Water for DevOps

For my inaugural post, I’d like to lead off with my philosophies and approaches in DevOps ( What is DevOps? ). Like many of my childhood friends, I idolized Bruce Lee growing up. There is no introduction needed for Bruce as there isn’t anything I can say which hasn’t already been said about the legend. One of his many talents and creations included a guiding set of philosophical principles.

Most, if not all, of these thought points have a profound correlation to everything that I do. I’d like to go through some of these ideas and point out the link that binds to my own guiding principles in my profession.

“Be Water, My Friend”

My north star in DevOps is pragmatism. My core belief is that DevOps is not there to impede but rather to facilitate. I do not believe in coming into any situations with a set opinion on how certain things should be done or particular set of tools should be integrated.

My approach is to be practical. I’d like to observe the efficacy of the current workflow. Get a thorough understanding of the business and team roadmap and goals then let’s hammer out a plan on how and what I can do to help get the team there. The only thing left after that is to just execute.

Be flexible. Be nimble. Be pragmatic, my friend.

“Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation”

There is a time and place to implement bleeding edge technologies. Don’t jump into a new database or language because it is new and shiny. Sometimes an older but much more stable solution would work equally well.

I’ve been in situations when a new and shiny piece of database falls over at 3am and suddenly the DevOps team realizes there is no in-house expertise and community support is lacking. It’s a very lonely feeling to have in those wee hours. The feeling of defecating lego bricks is overwhelming as each minute passes with your SaaS being down.

“Be a practical dreamer backed by action”

Talk is cheap. Debate is expensive. Meetings are a drag. Enough with the pontification.

The highly opinionated tech heads who enjoys the endless “Hmm and Haw” debates are my kryptonite. Time is money, so let’s spend it with purpose and intent.

Don’t mistake action without purpose as an exercise in productivity. Any proof-of-concept effort, evaluation, or playing with new tech should produce justifiable data at the end to warrant the time investment.

“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.”

Everyone’s journey and experience differs slightly from their peers. This is especially prevalent in the world of DevOps as it includes many roles, skills, and talents grouped together as one. Depending on your own journey and experience, your take on DevOps will not be the same as mine. I accumulated and achieved this level of understanding because of the convergence of all that I’ve done and the roads traveled. If it’s working then I’ll keep on doing what I am doing and prosper. If not, I’ll make minor changes that will inevitably lead to positve net results later on.

“Walk on!”

I walk my own path and I do not let others influence me frivolously. I can hold my own and although I do not claim to know everything (it is impossible!), I do know that there are still many known unknowns and even more unknown unknowns. This keeps me humble and pragmatic. It is my way to DevOps.