Actionable Ideas on Running a Better Sysadmin and Devops Shop

When I ran across Adam Jacob’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” video from Velocity 2010, I liked the talk a lot. His thoughts on system administration and IT management resonate very well with mine. Why? Because I started out and grew up in my IT career as a sysadmin, I can totally appreciate where Jacob is coming from. Jacob also presented his viewpoints in a straight-forward, no non-sense style, which was a pleasure to listen to. When the video for the “Choose Your Own Adventure 2” session from Velocity 2011 became available, I had to check it out. Here are some concepts from the talk that I really enjoyed – I hope you will, too!

DevOps: Whether you are in dev or in ops, we are still on the same team. It is also not possible to work in isolation these days – teamwork has to be it. Join the inclusive folks and ditch the ones who promote this us-vs.-them attitude.

Managing Operations: The divide between dev and ops, we created and did it to ourselves. Allocate the responsibility correctly and everyone (dev or ops) needs to shoulder the burdens equally. After all, we are on the same team.

No Asshole Rule: Based on Dr. Robert Sutton’s great book, civility is still the noble goal to strive for these days. With the social network technologies, it is pretty easy to spread the passive-aggressive snarky crap and behave badly in order to put down or undermine someone else’s viewpoints or effort. Try not to do those things if you can.

Philosophy of Automation: Jacob explained why automate and I agree. The success of any IT system is ultimately measured by the end solution and what the solution enables your organization to do. Automate when you can and keep things standardized, consistent, and working well. The working end solution will in turn promote system availability and business efficiency.

8 Tips for Full Automation: Eight solid, fundamental advices on getting your IT automation work done and done well.

Check out the Velocity 2011 video on YouTube