DevOps culture skills are the most highly requested skills on the market.
“Agile” and “best practices” are mentioned in over 31% of job descriptions. Design Thinking is mentioned in almost 70%. Value Stream Mapping, while mentioned in less than 1% of the total job descriptions, pays 34% higher with a potential salary of $271k.
I have used these skills over the last 20 years to:
- 10x my salary.
- Hold my managers accountable.
- Push back on business leaders in a reasonable way.
- Rise to the top of my peers.
- Gain success in many other aspects of my life.
But there are no holistic or effective training programs available to teach these skills. To help bridge this gap, I am building a DevOps cultural learning experience using the skills I have used to become successful over the last 20+ years.
Example course outlines are found below. Sign up at the bottom to get notified when the course is released.
Course Outline and Descriptions
Learn How to Think. Not What to Know.
Curiosity Did Not Kill the DevOps Engineer
Being curious is a natural tendency for most successful DevOps engineers, but not everyone has it. Learn why it is such an important skill. Learn how to foster it. And learn how to lean into it if you already have it.
- Why Curiosity Is the Most Important Skill in DevOps.
- Trial and Error. Not Trial and Success.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Distractions and red herrings are the number one productivity killer, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. Learn how to embrace this one process to satisfy your desire to chase shiny objects while turning them into something valuable.
- Five Ways to Focus and Deliver.
- How to Say “No” to Your Boss.
- Control Your Time With This One Method.
- Is Talking or Writing Better?
- Protect Your Flow State.
Breaking down large, complex problems into small, sizable chunks is more of an art than a science. This methodology applies to both technical implementation and personal growth. Learn how and why iterative improvement helps businesses deliver value to customers faster and helps humans gain traction on establishing healthy habits.
- Do Turtles Always Beat Rabbits?
- Future Proof Is the Enemy of Today’s Results.
- The Path of Most Resistance.
Tools Can’t Think For You
It is a mistake to believe that a business can run on autopilot. Innovation requires human thought, despite what the DevOps tools companies want you to think. Being intentional and understanding the WHY of what you are doing is a foundational capability of a DevOps engineer.
- Outsource Critical Thinking.
- Think for Yourself. Question Everything.
- Do You Know Why Your Job Exists?
- This Is The Way. Actually…It’s Not. (When a Best Practice is not applicable)
You Are A Small Business Owner
DevOps Delivers Business Value
The DevOps movement was born out of a desire to apply the same critical thinking of manufacturing assembly lines to the software development cycle. Efficiency, scalability, and speed have always been at the forefront of DevOps thinking, but we have lost our way. It’s time to return to these fundamentals and see them through the lens of what we are supposed to deliver: business value.
- The Business of DevOps
- What Is the Bottom Line of DevOps?
- Who Is Your Customer?
- Whose Customer Are You?
The Power of Self Service
Some people call it platform engineering. I call it common sense. Learning to build services that others can consume without requiring your guidance is the holy grail of software development. This same methodology applies to DevOps engineering. Developers are our customers. If they’re not happy with our service, then we are not running a successful business. The KISS and ASAP principles provide the common sense we need to help our customers thrive.
- A Doc Without A FAQ Is No Doc At All.
- You Haven’t Heard the Whole Thing Yet.
- I Have Never Been Accused of Making It Too Simple.
Human First. Tech Second.
At its heart, DevOps is about breaking down silos and increasing collaboration. All this really means is give humans more opportunities to interact like humans should: face to face. We are first and foremost human beings, which means speaking and listening to each other in natural ways solves many business problems. Many of the habits you see as ceremonies in Agile are a reflection of this fact. Embrace it. Don’t let it become a waste of time.
- All You Need Is Love…And A Good Manager.
- Perspectives: Why More Than One Is Important.
- Follow This Simple Rule to Earn Trust.
- Habits Lead to Outcomes.
Agile: What Makes Sense For You?
Interpretation vs Prescriptive Guidance
If you have ever worked in quality assurance, then you know there’s no such thing as 100% test coverage. Product maturity comes from years of continuous improvement to the testing and feedback processes. Agile is no different. Start with a generic framework, then plan to be surprised.
- Don’t Be a Fundamentalist.
- Follow The Leader…Off a Cliff.
- DevOps Can Not Be Productized.
- No Company Is the Same. No Team Is the Same. No Person Is the Same.
- The Non-plan Plan.
Yes, we should always be iterating, but at some point you have to ship something that can be used. Shipping a feature across ten sprints is no different from a waterfall approach. Decomposing functionality into smaller units is an art that every DevOps engineer should strive to know through practice.
- MVP Is Not an Acronym. It’s a Way of Life.
- More No. Less WIP.
- Agile Is for Dummies.
The Crux of the Matter
Have you ever wanted to tell your manager that daily standup is a waste of time? Do you wonder why it matters if a point is one hour or one day or one “unit of work”? You’re not alone. These questions should be asked, and their answers better be relevant. If you don’t understand why your team operates a certain way, then this will help you find out.
- Sprint Length
- Points are Not Productive.
- Accept Acceptance Criteria.
- Daily Stand Up.
- Looking Backwards to Move Forwards.
The Things They Don’t Tell You
I have found a few things that are consistently helpful across all the teams that I have contributed to or led. This section examines those findings and how they are helpful.
- The Sprint Buddy System.
- Everything Is Not Measurable.
- Customer Personas Are a Better User Story.
- Is It Necessary? Can It Be Simplified?
- To Fix or Not to Fix?