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Which Douglas Adams Character Represents Your DevOps Skills?
Are you someone who knows that the number one rule in DevOps is “Don’t Panic”? Especially when it comes to making Continuous Delivery changes inside your organization? Are you someone that theorizes that if anyone implements real automation changes, the solution will instantly become antiquated and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable?Take this test to help you understand how Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” can be a fun way to understand your DevOps style. Understanding your approach to DevOps-type changes can help your cause when it comes to championing change in your organization. Let's begin!
1. How do you want to automatically connect to other systems?A. “I just download the plugin and installed it. It just works!” B. “I whiteboard out my design/approach, then do a little research as to what APIs are available. Then I dive in and try things out.” C. “I’d love to automate more but fighting for change is just frustrating with so many adept people around me. Now I’ll just show them all the work I’ve already completed to auto-sign in to all systems using LDAP authentication“ D. “I don’t have the right permissions for that box. And I don’t quite know where the configuration files are. And I’m not sure if there’s a way to communicate with the other box. And… “ E. “I couldn’t get the server to respond, so I recompiled the SSH client with my own libraries. It might take six weeks, but I’ll get these systems to talk.”
2. You are testing a change you made to your application in QA, and it just threw an error on the web page. What do you do?A. “Contact the vendor – we paid for the middleware, they better fix it, dammit!“ B. “Call QA and complain that the app is broken. Then call the DEV lead that the app is broken. Then record on your test sheet that the app is broken.” C.“Take the app offline immediately after notifying QA. I’ll also throw in a few enhancements while I have the system down.” D. “Let me take a look through the log files, as well as do a quick check to see what changed.” E. “Let me quickly click through – hey! The error went away!”
3. At this week’s brown bag lunch, a developer presented a new scripting language for automating TPS reports. You…A. Tell the young lad that you’ve tried in the past, and it just won’t work because it’s failed before. Then show the team the scripting language that you’re maintaining on Github that already solves the automation of TPS reports. B. Tell everyone, “I’ve sweet talked the secretary in finance to do my TPS reports for me! “ C. Tell the idiot that you’ve already solved this problem, if they just would have looked in the bottom drawer of your desk, in the series of unmarked folders locked away in the back. D. Suggest another meeting to talk more about TPS reports. Ensure that everyone brings his or her most recent TPS reports. Then schedule a meeting to talk about meetings where people have to bring TPS reports. E. Encourage the group to look at how they’re handling TPS reports today, and understand what has/hasn’t worked before, as well as understanding how important this is. In this way, as you try some new technology, you ensure you have the key features that have to be in the new product.
4. You’ve automated your application delivery process for your web application and configuration, but you still have to do manual database deployments. You…A. Try to get the DBA team fired, or at least their manager written up for Automation Insubordination B. Tell your manager in painstaking detail about how easy database automation is, if only the DBAs were smart enough to think about it. Then show your manager the database automation scripting that you wrote this past week-end. C. “My app works! Why do I care if Ops has to run a few scripts? Man, I’m hungry! “ D. Schedule several individual meetings with the DBA team, and be sure to tell them they need to figure out an approach. E. Formulate a few approaches to the problem, summarize them and schedule a brown bag lunch with the DBA team, their manager and your manager. First talk about the situation, and then showcase a few key benefits for the DBAs. Finally, give an overview of the approaches and discuss the pros and cons of each. Finish with an action plan (agreed upon by both Managers) to try and work together for a solution.
5. Last weekend’s Production deployment caused major outages because of some configuration steps needed to deploy your application. YouA. Determine the root cause, and look for ways to automate the delivery of the changes in the future. This means automated delivery in every environment from DEV to PROD. B. Work viciously to prove that the idiot Operations person was obviously to blame, since you clearly laid out those steps on page 17, rows 134-197 in your Excel spreadsheet. C. “Wow! I’m so glad the problem is fixed now!“ D. Take a few hours to lament the stupidity of everyone who has to handle your application. Then re-write your application to ensure that it will warn users when the proper configuration settings are not installed. E. Run around in circles panicking, then quickly polish your resume in case you get fired. Pass out when you (1) realize that you won’t be fired, but (2) realize that you have another release going in next week.
Results:Trillian (25-20): You are DevOps. You’re cool, calm and collected, and you really know where your towel is. You’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and experiment, and you don’t loose track of the overall goals while solving technical problems. Marvin (19-15): You’re a genius, but need some help. It’s not enough to be the smartest person in the room – you need to help other people feel that they’re part of the solution. Try to understand where someone is at in his or her technical situation/issue, and then work with him or her to formulate the strategy. You’re not enabling bad behavior; you’re getting them to accept your brilliant solution by teaming up with them! Everyone will be happier for it. Zaphod Beeblebrox (14-10) - You’re the President of the Universe. You’ve gotten this far based on technical skills, social abilities and some luck. Your organization recognizes your great input and potential. You have all the skills to sell the solution, and should look to build a team to make change. Look for areas to educate yourself, so you can continue to be so hip you can barely see over your pelvis. Maybe you should look at Management? Arthur (9-5): You’re a bit lost, Earthling. You feel like “not free” equates to everything should always just work. You’ve probably been burned by vendors before, so you’re always leery about another “heavy weight” solution. It’s time to shed your SEP field, read the Phoenix Project, and start to open up to tinkering a bit! Learn a new skill around the areas of automation. You can do it! Vogons (4-1): Simple Brute Force. You don’t care about what everyone else is doing; you’re going to implement your version of automation. This can be helpful, of course, since you’re charting a new, solid path forward for your company. This hyperspatial express route for automating your application delivery process can be very beneficial, as long as you’re not totally destroying people’s planets on the way through.
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