The Path to Becoming an Agile Developer, Not

July 19, 2012

Since I’ve already started the fire for more Agile in operations, it makes sense to actually discuss what exactly is involved in doing just that.  After all, this isn’t just envy of my fellow software development brethren– then again, who wouldn’t want to be a hip and Agile developer? — these are real methodologies and enlightenment gleamed through blood, sweat and tears and savvy Ops should outright borrow steal those tough-earned wisdom from the software teams.  If nothing else, only to avoid doing any real work so that we may continue to be grumpy and misanthropic stonewalls that system administrators are known for.  And play StarCraft.

That should’ve caught your attention, because being Agile is all about avoiding doing repetitive and the dreaded support tasks, probably the worst resource drain for many daily Ops scenarios. By embracing but a few ideas of the Agile Manifesto — ideas such as simplicity, sustainability, process and teamwork — there is a clear and measurable difference in minimizing the need to dragon-slay on a routine basis. Keeping things simple, eliminates the devotion of time required for grasping non-standard or incompatible [ or worse, non-compliant ] solution offerings. Instead, look for broadly adopted and commonly-accepted practices and technologies.  Leveraging them will lead readily to sustainability between the users and their demands, the business case requirements and operational effort because you’re not wasting time to troubleshoot some obscure feature in a proprietary package.  Sustainable also means creating processes, be it deployment or monitoring, that address challenges intrinsically as opposed to reacting upon exceptions.  Focus on the teams and you’ll focus on the people.  Focus on the people and invariably customer service will improve, and with that, customer satisfaction.

I’m writing in generics, because despite all operations being the same, no two are truly alike.  However, with all the advancements within reach, from utility computing to automation, you won’t have to look very far to find immediate and applicable Agile tenets in every day Ops-life.  Keep it simple. Smart designCollaborativeNo support.  No support means less work, in layman’s language. Next thing you know, you too will be just another hip and Agile guru.  Thank goodness you won’t have to write code… who’d want to do that every day?


Eddie is a technology enthusiast and a blogger, now, who loves all things Internet and mobile, as if those were two separate things. As part of, he's looking to battle the forces of evil, fight crimes and purchase security upgrades to the Metaverse.