Working in a DevOps Team? Look Out for These Anti-Patterns


Working in a DevOps team is neither easy nor painless process, as it involves collaboration between two completely differently approached teams – Developers and Operations. Though it is gradually becoming a streamlined process, they still need to watch-out for some DevOps anti-patterns, outlined in an article by Mattias Marschall, which are nothing but the warning signs that their team is slipping in the wrong direction.

Most DevOps teams work on an agile approach, which is a trusted practice for any IT organization. You simply stand up every day for a scrum meeting to discuss status updates and hear ‘Done’ from your team members and go back happy on your seats. But wait! Is the definition of ‘Done’ that your team members have, is really meaningful? Is there no short-sightedness within the team?

Well, if the definition of ‘Done’ is not consistent, and everyone assumes if they’ve finished their work, everything is fine, we won’t call this DevOps. So, what’s it all about?

“Every developer must think of the end user. Committing a piece of code is far from being done. It needs to work in all kinds of weird use cases. And it’s not only QA’s job to find all the bugs. Good developers want to ensure that the new features are not only coded, but tested and ultimately released to their users. Only then the task is really Done.

The same is true for sysadmins. Having a nice script on your own box is not enough. Every sysadmin needs to make sure it’s possible to re-create each part of the infrastructure at any time. When that slick, new script is under version control, written in a way others can understand and modify it, is their task really Done.”

DevOps teams do not run under the constraint of individual profiles. They have to take broader responsibilities: everyone needs to care about getting valuable features into the hands of their users, and everyone should pro-actively find ways to contribute to the solution of any release blocker, no matter what the problem is. They work with ‘Us’ spirit rather than ‘Them/their’.

So, the bottom line is that if you start seeing “us vs them” emerging in your organization, fight it right away. You’ve to cultivate a feeling of belonging together to foster better collaboration. Start acting now!

Read Marschall’s entire essay/article for the full list of anti-patterns and some insight in how to avoid them.