter, Delivering DevOps

Have a question? I'd love to hear it! I'm @editingemily on Twitter.

Keep being you,

Top 10 DevOps Tips

No. 1

Focus on your people. 

The people who focus on tooling in DevOps are selling you a product. DevOps is a philosophy and practices that focuses on people — most importantly engineers.

In order to create a culture in which your engineers will thrive, you must focus on creating a collaborative work environment focused on mutual respect, learning, and engineer empowerment. 

No. 2

Embrace the 3 priorities of DevOps. 

I talk about people, process, and technology when I speak on DevOps. And the priorities go in that order. If you prioritize technology before process, you'll end up automating failure, which is never good. And if you put process or technology before your engineers, you'll lose out on the potential acceleration of highly collaborative and communicative engineers. (Not to mention your trouble acquiring and retaining talent.)

No. 3

Align incentives.

In traditional engineering organizations, the incentives of each team is different. This can cause extreme friction between engineers, eventually evolving into animosity. 

In order to avoid this, DevOps focuses on eliminating silos of responsibility. Rather than measure developers by one criteria and operations engineers by another, unify the team by evaluating the velocity of the entire organization, together. 
Ready for more DevOps? Get the book!

No. 4

Avoid micro-managing.

Micromanagement is one of the quickest ways to undermine the potential of your engineering team.

If you hire talented engineers, your job as a manager is to remove the friction from their day-to-day work. Not to review every single little thing they do. They're talented. Step back and let them do what they do best: engineer solutions.

No. 5

Make iterative progress.

It's easy to get started on a DevOps transformation, see everything you're doing "wrong," and want to make significant changes across your organization.

Don't boil the ocean because you feel behind. If you make too many changes too quickly, you risk alarming your engineers. Instead, be realistic about your current progress and start measuring your team's velocity. Change one thing at a time and evaluate the benefit. 

No. 6

Learn from failure. 

At the center of failing fast is learning from mistakes. Something I like to think of as failing well. For me, the key to failing well is to ensure your team seeks to learn rather than blame when something goes wrong.

It also requires you to control the blast radius when taking risks. In other words, when you experiment, make sure it's in isolation so mistakes don't cascade into massive incidents or outages.

No. 7

DevOps isn't a title. 

Except when it is. DevOps was never intended to be a job title or role. It was a philosophy for all engineers to adopt and embody in their work. There are a few ways of integrating DevOps into your engineering organization's hierarchy. Some companies choose to form a dedicated DevOps team. Others choose to focus on aligning the functional teams that already exist. Finally, some companies solve this challenge by creating cross-functional product teams. 

No. 8

Create resilient systems. 

Unplanned disruptions are part of software. There's simply no way you can predict the millions of ways your system can fail. From the technical point of view, architectural decisions like implementing decoupled microservices and adopting public cloud services can improve resiliency. But the processes you adopt are equally important, especially your incident management plan. Ensure everyone has a clear understanding of monitoring, alerting, on-call rotations, and how the team will respond to incidents.

Want more DevOps? 

Be sure to grab a copy of my book, DevOps for Dummies from Amazon. It includes everything you need to transform your company to a DevOps organization. 

Buy DevOps for Dummies

No. 9

Choose your DevOps tools carefully. 

I deprioritize tooling in DevOps — and rightfully so — but it is still an important aspect. The technologies you choose to utilize will impact your DevOps success. 

Choose tools that align with the style, knowledge, and (sometimes) comfort of your team. There are times where everyone must stretch beyond their comfort zone. But I do recommend taking advantage of the knowledge your team already possesses. Learning, while critical, does take time. 

No. 10

Stay flexible.

DevOps is not a one size fits all solution. Which means you and your team must embrace some flexibility in aligning the principles and practices of DevOps to the specific needs of your team.

Every group of humans is a little bit different. And you'll learn how to adapt DevOps advice to your unique engineering team. The trick is to take everything as a suggestion, experiment, and identify through which changes your team benefits the most.
Ready for more DevOps? Get the book!
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