A developer's journey through DevOps

The days of siloed development and operations teams are over.
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What does developer advocate Burr Sutter have to do with "DevOps king" Gene Kim and his book, The Phoenix Project?

As Sutter explained in his five-minute lightning talk at All Things Open 2016, they share a passion for hands-on technologists—the developers that craft awesome code and the operators who spin out the infrastructure to run it.

Sutter went on to say that the days of siloed development and operations teams is over, and that the future of software is both working together to build better business value faster.

Citing the Gene Kim novel The Phoenix Project about launching a large-scale IT initiative using DevOps principles, Sutter shared "a Phoenix Project" of his own. A client wanted a brand new, sight-unseen system that would move it from old character UI to web, allowing for web-based customer self-service. Given the project's scope and time constraints, Sutter told the CEO that the team "wouldn't have time to sleep." The boss's reply, more or less: You can sleep when you're dead.

Sutter and his team got to work, developing a burn-down chart focused on weekly deliverables, keeping in constant contact with the client, giving weekly demos, and pushing to production immediately. After a mistake killed the client's POS and third-party integrations, "all hell broke loose."

"We quickly understood that the only way out was forward—together—devs, ops, DBAs, and our business people—the whole team," Sutter said.

The team rolled out patches overnight, made sure every developer knew how their code was being used, had regular check-ins with the ops team, and dedicated entire Saturdays to bug fixes. It took only a couple of Saturdays for the development team to start writing vastly better, more stable code that was ready to go the next morning when the business came online.

To close, Sutter recommended two of Gene Kim's most popular books: The Phoenix Project and The DevOps Handbook.

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