A Holistic View of Eng and Ops

A Holistic View of Eng and Ops

Angus Mitchell's photo
Angus Mitchell
·Apr 1, 2022·

1 min read

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(If you haven't read the high level overview, Simple x "Never" = Insane, you might want to start there.)

Best Practices are Trapped in Engineering

Engineering best practices are incredible inventions. They're cheat codes for building complex systems. But those systems are assumed to live within the engineering department. And Engineering is deeply intertwined with Ops at many companies. It's not unusual for engineers to spend 50% of their time building internal tools. If that's the case, shouldn't we treat Eng and Ops as a holistic system?

Eng! Ops! Together!

This requires a different mindset to building software. When you talk to people on both sides, it's obvious that everyone thinks this is a one-way relationship. Engineers build tools for Ops. What does Ops do for Engineering? Nothing. It's not healthy.

If we were to look at the system holistically, though, shouldn't they be splitting up the work? Wouldn't it make sense to invest in tooling that allows Ops to shoulder as much of the burden as possible?

Currently, when engineers write API endpoints, they think to themselves, "could another engineer reuse this?" They rarely think, "would an Ops person reuse this?" Nor should they, because the tooling doesn't encourage that behavior. But it should!

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