Actually Getting Started with DevOps

a valentine’s day heart tin laying in snow
a valentine’s day heart tin laying in snow
That’s a heart pan in snow. I took that in Cincinnati, OH. Happy Valentine’s Day.

One: Start High Level

Do not read a book on great DevOps culture as your first task. You’re not trying to boil the ocean here. It’s like watching Yo-Yo Ma and getting bummed out that you suck at cello. He’s been playing since 1959. He probably wasn’t that good in 1960. DevOps is a process, it’s very organic, and even small growth will give you benefits, further fueling your ambition.

Two: Pick a Goal

With the list above in mind, pick just one thing about your software delivery you want to improve. This is a concept similar to building software: start small. Make the tiniest piece work first, and then move on to something else. Focus on solving a real-world problem that you have:

  • We have a lot of bugs in production
  • The site/app/server goes down a lot
  • The team is really unhappy
  • I never know what’s going on, or where things stand
  • Time / $ estimates are always way off
  • [Insert your own problem here]

Three: Measure by Hand

With that problem in mind, let’s consider the next piece of DevOps — measurement. Much like any other piece of a business, from accounts receivable to payroll to product supply to shipment times to margins, everything is measurable. Software delivery is, in many ways, no different. If your site goes down a lot, how often is it? Be vague — is it once a week, once a month, etc? If your estimates are way off, by how much? Are you always 50% over budget? 75%? 200%?

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Image for post


DevOps covers a lot of ground and does a lot of things and requires a lot of expertise… to operate at the expert level. You can start at the earliest stage doing the most basic amount of work. Grow from there.

  1. Less developer stress
  2. Less time spent on support calls = more time spent on developing other features
  3. Measurable improvement for the team to see and applaud
  4. Education and growth for the team working to solve it

Peanut butter first, code second.

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