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My experiences with hundreds of software teams within fortune 500 companies as well as mid-sized businesses over the last few years has shown me that there are many ways in which DevOps is implemented. With an ever-increasing number of tools being utilized within the DevOps tool chain which now include security and compliance tools along with a magnitude of different configurations, expectations, and results, this problem can seem insurmountable.
Back in the day, quality was synonymous with testing — how many tests were run, how many passed and how many failed. Quality of a feature being released was determined by these failures, and by the number of issues that the customer reported. Cut short to the world of software today — we have moved to the world of services. Multitude of these services interact with other services in complex ecosystems, with third party integrations, accessing and manipulating terabytes of data at near real time speeds.
Over the last few quarters, as we work with more engineering organizations, I can’t help but draw an analogy. Engineering Success depends a lot on data driven decisions. In order to make data driven decisions, you need to have good hygienic data that follows good hygienic processes. Bad hygiene can have devastating effects on the efficiency of engineering teams.
No one wants to talk about it and everyone has it. It’s a topic of discussion no engineering organization can avoid, yet most teams don’t have a way to understand and quantify it. Welcome to the underbelly of the software development lifecycle — operational issues, security issues, quality issues, reliability issues, and overall technical debt.
Recent macro events have resulted in a large number of businesses finally accelerating their digital transformation. This transformation had already started a few years back with the migration to the cloud, but the past few months have underscored the point that business patterns are fundamentally going to change, and we are entering a whole new world.
“Every company is now a software company” — Satya Nadella.
The last few years have transformed every industry into a technology-enabled sector. The competitive edge for a software organization is velocity. Winning on the competitive and cutting edge requires rapidly shipping new products, features, and updates. The more complex an organization is, the harder this becomes. Inconsistent team communication, process variance, gaps, and divergent technology stacks create silos.
A good design process can transform engineering teams, yet very few engineering teams follow best processes. It can enable teams to tackle scale security and performance problems proactively, leading to happy customers and engineers. The last five years were all about cloud adoption. I strongly believe that the next five will be about attaining operational maturity and productivity.