DevOps was built around the concept of continuous everything. We even use it in many of the names—continuous delivery (CD), continuous testing, continuous integration (CI)—and it is a worthy goal to want to improve the places that form bottlenecks in your software delivery systems and processes.
But what about the bottlenecks in the DevOps systems and processes?
Like any other system, DevOps involves tools. We choose those tools, invest in learning those tools and use them to do great things. But then we have investment in the tool. If our knowledge and systems for deployment are all based around CD tool X or ARA tool Y, we are just as unlikely to want to move from it as we were unlikely to want to move away from the previous toolset.
Even if you discount the number of shops that have done pilot or small-team DevOps but kept the core of their business waterfalling, there are still a large number of organizations that stepped into DevOps and stopped improving. Granted, it is a huge job to move a significantly sized application portfolio into the DevOps mold and toolchain, but it is contrary to the process/goals to stop just because you did.
The market is nowhere near finished evolving: New tools are coming available and massive improvements to existing tools are being released. Keep taking advantage of those facts.
The more projects/portfolios you have moved into DevOps, the more weight there is to resist change. That is the simple reality, just as the larger a rock, the harder it is to move (assuming the same type of rock, of course). The answer: Watch for those improvements that will make moving the rock worth the force required to do so.
Working containers into the overall DevOps process, for example, can benefit every step in the toolchain. But if they’re not already in the process, it is a lot of work to get them folded in. I chose this example because for most shops, a little research will show it is well worth the effort. From preconfigured Dev/Test/Prod servers to run-and-done compile instances, containers can make the process more manageable and more agile. The benefits outweigh the costs for most shops.
So keep an eye out. Don’t implement and spend all of your time on the tools you’ve chosen. Stay aware of what is out there, and what is coming. Understand how it would impact the DevOps process and try to pull in those items that fit the environment.
And, as always, keep rocking it. The end goal is to keep the systems up, running and usable. And most of you are doing a great job.
(This, and all blogs, brought to you as much by the geeks behind the scenes as the author and editor.)