How do you design training for Dev AND Ops?

Posted by gminks in instructional design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I’m about ten days into my new job. In the last ten days I’ve been to Sunnyvale to the Inktank offices, to San Francisco for VMworld parties and v0dgeball, and finally San Diego for Xen Summit and Cloud Open.

I’ve been racing to get up to speed on the open source product that we support, Ceph. I’ve been talking and reading and asking lots of questions about our learners. I’ve been thinking more on my ideas of a Learning GPS, and reading up on social learning from Jane Hart and Jay Cross. And this is where I’m starting to have to really think outside of the box.

Just the audience is starting to confuse me. You’d think technology workers are just tech workers – right? Well, enter devops. I tried to find a single definition for this thing called “devops”. This post on the Agile Admin blog talks about several different definitions, and talks about the concept of devops. Here’s their definition:

Effectively, you can define DevOps as system administrators participating in an agile development process alongside developers and using a many of the same agile techniques for their systems work.

In other words, ITops working with developers to make things work when it is pushed to production. This post on O’Reilly Radar explains how back in the day, anyone doing dev did ops. When computing went to client server, the teams broke apart. Now that we are moving back to managing everything as software, the teams are coming back together.

But there is almost a holy war. Some developers think devops means no more ITops getting in their way, slowing their roll. Some ITops people seem to relish in the process (and power) that is making them obsolete. If you’ve worked in IT in the last 15 years, you’ve seen this conflict.

So what happens as things start to change? I mean open source storage — that is pretty radical! And with Ceph, we need the dev side of the house working wth ops. We have an object store as a base, with block and file storage available. How many of you Ops people understand what object storage even is? For that matter, how many of you Dev people understand what it means to make an application scale geographically, or what sort of laws and regulations may impact the adoption of your app?

I guess my point is that this idea of software as an everything will work the best if we have software developers as well traditional ITops people working on the problem. But from an instructional design point of view if we have both groups, how differently do they work? Think? What are the gaps in their knowledge and experience that need to be considered? Do we have to teach them to get along first? 🙂

Just starting to ponder this….would love insights!

Next post may be on – why don’t we just call new stuff what it is – like Chef is seriously finish scripts. Why the kitchen analogy? I DON’T GET IT.


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