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Human DevOps

Friday 1st March - Learning to say No is Hard

Published 4 months ago • 1 min read

Yesterday, someone got me on a call and was trying to force me something to do something that I didn't want to do. I told them this wasn't in line with how our team worked. I also told them that wasn't something that I felt comfortable doing.

Then I had to repeat myself, three times.

They were trying to gain a shortcut, perhaps make themselves look important, I really have no idea. I had to give them the feedback that I felt "hijacked" and that I would need to talk to my boss about it. Then they went on to undermine my boss.

Should I give in? Should I go with what I thought was the right thing to do?

I didn't give in.

It's hard to push back. It's even harder to stay measured when you do it, but the more you do this, the better you become at it.

--

You tend to think that the older you get, the easier it is to navigate the relationships you're in at work. In truth, it becomes more complex because the more we know, the more we have to give and the more useful we are to others. Therefore it can often be a challenge to blend the time we're spending helping people rather than focusing on the techincal things.

And that's a good thing.

-- Richard

Too Busy To Do It Right

Published on February 19, 2024

DevOps isn't like Ikea FurnitureDevOps transformations can often become a checklist of tools and processes we need to assemble, like so much Ikea furniture. But DevOps is not a kit of things you can apply to your organisation. It’s a mindset. And you can’t force an organisation of people to think the same way. I recently listened to an… Read More »Too Busy To Do It Right

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Human DevOps

by Richard Bown

DevOps at is the heart of modern software systems. In my regular newsletter, I dive into the human factors that make successful engineering organizations where teams and platforms thrive at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From leadership to team setup, maximizing performance, tools and techniques.

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It's good to recognise our changing preferences as we move through the world of software engineering and use those moments to choose the right tool for the job. Sometimes we want to create, sometimes we want to retrench - perhaps refactor something, improve something, add more tests, change our architecture either subtly or fundamentally. In the world of SaaS and open source, we have more than just language, cloud or platform choices. We have tool choices which can mean that we do less...

6 days ago • 1 min read

I have an emotional reaction to peanut butter that is so strong, it’s actually physical. I feel physically sick getting it on me, cleaning it off a surface, or even contemplating eating it. Why? A story. When I was seven, my parents sent me to a preparatory school. During the weekdays, I would board—I would stay over—in a dormitory with other kids around my age. I would come home on Friday night and then leave again for school on Sunday afternoon. I dreaded it. At least, to begin with, I...

13 days ago • 1 min read

I'm sitting on the sidelines watching another big digital transformation roll into town. Those who have tried this before before know that big digital transformations don't work, so we're better not calling them that. Instead, these days we talk about cultural change. Realistically though this means the same thing. How can you recognise one happening in your firm? Well, suddenly there are a lot of meetings, and workshops looking backwards and training looking forwards. Some people might call...

20 days ago • 1 min read
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