A Holistic View of Eng and Ops

A Holistic View of Eng and Ops

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

2 min read

(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.

Best Practices are Trapped in Ops Too!

Ops teams build business processes. Dive into any Ops department and you'll find people who have PhD-level subject matter expertise in random parts of the economy -- how does this one company process payments, how does this reporting system deliver their reports, what series of steps need to be taken to make sure everyone is compliant. This knowledge lives in playbooks for processing complex funnels, spreadsheets that literally run half the company, and vocabularies that take years to develop.

Eng! Ops! Together!

Shouldn't Ops have a greater understanding of how the Engineering pieces fit together?

Shouldn't Engineering have a better understanding of the Ops processes?

Of course they should! Ops and Eng should be treated as a holistic system. This requires a different mindset to building software, though.

Currently, when engineers write API endpoints, they think to themselves, "could another engineer reuse this?" They rarely think, "would an Ops person reuse this?"

Similarly, when Ops puts together a playbook, they rarely think to themselves, "Hmmm, I wonder if we could leverage some of the building blocks that the engineers have already built?"

And this isn't because the people aren't talented or smart or empathetic. It's because the tooling does not encourage this type of thinking. The tooling does not expose the engineering building blocks to Ops. The tooling does not expose Ops workflows to the engineers. But it should! And that's what we're building!

 
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