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stackconf 2022 | DevOps or DevX – Lessons We Learned Shifting Left the Wrong Way

von | Sep 6, 2022 | Events, stackconf

stackconf 2022 was a full success! On July 19 and 20, our conference took place in Berlin and we very much enjoyed the event, which has been on site for the very first time! stackconf was all about open source infrastructure solutions in the spectrum of continuous integration, container, hybrid and cloud technologies. We’re still excited about our expert speaker sessions. In the following you get a deeper insight into one of our talks.

We kicked off the lecture program with a talk by Hannah Foxwell on “DevOps or DevX – Lessons We Learned Shifting Left The Wrong Way”. Here is what I’ve learned from Hannah:

Once Upon A Time

DevOps is such a common term now that it has almost lost its accurate meaning. Once upon a time there were two teams, Devs and Ops, with different missions and goals – rapid development vs. stable user experience. Changes were handed over just like that and great effort was put into getting even the smallest features into production to the customer in a stable way. For sure: This needed to change!

While some people felt the problem was the Ops team. Here, NoOps was a thing. This misconception came from thinking that the Ops team didn’t care about users because the Ops team didn’t want to release the new features fast enough. As a result, more and more typical Ops tasks like backup, monitoring or cost management were outsourced to developers. At a certain point, these additional tasks became too much for the dev team, which some developers were also unhappy with.

Focus on Team Health

According to a report by Haystack Analytics, 83% of all developers suffer from burnout, mostly triggered by the demands of having to learn and consider more and more technologies and areas.
Here you have to pay more attention to HumanOps again to focus on the health of the team.

Just like the old ways of splitting everything into silos, the NoOps approach was the wrong way to go. Here, it’s important to use mixed teams with a product-owner mentality for the different layers. Each team is responsible for delivering the best possible experience for their users.

Hannah also touched on how important the proper site reliabitily is and how it can impact the team. With a 99% reliability over 28 days, you have 400 minutes, enough time for manual intervention. The larger the reliability, the less time and more stress the team has until only automatic interventions are possible to stay within the time. Here, no human can react fast enough.

On Site Realiability

But you also have to see if this is needed by the user. Many users don’t even notice a short disruption, and if they do, some aren’t even bothered by it – contrast this with the cost and effort of taking measures. Depending on the level of site reliability needed, monitoring measures range from user input to active monitoring to automatic rollbacks.

You also have to decide how to allocate this downtime at each level – the closer you are to the physical hardware, the lower the downtime needs to be.
Whereas site reliability should not be a single responsibility, this is where all teams need to work together.

Finally, Hannah explained the security aspects that need to be considered with software. Bugs like Log4Shell can be avoided with the right security mindset. An open culture is important here, where you can also discuss and criticize your own concept.

When creating the security concept, you should also consider the people who implement the measures as well as how to automate it. Some security aspects should also not be carried out by individual teams alone, but across entire teams. You can avoid a strong leftward slide towards the dev team with this and still not work in isolated silos if you have a user-centric focus with it and pay attention to the people in the process.

That was just a short summary of Hannah Foxwell’s talk at stackconf 2022. You can watch her full talk on our YouTube Channel.
I’m already looking forward to the talks at the next stackconf and the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences with a wide variety of cool people there.

Take a look at our conference website to learn more about stackconf, check out the archives and register for our newsletter to stay tuned!

Michael Kübler
Michael Kübler
Systems Engineer

Michael war jahrelang in der Gastronomie tätig, bevor er 2022 seine Umschulung als Fachinformatiker bei Netways abschloss. Seitdem unterstützt er unsere Kunden bei ihren Projekten als MyEngineer und sucht auch nebenbei kleinere Projekte, die er realisieren kann. Privat geht er gerne Campen und fährt Rad. Er genießt auch einen entspannten Abend daheim mit einem Buch und Whisky.
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