Highlights from our AMA with Gene Kim, co-author of The DevOps Handbook

We sat down with acclaimed author Gene Kim to discuss the second edition of the DevOps Handbook

Stack Overflow’s Tom Limoncelli and Rebekah Dumouchelle lead a discussion with Gene Kim, diving into how continual learning cultures break down organizational silos, how leaders can create opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and more.

We pulled together some highlights from the AMA below.

You can watch the full AMA session here.

Absurdity has no place here: Promoting a culture of continual learning and experimentation

“Unless a system or process has no variation, has no uncertainty, has no errors, it’s absurd that you should schedule to up to 100%.”
Gene Kim

Dirty little secret of why orgs bring in DevOps (hint: it’s not productivity)

“It makes it more enjoyable to work at your company”
Tom Limoncelli

Better value, sooner, safer, happier: the ultimate outcome of DevOps

How do you explain the value of DevOps to management? “Better value, sooner, safer, happier”
Gene Kim

Reinventing the wheel or global solution? Why DevOps should be an org-wide initiative

“When you start thinking of things organizationally, [you go from]...we could fix this problem by having every dev team work on the problem or we can come up with a global solution that everyone can just leverage.”
Tom Limoncelli

The Goldilocks Problem: How to avoid missteps in rolling out DevOps

“The ones who do it well, do a great job in picking a business problem that everyone recognizes and they show how they can move the needle.”
Gene Kim

Large or remote or hybrid dev teams? You have an Allen Curve problem. DevOps can help fix this.

“That frequency of interactions is what enables trust.”
Gene Kim

DevOps begins with beverages: Building relationships and trust is always the first step

“DevOps begins with beverages.”
Tom Limoncelli

How leaders can inadvertently crush innovation and learning

“Leaders can also do things that have a chilling effect on innovation. So if someone tries something new to solve a problem and it doesn’t work and that gets punished or minimized, that sends a very strong signal that innovation and learning are not valued.”
Gene Kim

What can DevOps leaders do to signal that they appreciate learning?

“We want people to demonstrate feats of technical strength. Something they’d be proud to show off to their fellow engineers.”
Gene Kim

DevOps is about empowering people, it’s not about making sure everyone knows everything

“It’s a big cognitive load to expect them to know everything.”
Tom Limoncelli