Introducing DevOps
June 19, 2020

Pandemic moved the 3rd Kosovo AWS User Group meetup online where Polymath Labs CEO Visar Gashi discussed DevOps culture, engineering, and how it relates to your organization and your career.

Introducing DevOps

Our CEO Visar Gashi was joined by Altin Ukshini, CEO of Diatom Labs, to discuss the benefits of DevOps. They spoke about DevOps culture, engineering, and how it can transform businesses and careers – a topic Visar knows well. At Polymath Labs, the DevOps ethos is central to our culture – ensuring everything we do is always geared towards adding value. This meetup offered an insight into how two business leaders harnessed the power of DevOps to build successful, optimized organizations.

The DevOps Movement

At its core, DevOps is a culture that emphasizes collaboration, agility, and the adoption of automation tools. The movement focuses on delivering optimized value and, according to Visar, DevOps is the missing piece of the puzzle – one that finally enables organizations to provide the agility the industry has promised for so long.

Building a business around DevOps often requires a cultural shift – from siloed to collaborative, from reactive to proactive. It is a holistic approach that puts the entire development team in a single workflow, following a common set of principles. This shift relies on building a culture based on trust and teamwork – a process outlined in detail in The DevOps Handbook. For anyone interested in DevOps and what it takes to transform, Visar believes this handbook is essential reading. The authors summarize the movement excellently:

“Instead of a culture of fear, we have a high-trust, collaborative culture, where people are rewarded for taking risks. They are able to fearlessly talk about problems as opposed to hiding them or putting them on the back burner—after all, we must see problems in order to solve them.

And, because everyone fully owns the quality of their work, everyone builds automated testing into their daily work and uses peer reviews to gain confidence that problems are addressed long before they can impact a customer. These processes mitigate risk, as opposed to approvals from distant authorities, allowing us to deliver value quickly, reliably, and securely—even proving to skeptical auditors that we have an effective system of internal controls.”

DevOps Engineering

In the new collaborative culture, specialization is still essential, and so are engineers. So, once you’ve done an overhaul, where do the engineers fit in? It’s often believed that you can simply swap job titles within an organization once it has shifted to DevOps. In fact, DevOps Engineers are entirely new, and no other role translates well, making it an area in which current engineers can strive to specialize. DevOps’s collaborative culture ceases the transformation to new roles by name only – and ultimately reduces harm to the business in the long run.

Transforming your organization.

The transformation to DevOps is done gradually and deliberately. It takes planning and deep knowledge of your business. DevOps merely offers the blueprint; then, it’s up to each organization to decide how that transformation will look. Not all companies suit a complete shift away from reactive processes, so it’s crucial to weigh the cost/benefit of a significant culture shift and decide how far you want to go. The most important thing is to have a clear vision for your new DevOps culture, along with a roadmap of how to get there.

Final thoughts

The online meetup gave everyone watching a fascinating insight into DevOps and what it takes to transform your business. Visar was quick to emphasize the importance of continuous learning and position DevOps as a cultural shift that will continue to help individuals and organizations grow.

The entire presentation is available on the AWS User Group | Kosovo Meetup page. For more reading, Visar recommended The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford, a fictional novel that provides an entertaining introduction to DevOps transformation.

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