DevOps Isn't Only About Tools, It's About Teams and How They Collaborate
May 12, 2022

Jack McCurdy
Gearset

DevOps is not a tool in itself. You can't download it. It is made up of tools and methods and a whole way of working — the DevOps culture.

At its core, DevOps is about creating an open, regular flow between operations and development — and therefore clear communication and collaboration is essential. With demand increasing to build innovative systems to attract and retain customers, a cohesive DevOps culture can be the differentiator that puts you at the forefront of commercial growth.

DevOps Is Not a Tool, It’s a Culture That Needs People Like You

So what does this mean for developing your career in DevOps? Well crucially, it means that so-called "softer" skills around people management and communication are as much in demand as technical knowledge of tools such as GitHub (source control) or Puppet (monitoring).

Team Collaboration and Communication Is Vital to DevOps Success

Gearset's State of Salesforce DevOps Survey 2022 — of which the results are relevant to any DevOps practice — highlighted the importance of collaboration at the core of creating a successful DevOps culture. 93% of survey respondents cited collaboration as one of the most valuable benefits of DevOps — while 36% stated that challenges within teams — including collaboration — was one of their biggest blockers. It's clear that putting some time into developing your collaborative skills can have a real impact on the success of your team's DevOps journey.

Everyone Talks, Everyone Listens and Everyone Acts

Many teams are moving on from developers sitting in silos. With DevOps this is a core part of the culture — everybody owns the successes, the challenges and the solutions — and communicating effectively across functions, departments and roles is key to this collaboration.

The really big change with DevOps — in contrast to a linear waterfall development culture — is that collaboration has to happen between teams who may have previously worked with an imaginary wall between themselves. Agile developers and testers originally started pushing for more feedback from operations and admin to support faster development and, in time, a whole DevOps culture developed from those principles.

Automation Works Best with Inter-Team Communication and Understanding

Automation is without doubt one of the big wins for DevOps, reducing repetitive tasks in areas like testing, making it easier to work with huge data volumes or enabling continuous integration and development. However, as much as you can upskill in core DevOps tasks like automation, it doesn't work longer-term without people knowing what they are doing with it; monitoring what happens, responding correctly and, of course, communicating with others on their finding and solutions.

DevOps processes are supported and maintained by skilled, trained people like you. When everyone collaborates and communicates clearly, DevOps automation is at its most effective.

Jack McCurdy is a Salesforce DevOps Advocate at Gearset
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