The two most common DevOps anti-patterns

November 7, 2021
"DevOps" is so often misunderstood, many companies who think they're doing DevOps are actually doing one of these anti-patterns.

DevOps is an often misunderstood term. So often, in fact, that I imagine most companies who think they’re doing DevOps aren’t. Instead, they’re probably doing one of these common anti-patterns:

  1. The Ops-to-DevOps rename

    If your old-school operations team was simply renamed to “DevOps”, then this describes your situation. Sometimes the history is a bit more subtle, especially for a young startup that may never have had an operations team. So here’s a quick litmus test to see if this describes your situation:

    • If you renamed your current DevOps team to “Operations”, would everything still function as it does?
    • Is there ever any struggle over handovers or division of responsibility between your developers and your “DevOps” team?
  2. Add a separate DevOps team

    If your old-school structure included a Dev team and an Ops team, and your new structure includes a Dev team, an Ops team, and a DevOps team, this describes you.

    This usually happens when someone in leadership has a partial epiphany about DevOps, such as might occur as the result of a conference talk, or hearing another industry professional praising DevOps, but without understanding what DevOps is actually about.

The common thread in both of these specific anti-patterns is the existence of a “DevOps Team”. DevOps is not a team effort, it’s a cross-team effort. It’s a culture, a set of practices, cooperation, if you will. It only works when it encompasses the entire way of software development and delivery.

Related Content

How do you change your culture to accept DevOps?

Doing DevOpsy things begins to transform your culture for you.

The only thing we have to fear...

“In short, for highly-evolved firms, culture is no longer a barrier. This is ultimately why they're highly evolved.”

How do I convince my team to do it…?

Which tools a team chooses are useful only if they help the team work toward cooperation and collaboration. Focus on these and tools will fall into place.