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Chef-shop Sky Bet on doing devops right: learn from the best

By Tamlin Magee | Oct. 20, 2016
A transformation quite drastic

He adds that the community was a factor, too - at the time Chef's contained the largest active community and contributor network, and it probably still does. "There's a lot of sharing and collaboration that goes on," Harris says.

"Previously you wouldn't really get events like this, where you get different companies telling their stories, and even horror stories. That's a bit different to how it was 10 years ago - you were inside big enterprise and you did things the way enterprise told you.

"I think things have changed a lot," he continues. "And practising devops has been absolutely critical for keeping people invested in services and passionate about them. It gives people ownership of the things they're working on, and it lets people be more passionate about it. Certainly for us, because they've got ownership of those products or whatever, naturally people feel more close to it - it's their thing they're looking after, they care about it."

It can be easy when you're elbow-deep in the devops community to assume this relatively new way of working is more widespread than it is. Harris offers a few morsels of advice for businesses like SMBs which have seen the noise surrounding devops and wish to explore it further.

"Look at what other companies are doing and rip them off," he says. "It's what we did five years ago, and it's not exactly the same as it was five years ago, we've tweaked the model to suit how we want to do things. But look at how other people are doing things and use their experience to drive your own devops revolution internally."

But just how would a business find out which of their competitors to rip off? Unusually, the devops community is incredibly open, and it's easy to get involved, Harris says.

"Come to things like Chef Summit, Chef Conf in Texas, go to conferences, go to your local devops meetups, there's usually one in each major city in each country," he says. "Go to those things and talk to people, see what works and doesn't work, and which ideas you should or shouldn't copy. There are people out there who have tried to do these things, so take advantage of that."

"Don't be ashamed to do it," he insists. "Follow the example other people set."


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