Replacing operations with developers


I'm swamped right now (the perils of live-blogging), but instead of finishing up the half written post I have at the top of the queue, I wanted to point to two posts from Dare Obasanjo entitled "Replacing Operations with Developers"  and "Amazon Developer on Replacing Operations with Developers".

I'm not at all surprised at the Amazon article - the reality is that the skill set for a developer and the skill set for an operations team member are subtly different and it's not surprising that developers make lousy operations people.

Comments (7)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Being a developer now and an operations person in the past I don’t agree -completely-. If you isolate them too far, you get dysfunction. A rotation scheme, or just having them work very closely together is a pre-requisite to having a good product out there.

    You’re equally as screwed if your developers don’t care that their code throws a bunch of useless exceptions into the log as you are if the ops team doesn’t care to understand a line of the code base.

    They shouldn’t -have- to do each other’s jobs, but they should be capable of doing so. I expanded a bit more on this on my blog.

  2. Anonymous says:

    True that the skill sets are different, but they complement each other. IMHO every developer must become a operations person  at least once in their life. That perspective adds a lot that is helpful for a developer to know and act upon. In fact Werner Vogels say it very aptly –

    "Yep, the best way to completely automate operations is to have to developers be responsible for running the software they develop. It is painful at times, but also means considerable creativity gets applied to a very important aspect of the software stack. It also brings developers into direct contact with customers and a very effective feedback loop starts. There is no separate operations department at Amazon: you build it; you run it."

    So it may not be a good idea to have developer alway do 2 roles – one of developer and other of operations, but each developer should at least once be made a ops guy. Believe me, it changed the way I code, and I added ops people as one of my customers in addition to the end users.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I tend to view division of labor as a means to reduce distractions and ramp-up times.  By assigning roles, each person can gain a deeper understanding of their area and focus on it better.

    A potential downfall is if one division doesn’t pay attention to the needs of the other.  For example, in my daily job I use a tool written by a team that doesn’t give a hoot if a bug causes a work blockage.  Their answer when this happens (and it often does) is that they have more important things to work on.  And so the division of labor itself becomes a distraction.  

    The solution is to give credence to the other division’s needs.  A dev should know that when operations makes a request, it is valid and needs a timely response.  With that attitude, magic can happen!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so there’s a point that Larry has here, in referring to Dare’s posts 1 and 2 - that operations…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I know this has got nothing with this topic but since this is the only Vista related audio blog – I’ve heard that Sound Recorder has been updated in Vista to record WMA, so would you please post a screenshot of Sound Recorder and Volume Control? And what is happening to ACM (Audio Compression Manager) and it’s codecs? : )

  6. Anonymous says:

    Okay, so there’s a point that Larry has here, in referring to Dare’s posts 1 and 2 – that operations

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