Operation Bootstrap

Web Operations, Culture, Security & Startups.

Operation Bootstrap - Get 'Er Started Mostly Right.

| Comments

New domain, new blog name, same guy. I hope you’re still listening!

I’m making it official – the old content remains accessible and the old domain will still work, but this blog is moving to another realm – Getting Operations running right in a small organization. In particular – there is an absolute horde of new startups doing all kinds of very cool things on the web. With the onset of Utility computing, some of these guys are doing this with a very minimal hardware footprint, but they still have the same old issues either way – they need to build & maintain a service. Oh, and they need to keep from getting pwned.

There is also a re-framing of the role of the Operations team member. We’re moving from hiring guys who can build systems and maintain hardware, to guys who can automate systems & understand the applications. It’s becoming less about rack & stack, and more about programatically defining how your systems should be & using tools to make them that way. Some folks call this DevOps, but I just call it a change in the needs of the business and the capabilities available to Operations teams. Money is tight, do more with less on someone else’s infrastructure – whatever you want to call it, it’s a change & I think it’s good.

But the other thing changing here is how closely teams work. In an old world – your Operations team maintained infrastructure, your Engineering team maintained applications, and those two silo’s talked when they needed something from the other. Some companies have grown very large by keeping those silos to a minimum, and having the people responsible for the applications work very closely with the production Operation. To me, this is the key – this makes it all work.

All of this means you need experienced Operations folks who understand Engineering, they understand Systems, they understand packaging, networks, security, etc. The skillset delta between the folks writing applications and the ones maintaing the production operation is diminishing & they are turning into one big team. The main difference is that they are kept separate by their role – one keeps the lights on and hinges oiled so the other can focus on building better apps.

So, lets see where this goes…