Das alles hat seine Ursachen in der Datensammelwut von Google und Facebook, in der kompletten Ignoranz in Bezug auf Datenschutz und Privatsphäre und im Versuch, Werbung zu verkaufen, die möglichst maßgeschneidert ist.
Die Folgen dieser Dinge sind dabei noch viel gravierender, als sie es offensichtlich bereits eh sind.
Vor einem Jahr gründeten Michael Dombek und ich, Karsten Samaschke, die Cloudibility. Wir hatten einige Ideen und Erwartungen in Bezug darauf, wie sich unsere Firma entwickeln soll und was wir unseren Kunden anbieten wollten.
Die schlichte Wahrheit jedoch ist: Wir lagen sowas von falsch damit!
A year ago, Cloudibility was founded by Michael Dombek and me, Karsten Samaschke. We had some expectations in regards to how we wanted to grow the company and what we wanted to offer to our customers. Truth is: We were plain wrong!
This is, what you have to take care of when trying to establish a DevOps-culture: Many, if not most, people being affected by a DevOps-approach, will agree with it. At least as long as it does not force them to change anything and as long as they can sell it to their customers or supervisors since DevOps is very popular these days and is to be implemented by them, not by themselves.
Just last week, we had such a situation: We are in a short-term project with an enterprise customer. We have been hired by the vendor doing operations for that customer in a somewhat-CloudNative-environment (they run OpenShift on BareMetal-machines).
The end-customer sees a lot of – let’s call it that way – potential in the collaboration with the ops-vendor. Or to put it in clear words: There is no transparency, no knowledge-sharing, no automation, no versioning and no proper mindset in place at the ops-vendors teams. As a result, a lot of the infrastructure is somewhat running, but not even close to the standards, the end-customers expects. Rightfully expects, in my opinion.
This was the situation when Cloudibility experts were hired to analyze and fix errors in the environment, the software, and the collaboration. We proposed an agile DevOps-based interaction- and operations-model to our customer (the ops-vendor) and discussed chances for such a model with the end-customer as well. Both parties appeared to be very in close in their expressed opinions – yes, they all want to switch to a DevOps-approach.
One week later…
One week later, one of the two companies still sticks to that opinion, the other one does not.
The ops-vendor changed his mind since we perhaps were too successful and identified as well as fixed a lot of improvement-opportunities. He simply does not see the need to change his processes (which lead to the situation we came in) and his way of executing anymore, since the fixes are actually working and the customer appears to be satisfied.
DevOps now is to be executed by his customer, he will be participating in this „a little bit“ (quote), but only „as long as it fits into our processes and does not imply ourselves to change our approach“ (another quote). Plus: „We want to keep our internal approaches a secret, the customer does not need to know about them or can even expect us to adjust to his way of interacting – he is the customer, we are <Company-Name ommitted>“ (quote). And: „Don’t forget, we are not even required to have a logging and a monitoring in place, by the terms of the contract that customer signed“ (quote).
What could possibly go wrong with such a mindset?
Frankly, we expected this behavior from this customer, but it is frustrating nonetheless since they offer a CloudNative and Enterprise-ready environment and operations-model to their customers – and simply can not deliver due to having the wrong mindset and approaches, which gets only visible once a customer signed the contract (we have seen this several times with this customer). They execute IT the old-fashioned ways, having SDM (Service Delivery Managers), steep hierarchies and ITIL-processes in place, instead of DevOps-managers, experts, and an agile operations approach.
So, be careful when someone tells you about executing DevOps. Chances are, all they want is to get their backs covered and they will refuse DevOps as soon as it would imply to change something in their own processes and approaches.
Are we stopping to help such customers and to propose modern, lightweight, cost-efficient and adoptable processes and approaches?
And we will – of course! – successfully end our mission in that specific project as well. But it is kind of sad to see a chance for establishing better approaches and better processes pass by just because one of the involved parties does not want to change anything on their side.
Sad from a mindset’s perspective. From a commercial perspective, it is not: We are happily there to help with the next failing project. Again.
Yeah, we want to do DevOps. We understand this is a critical thing, it is important for succeeding in our Dev- and Ops-projects. We can’t do without.
…we need to get the whole picture first. We need to have a fully featured DevOps-concept. We need some infrastructure. We need top clarify with our Stakeholders.
You know what?
These are only excuses for not doing DevOps.
The best approach to DevOps is by simply starting it. Forget about that fully featured DevOps-concept to be discussed throughout all hierarchy levels of your organization. Forget about providing the perfect infrastructure. Forget about everything – just start it!
DevOps is a process and a mindset. It is an approach to collaboration, to transparency and to knowledge sharing. Yes, it always can be done better, more aligned, deeper integrated, etc.
But nonetheless: The best way to start doing DevOps is to simply start doing it.
I said this quite often during several projects over the last years – and often directed to persons being „difficult“ with regards to discussing hard, having different opinions, contradicting a Product Owner or an Architect with thoughtful arguments. This is something you will have to accept, even if it is hard to do so. And it is exhausting, it is stressful working with such people on a day-by-day basis.
