Marc Cluet; one of our recent DevOps VIPs has co-authored the latest edition of Epic Failures in DevSecOps – Volume Two. As with the first edition each chapter is written by a different DevOps specialist. Marc’s chapter was about “Cultural Approaches to Transformation – Staying Safe and Healthy”.
I was privileged to be referenced in the acknowledgements. Marc and I have been partners in co-organising the London DevOps Meetup group over the last six years along with working together generally in the DevOps industry.
I thought Marc’s contribution was great and would thoroughly recommend getting the book and reading the full article. **Spoiler alert though!** These are my ‘best bits’ on Marc’s “Cultural Approaches to Transformation” that I wanted to share:
- When embarking on a transformation don’t turn to alcoholism! Or more importantly, “The first thing to understand is what the company really expects out the transformation.
- Remember that “DevOps is all about People, Culture and Tools – in that order”. Marc gives us a wonderful analogy of the “Rubber band theory” that suggests we imagine the People, Culture and Tools are three physical levers in a row connected with elastic bands. Pushing one lever too far in one direction will create strain. He states “We must aspire to move all three levers at the same pace to keep tension to a minimum”. I thought this was rather good!
- “Fail early, learn quickly” and be wary of “decision paralysis”.
- Marc reminds us that “we humans are generally not great at dealing with change and tend to find a stable environment more comfortable.” Anyone who knows me will know that I love a historical reference and we get a great anecdote of Hernán Cortés (albeit a controversial character) burning/breaking his ships after landing in South America after his voyage from Spain. One can appreciate that Cortés did this so his troops would follow him inland on their conquest. This was a huge commitment to change which is suggested is needed from good leadership.
- Maintain a clear difference between CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Deployment) software tools. Wherever possible use different products.
- Don’t use (DevOps) tools for the sake of using tools. Where products can do the same thing i.e. a single monitoring tool instead of multiple tools preferred by different teams; centralise that tool across the different development and operational teams to take advantage of cost saving and improve efficiency across teams.
Marc is currently a Senior Partner Solutions Engineer at Hashicorp and has over 23 years in the industry including companies like Rackspace, Canonical, Trainline, DevOpsGroup, Nationwide Building Society and several startups across five different countries.
His contribution on projects such as: cloud-init, mcollective, Puppet, Juju and MAAS have made him a well-known figure within the DevOps arena and a very popular speaker at some of the best known conferences including Puppetconf, LISA, OpenStack Summit, FOSDEM and UD