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What is DevOps Culture and How to Create an Effective One

what is devops culture

The concept of DevOps has made many inroads in the field of software application development, growing in acceptance and popularity. But organizations don’t simply declare, “Okay, from now on, we will use DevOps!” Instead, companies need to foster a proper DevOps culture to ensure the process will take hold and succeed.

This article answers the question, “What is DevOps culture?” We will define the term and outline the steps in building one, the benefits and challenges, and how to get training through an immersive online DevOps program.

Let’s start with some definitions before we get involved in DevOps culture principles.

What is DevOps Culture?

First, let’s have a refresher on DevOps itself. DevOps is a software engineering methodology that combines software development (dev) and operations (ops). DevOps aims to integrate the work of development and operations teams by encouraging a culture of shared responsibility and collaboration.

DevOps culture is the shared understanding between development and operations, where they share the responsibility for building the application. This is achieved through better communication, collaboration, and transparency among IT/operations, development, and the organization.

So, it entails a mindset of enhanced openness, transparency, and cooperation across teams that used to operate separately. However, significant cultural changes must occur for these teams to work together more effectively. The culture is based on an organizational culture that emphasizes ongoing learning and improvement, primarily through cross-team interaction, team autonomy, strong compassion and trustworthiness, and regular feedback.

Also Reach: What is Continuous Deployment? Exploring a Critical Component of DevOps

How to Start Developing a DevOps Culture

Here are the five steps organizations must take to develop a solid and enduring DevOps culture.

  • Adopt a “bottom-top” approach. DevOps cultural change begins at the minor team level, where we find the developers and operations staff. Begin by instituting small changes and draw in each team member’s responsibilities and accountabilities.
  • Introduce trust. While the DevOps team is formed at the ground level, senior management must instill trust in them. This is not a “one-and-done” process but focuses on a more disciplined approach to cultural changes. The DevOps methodology has no blame game, but every member must take accountability. Team members must develop trust in each other, facilitating collaboration and bringing success at the project level.
  • Introduce more autonomy and empowerment. The DevOps culture must have autonomy; otherwise, the transformation will blow up on the runway. The DevOps teams assigned the projects must display greater independence, which means every team member must have the empowerment needed to perform better and demonstrate credibility. DevOps is more than just adopting digitization; it requires thorough planning and implementation of the culture to facilitate DevOps effectively.
  • Emphasize and promote rewards. Successful DevOps cultural implementation can happen if team members are rewarded for good performance. Of course, any reward initiatives must be aimed at strategic business outcomes and the drive needed to achieve them.
  • Testing and improvements. Continuous testing must run alongside continuous development and continuous deployment. Since improvement in the development processes is the keystone to DevOps culture, there should be a clear, visible improvement in every small task and activity. DevOps cultural transformation encourages the teams to test activities after every task is accomplished to improve the project.

Let’s look at specific steps an organization must take to build that DevOps culture.

The Steps Needed to Build a DevOps Culture

  1. Roles and responsibility. This critical initial step defines the roles and responsibilities of each DevOps team member. Since DevOps combines development and operations, team members must have clearly defined roles. Therefore, identify and clarify who does what task and how they should approach it. Keep an eye on any possible skill gaps that need to be filled. Conduct this process every time the team changes. In the long run, it saves time.
  2. Develop rules of engagement. Now that the DevOps team has been formed, it comprises many members of cross-functional teams. Therefore, you must develop an engagement strategy outlining how all team members can interact and communicate. This step is one of the crucial parts of the DevOps culture transformation.
  3. Conduct a pre-mortem instead of a post-mortem. Usually, a team conducts a root cause analysis and takes corrective action only after incidents or issues arise. Instead, why not conduct a real-time project analysis by performing a pre-mortem and devising a set of solutions to resolve any issues that may arise? Brainstorm and anticipate possible pitfalls, then come up with contingency plans.