But, I changed my mind.
Or, to put it differently, I am now in a position where I want to have such characters around me. Here at Cloudibility, we want persons having their own ideas and their own minds, we want them to contradict us and to proove us to be wrong.
We want to have such minds around us. Of course, they will have to stick to our rules of respect and culture, they will need to be compatible with customers and the team. But besides this: Have your own mind, contradict, improve, overtake us!
I do often get this question when providing our specialist’s profiles to possible customers.
Well. No. We can’t. And we won’t.
Let me explain that bold statement a little bit. There are plenty of reasons for saying so. The most important one: We have some of the best specialists here at Cloudibility.
We love our experts.
We provide our bright minds with an environment which allows them to shine – a good work-life-balance, paid educational hours, etc. We do this, since we would have liked such an environment ourselves when being employed. But it was not possible due to calculation issues. Which forced us to quit our jobs.
Therefore, we want to pay our experts reasonable salaries and want them to gain even more knowledge. We want them to stay motivated and hunt for solutions instead of billed hours. We are investing a lot into our experts, and we are very happy and proud to do so. We know, that you deserve the best expert and the best approach for your project.
But it’s still expensive, though.
Do you know how much it costs, to do without good experts? Or to simply opt for the cheaper alternative since it is … cheaper? Can you really afford the second best or a somehow okayish solution? Just for the sake of saving some bucks forehand?
Our experts are worth their money.
They are experts and bright minds, they are able to solve problems, they are able to think outside the box. They save you time and money and nerves, they bring knowledge and experience into your projects.
So, no. We won’t do special prices.
We already have the best prices in the market since we have the best experts and the brightest minds here at Cloudibility.
Because you shut down your VMs at night. Automatically.
Because you have a Jenkins-installation.
Because you are moving to a cloud environment.
Because you have set up a „DevOps“-team.
Because you have a lot of meetings with stakeholders.
Because you want a Development team to run a software since the approach is often described as „You build it, you run it“.
Because you know about this nifty image on top.
Turns out: No.
You don’t do DevOps.
You just shut down your VMs at night, you just happen to have a Jenkins-installation, you’re just moving to a cloud environment, etc.
But this is not DevOps. At least not in the sense we at Cloudibility understand it and explain it to our customers and set it up with them. To us, DevOps is not about any specific technology or setting up a team.
DevOps is a mindset.
It is an approach to thinking about, developing and running software collaboratively. It is about the way you interact from the start to the end of a project with each other. It involves getting rid of this „throwing over the fence“ mentality. It involves a process for collecting and maintaining knowledge in an ever-changing team and agile approaches to development and operations. It is about the way a team is set up and how it evolves, it is about the way we set up and execute operational processes. DevOps even is a way to organize collaboration in a whole company.
So, DevOps is way more than putting Dev and Ops on the same table. Or than moving into cloud environments. Or than being agile. Way more.
In the following months and weeks, I will give you insights into our approach to DevOps. I will give you some tips and hints. I will help you to see the whole picture. I will do this on a per-issue and per-aspect base, and it will be a loose series of articles.
We have decided on several important things at Cloudibility the last weeks. One of the most important ones was about our new logo. We had several cool drafts to decide upon, ranging from pretty much the original logo to a very minimalistic one.
Finally, we decided to go with the logo you see in this posting. It is close to the original one, but a little bit more streamlined and reduced. We adjusted the color to be a bit darker and agreed on a font to be used for business cards, our homepage and our – soon to be revealed – publication.
Here you can compare the old vs the new version:
The process of getting another logo was an example of our company’s culture as well: Initially, Michael and I did not like the idea of changing the logo so soon. But Friederike, Head of Publishing, insisted on adjusting it and making it more refined – so we agreed. Additionally, I preferred a different draft of the logo, being even more reduced, but was convinced by Friederike, Julia and Emilie (our marketing team), Claudia (our COO) and Michael.
And, boy, they were right! Thank you for disagreeing and for arguing.
Today, I love our new logo.
PS: Yes, I am aware of our Homepage being a placeholder.
PPS: I will update the logo on the Homepage during the next days.
Just a short fact: As of now, we have around 70% of women and only 30% of men here at Cloudibility.
Of course, this is just a snapshot since the figures might change, as around 70-80% of all employees in IT are men – but it also depicts a fact: We are open to everyone.
We want to have the bright minds, not the bold muscles (although we do not have a problem with muscles at all – I personally try to convert some fat into some muscles for years without success at all, but this is a different story…).
We have established (and we can not live without it) a culture without glass ceilings, we want all of our stuff to have the same chances and opportunities. We want all of our stuff to overtake us in terms of knowledge and experience, we want all of them to stand by their opinions, discuss them, change them, renew them and grow together. We have no issues in being challenged and we want all of our stuff to bring everything on the table – as long as it is done with respect and openness to the other side’s arguments.
There are some things, we do not tolerate, though: Domination patterns, for example. Or this elbow-thing. Or ignoring a „Stop!“, regardless of the issue. Or when someone simply decides instead of explaining. Or the good old „we always did it that way“ approach.