DevOps is Hard

DevOps is Hard

Working in DevOps can be a challenging experience. It’s not about having the necessary skills or technical capabilities, it’s navigating the intangibles and nuances of company, team, and culture dynamics. DevOps engineers must be proficient in many areas to operate at peak performance.

Unfortunately, there is often a lack of empathy and emotional intelligence amongst peers. Sometimes DevOps engineers face unnecessary blame, criticism, or even ostracism. Even when a team has a stellar uptime performance record, it takes one significant outage to wipe out any existing goodwill. It’s a “what have you done for me lately?” culture.

This is where the #hugops movement comes in. The movement was born out of a desire to promote empathy and kindness within the industry. It was created by a group of IT professionals who recognized that operations engineers often toil in the background without any recognition or glory, even though they are the ones who are responsible for keeping systems up and running.

During a production outage, ops engineers are the ones who must drop everything to handle the situation. They might have to pull over to the side of a freeway to fix the issue, or they might have to leave a party or family vacation to join a “war room” to solve a production outage. They are often required to participate in nights and weekends on-call schedules.

The #hugops movement is not just for practitioners; its aim is also for management and leadership. It’s essential for these leaders to understand the challenges that their DevOps engineers face and to create a culture of empathy and kindness. Doing so can help reduce stress and burnout while promoting a more collaborative and supportive working environment.