Also Read: What is DevSecOps? Definition, Benefits, Best Practices

Best Practices and Principles of DevOps Cultural Transformation

  • Develop a change-oriented vision. Build a leadership that conveys urgency and a good reason for change. Closely investigate the “whys” of the change and back it up with specific examples. Managers and leaders who create a vision will help gain support and acceptance by reassuring hesitant, change-resistant staff.
  • Lead actively and with purpose. Starting with C-level managers, leaders must take the initiative and lead to effective change management. These leaders must be proactive by communicating, encouraging, and setting a good example during the cultural transition.
  • Understanding the culture will help support change. The two most considerable obstacles to effective change management are negative employee attitudes and calcified company culture. Does your team or organization foster a climate conducive to change? Organizations must create teams using a change-minded hiring strategy that will work towards the best way of developing the DevOps culture’s goals.
  • Choose the “change team” carefully. When implementing cultural change, use strategy when deciding who will participate and when they will be brought in. Premature participation and sloppy coordination will hamper your efforts. Decide the essential parties with whom you’ll discuss the changes and the solutions used.
  • Communicate with judgment and care. Insufficient information creates gaps and sows mistrust and confusion, but too much data can be overpowering. Inform the appropriate people on what is happening and anticipate their questions. Build a compelling case for the necessity for change. Remember that openness creates trust.
  • Keep the product vision in mind. Change can cause uncertainty and be upsetting, but don’t let it lead the team off the track. As the organization transforms, keep it aligned with the product’s vision.
  • Expect the unexpected; be ready for unforeseen developments. Even with a well-planned change management strategy, surprises are bound to occur. Be alert and adaptable, looking for opportunities to learn about DevOps as a culture within these unexpected events.

The Benefits of a DevOps Culture

A DevOps culture has much to offer an organization, such as:

  • Faster deployment. Faster, regular upgrades and improvements make customers happy and help the organization stand out from the competition.
  • A stable work environment. It improves the workplace by establishing a consistent and well-balanced operational strategy.
  • Better quality releases. The DevOps culture, focusing on regular upgrades and improvements and constant monitoring, makes it easier to release a higher-quality product.
  • Automated routine tasks encourage more inventive solutions. DevOps makes it easier to recognize and address issues. The staff can be more creative since the monitoring process is automated and checked regularly.
  • Faster and more reliable problem-solving methods. One of the primary goals of the DevOps culture is to guarantee a quick and dependable reaction to software management’s technical challenges.
  • Greater business flexibility. It gives organizations the nimbleness and flexibility needed to evolve and change as the marketplace dictates, including changing the size or undergoing a complete makeover.
  • Continuous software delivery. In the DevOps culture, every department must supply new features and preserve stability. As a result, unlike the traditional way, software delivery happens quickly and without interruption.
  • Transparency that facilitates higher output. Team members can easily communicate amongst themselves. This communication is possible thanks to eliminating siloing and encouraging cooperation.
  • Lower production costs. By bringing servicing and new features under a single giant tent, DevOps helps reduce administration and operating costs.

Also Read: What is DevOps Automation? A Beginner’s Guide

The Challenges of a DevOps Culture

DevOps culture comes with its unique challenges, such as:

  • Increasing complexity. Adopting a DevOps culture often causes an organization’s IT infrastructure to become more complex. Businesses incorporating many technologies and tools into software development can produce a more complicated and challenging environment. It can also compel companies to spend money on additional software and hardware resources, adding to the complexity and expense.
  • A current lack of standards. Unfortunately, there is currently no industry-wide standard for DevOps. DevOps businesses would thus need to create their own unique processes and toolkits, an enterprise that may take a lot of time and money. This lack of uniformity can also cause disagreement amongst team members over optimal DevOps implementation.
  • There is a short supply of DevOps professionals and engineers. Thanks to the rise of DevOps, there is a need for more skilled DevOps engineers and specialists. Consequently, organizations often hire less experienced employees as they scramble to incorporate DevOps culture into their enterprises. These shortages (and hasty solutions) can adversely affect software development and deployment.
  • Increased costs. Adopting DevOps can often lead to increased expenses. In other words, the process often requires a significant startup investment, which results in a significant rise in IT costs. The DevOps system’s complexity also often affects the dependability and performance of business-critical applications.

Also Read: Embracing Efficiency and Automation with GitOps: A Comprehensive Guide

Do You Want to Gain Practical, Job-Ready DevOps Skills?

If you’re considering a career in DevOps or want to upskill, consider this DevOps bootcamp. This intense, 36-week program bridges the gap between software development and operations, teaching hands-on skills through industry projects in continuous deployment and DevOps tools such as Ansible, Docker, Terraform, and Kubernetes. reports that DevOps engineers can earn an annual average of $113,076. So, acquire those valuable DevOps skills and prepare to work in this popular, rapidly growing methodology.

You might also like to read:

CI/CD Pipeline: Continuous Integration vs. Continuous Deployment vs. Continuous Delivery

Infrastructure as Code in DevOps: Basics and Best Practices

What is Continuous Integration in DevOps? A Beginner’s Guide

DevOps Metrics: Measuring DevOps Success

A Comprehensive List of Top DevOps Tools for 2024

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