Comparing DevOps & EngProd
  • 21 Sep 2021
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Comparing DevOps & EngProd

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How Does DevOps Compare to EngProd?

Focus on the End-To-End Developer Journey

Both DevOps and EngProd understand that shortening Cycle Times is critical to software engineering and organisational performance.

DevOps refers to bringing development and operations together, traditionally this has been done by treating operations as a software development problem.

DevOps is typically concerned with improving builds and deployments, typically through automation (indeed, this has been the focus area of DORA research). DevSecOps has sought to also incorporate security into this.

Over time, we have learnt that it is not sufficient to merely focus on improving the developer experience after the code is written, but that it is important to consider the entire end-to-end developer workflow.

EngProd focuses on measuring the end-to-end developer workflow using metrics like Cycle Time and improving it using Theory of Constraints.

This means that everything from setting up the dev environment to the code review process is accounted for in improvement efforts.

This is how companies like Google and Netflix continue to maintain their velocity at shipping business value as they grow.

Focus on Metrics Over Practices

DevOps practitioners have traditionally relied upon practices (like Continuous Integration, Test Driven Development, etc) to determine how to improve teams.

This has led to key problems:

  1. Teams will often introduce so-called "best-practices" even where they negatively impact team performance in a particular circumstance.
  2. Teams sometimes claim to follow best practices, almost as a checklist of practices, when in reality they don't follow/understand the spirit of such recommendations.

EngProd focuses on using proven metrics to measure the Software Development Lifecyle, then uses improvement programmes (like Theory of Constraints) to continuously improve the software development process.

This means that the process improvements that are introduced are those that are meant to yield the biggest improvements.

EngProd seeks to drive improvements to engineering velocity, whilst allowing for engineers to use their professional judgement when it comes to assessing risk.

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