You Are The Weakest Link

September 4, 2012

At a glance, it may not be immediately be clear how ops engineers and software engineer would see eye-to-eye on very many things. For the sake of uptime, ops tend to dislike change, while developers create and enhance, by continuously introducing refinements ( “change” ) — two seemingly opposing ends of the spectrum. However, the part that cause one group to resemble the other is the inconsistency of people. When it comes to being human, one type of engineer may be indistinguishable from the other. The reliance on people to “do the right thing” repeatedly, ironically, is the greatest threat in most organizations when it comes to productivity and efficiency. It is the people that’s most likely to break down. You, the people, are the weakest link.

Let’s face it, discipline isn’t natural, and more importantly, most of us crave ease in the form of less work. Perhaps less intuitively is that by doing specific preparatory work, we could actually reduce the required effort down the road — insert some parable about tortoise and the hare here — but most likely, the shortcut-seeking tendencies means that we won’t do the necessary prep and instead, opt to peddle faster/harder on the tailend to make up/pay later. Admit it, you’ve done that more than once, in your own professional life. Because why do today what you can put off for three weeks? Except despite hearing, and acknowledging, that hope is not a strategy, people continue to go through the same cycles, manually perform some specific tasks, secretly and wishfully hoping, that the outcome would be different this time. It won’t be.

As our roles overlap, blend and generally approach one another — ops toward developer, and vice versa, we should remove ourselves and our well-intentioned but ill-fated tendencies from the equation through automation. Anything you do more than twice, consider automation. Testing shouldn’t be a manual effort. Configuration management shouldn’t be a manual effort. Deployment shouldn’t be a manual effort. Is this supposed to be eliminating jobs? Absolutely… unless your job is supposed to be pushing buttons every a light flashes. No, companies can hire monkeys for that role… your job — our jobs — is supposed to be solve problems creatively. Whether that is Agile or DevOps, time to get on-board.

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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 feyn.com, he's looking to battle the forces of evil, fight crimes and purchase security upgrades to the Metaverse.