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DevOps – The Aha! Moment

I am currently reading The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois and John Willis. (I am currently only halfway through it and it is already overflowing with tags.)


The preface starts with these words:

“[..] the co-authors shared a belief that DevOps is genuily important, formed in a personal “aha” moment much earlier in earch of our professional careers, which I suspect many of our readers will resonate with.”

I think they are right, and I wanted to share my own Aha! Moment.

Back in September 2017, the only thing I knew about DevOps was that word. Seemed nothing more than a buzzword at the time. But then I attended this event called Vermont CodeCamp in 2017 where there was this 1-hour lecture titled “DevOps – Why you should be doing it and where to start”. Sounded like the perfect presentation for a total beginner like me.

There was this slide, where it stated that in 2016 the “high performers” (the Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Google and Amazon of this world) were deploying from every day to … 23 000 times a day! How could this be even remotely possible? We struggle with deploying once a month, with a lead time of a month or even longer.

That was my “you must be kidding me” moment.

The presenter went on and showed another slide with a “DevOps Maturity Model”, with a scale going from Level -1 (Regressive – processes unrepeatable, poorly controlled and reactive) to 3 (Optimizing, processes are measured, controlled and focus on improvement) in these categories

  • Build management and continous integration
  • Environment and deployments
  • Release management and compliance
  • Testing
  • Data management
  • Configuration management

So that’s how they manage to release many times a day: Everything gets tested automatically, environment are available on-demand, the feedback loop is short and they see the whole process differently than we do. (Needless to say, our shop scored pretty low on this scale.)

That was my Aha! moment.

This challenged the way I think about software development. The lecture concluded with some steps to get there, and the first one was “Read the books and get educamated”, so I got the first recommended book from that lecture :


The Phoenix Project – A novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping your Business Win (Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr).

This is THE DevOps starting point. Aside from being a real page-turner for me, now I dream of The Three Ways, The Four Types of Work, Andon cords, painless deployments and, of course, deploying multiple times a day. Since then I share “The Phoenix Project” as much as I can to help others have their own Aha! moment.

I also share this eye-opening lecture by John Allspaw and Paul Hammond called 10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr.

How about you? Have you lived your own DevOps Aha! moment?

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