I was listening to a web developer talk about some fundamental changes in a web platform. In this case, an older system was being replaced completely with a new one, and as one of the reasons, the developer showed some typos that had existed on the old site for years and hadn’t been fixed. The reason? This quote:
“Very few people understand how the entire system works that are still in the building … The thought of deploying [changes] brought people to tears.”
That can’t happen. Ever. We can’t be afraid to touch systems. When this happens we get paralyzed, and we don’t do good work. Or we’re not a good fit for a project. Or perhaps, we’ve got a bad attitude.
I’ve worked in a few companies where developers were afraid to touch a system. It’s amazing how quickly this attitude becomes contagious, even scaring management from considering change. In today’s world, where it seems to need to change and respond to a changing world, that seems like a recipe for decline, not growth.
One of the founders at Redgate mentioned that if something is hard, we should do it more. If touching software is hard, document and test more. If deployment are scary, then you should work to reduce the fear and problems, using the power of computing and scripting to mitigate risks and smooth the process out. That’s a large part of what DevOps is about. Reducing the risk and issue of moving software from the development to production environments.
Don’t let yourself be scared by software or deploying changes to a system. Have confidence and make things better.