Written January 2, 2015

Developers and the DevOps Initiative

After listening to the most recent DotNetRocks roundtable and dozens of other talks lately on DevOps, there is a presumption that the cultural change is a forgone conclusion, a decision already made by management, emphasized by statements like: “You don’t want it to break in production, give the developer the pager”. While this version of the story is a great line for consultants to wield on management, don’t forget about developers who see DevOps as on opportunity to enhance the value they bring to a business.

Developers need to hear that they can drive the DevOps cultural change, proving the value to management and operations as they go. Developers can start small with Continuous Builds that run after every push to their SCM.
The next natural step is to focus on Automated Deployment, by deploying the software, via scripts, into their dev environment after a successful build.
The software is now building and deploying completely automated so Continuous Integration can be easily grafted onto that system with scheduled nightly builds and small, automated test scripts.

Not only does the developer have hard numbers of build/test/deploy counts that can be brought to management, they can also sit down with Ops and say “hey, all you have to do is run this script and the software will deploy itself, or better yet, buy a tool like Octopus Deploy and have that run the script for you”. Value can be proven to management, and goodwill shown to Ops, all in one move.

From here, the developer can begin conversations with management about workflows and the value of Continuous Delivery for clients and that of Continuous Deployment as an asset management strategy for the business. Over with Operations, the developer can bring their knowledge of SCM for infrastructure as code projects, testing them with the automated build system or work with Ops on telemetry/performance data gathering.

The point here is that a DevOps culture change is not limited to management initiatives; developers who are looking to bring more value to the businesses they work for can drive the change.