September 25, 2014

DevOps: Trust and Happiness are the Key to Success


At PuppetConf, I saw Kate Matsudaira, Founder and CEO of Popforms, present a session called “Trust Me.” It was one of those rare sessions that included both awesome slides and awesome narrative. Kate talked about the soft skills needed for success, including relationships and managing your manager, concluding that the amount of trust people have in you is an indicator of how successful you can be.

Trust isn’t just about trusting people though. The success of any tool in an organization is also related to how much you can trust the tool. The customer stories I heard last week at MERGE 2014 left me in no doubt that Perforce customers trust Perforce with their data and IP.

At PuppetConf, Gene Kim made an observation that happy cows result in better milk. That also relates to tools. Employee happiness affects product quality. A poor choice of tool can impact employee happiness. I’ve suffered from having to use less-than-ideal tools in the past, so I can see how happy employees would result in better products.

I left the first day of PuppetConf with the following thoughts:

  1. Choice of tooling is critical and can affect not only productivity but also employee happiness.
  2. You must have trust in your coworkers and tools to be successful.

Finally, it’s apparent that version control of environments is critical to the success of high performing organizations. Puppet Labs now supports Perforce with its vcsrepo module, making it possible to pull and deploy content directly from Perforce depots using standard Puppet scripts. Stay tuned for more on this subject later this week.