Your buzzwords can't fix all my problems.....

In the podcast we did for linuxinstall.net this week with Jeff Knupp he made me think "What do I really think about DevOps".  It's not going to save you from bad practices, non-existent processes, too little testing, or the lack of specialty talent. But it seems to be what everyone is promising it will do.

Neither Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Agile, or any other popular buzzword will save your job, department or company.  So please stop writing articles that make it sound like it will.  Here is your wake up call to the reality of what most companies no matter their size face.  Wetware, that's the people part of the equation, will always be the hardest thing to motivate.  That's right the hardware and software are easy.  It's the wetware that are hard.  They are moodier than hardware, whine more than software and for some reason they need to sleep.  They sometimes forget that they got their job developing, testing, operating, or administering stuff because they are not idiots.  You are expecting them to be a professional and to strive for perfection.  They need to know their limits and ask for help from more experienced wetware when they need it.  No buzzword worthy thing ever talks about exactly how to deal with this moisture problem.

As a leader and as a consultant I have had to pull more than a few really smart people back from the buzzword of the day and point out a few basic things.  If you aren't focused on doing the right things right then none of it matters.  Automation doesn't help you move better it helps you move faster.  If you can't explain it without screaming about how awesome life will be when we implement it then you don't really understand the complexities when you try to install it.  Automation is amazing and really can boost productivity when you get them implemented.  The thing no one wants to talk about is the long and sometimes painful process of getting it implemented the right way is.  The majority of wetware wants to relate every new thing to that one project that blew up in their face.  Not all the successful projects before and after that failure.
 
The rules of GIGO(Garbage In Garbage Out) cannot be broken.  So no matter how many times you repeat the Agile Manifesto to me it won't fix anything if the developers, system admins and DBA's all refuse to talk to each other.  If your team isn't communicating, failure is in your future no matter which Buzzword you think you want to "implement" this quarter or year.