It’s the late 1940s and the automobile industry is just taking off. You run one of the product marketing teams at Chrysler. Wanting to make the best of an exploding market, your marketing team says, “You’ll drive 1,200 times as much with the new Chrysler Windsor!”
Of course, that advertising never makes it to the public, because it says nothing. So you’ll drive more, so what? It tells the customer nothing about the benefits of driving more. And some customers may make a connection between driving more and “because you want to,” but likely most won’t without context. So into the trash bin the entire ad campaign goes.
Yet, that is what happens in CI/CD every day. Every time you read a blog, pick up a book, listen to a speaker, it’s all about how many bazillion times more you’ll deploy with CI/CD in place. And I ask the same question: So you’ll deploy more. So what?
Most of those making these statements never get around to talking about how that can help with stability and user acceptance, a few get around to it roughly halfway through whatever they’re presenting, when the whole “You’ll deploy 70 billion times more!” statement is long gone. Very few drive the connected point home and make these statements show value.
Particularly if your target audience is people without a strong knowledge of the topic, talk about the benefits, not the act. I can create a script that builds my source tree just as many times as I like a day, but that adds value for no one, absent any other change.
While I’m going on about terminology, the whole “Delivery is not Deployment” topic needs to be made explicit in each and every talk/article/book. Marketing people have actually gotten better on this topic, but influencers have not. It’s time to step up the game, clarify, speak in meaningful terms.
In Short, Pique Their Interest
In the end, if you’re talking to people about CI/CD, you are doing so because you like to educate. So seek clarity. Many an enterprise IT person interested in what CI/CD tools and DevOps in general can offer their organization will be turned off by “You’ll deploy all the freaking time!” with no statement of benefit to them. And they’ll hear deploy and assume “to production.” Don’t do that. Education happens in clear and understandable terms; use them. Help those interested parties understand benefits; don’t confuse and disconcert them.
Oh, sorry, I’ve accidentally found someone’s soapbox. I’ll return it now.