SRE teams face a multitude of challenges. There are often too many responsibilities on their plate and they're often tasked with taking the lead on org-wide initiatives that stretch them thin.
Not addressing the pain points SREs encounter when working in a “feral DevOps” manner hampers the organization’s ability to efficiently and effectively manage their systems.
Mitigating the effects of this overwhelming workload requires opening channels of communication, identifying gaps in training and enablement and reviewing an organization's current state of on-call health. By listening to the developers, SREs and operators and gathering feedback about the state of shared responsibility between the two you can more efficiently iterate on your DevOps journey.
Feral DevOps sounds like an oxymoron, right? DevOps describes a culture and philosophy where developers and operators closely collaborate and communicate for more efficient and effective system operations. 'Feral,' on the other hand, conjures images of lone wolves and scraggly wild cats depending on themselves alone to survive. And you’re right; it is a contradictory term, but one that accurately describes an organization's first steps on their DevOps journey.
The misunderstanding that DevOps is a tool or team or role has tragically increased the gulf between developers and operators. If you have been unofficially on-call 24/7, toiled away in turmoil, managed initiatives across multiple silos sans project manager with a directive to “influence without authority”... surprise! You have lived the contradiction that is feral DevOps!
Consequences of letting this fester include: Burnout, learned helplessness and missing out on the speed that happens when developers and operators communicate openly. Taming feral DevOps is a journey you can start by gathering feedback on the status quo, iterating on onboarding and training and holistically examining on-call health. Whether you’re an individual contributor, manager or leader you will find ideas to experiment with to “domesticate” DevOps in your organization.