Google Research

The DevOps Phenomenon: An Executive Crash Course

  • Anna Wiedemann
  • Heiko Gewald
  • Helmut Krcmar
  • Manuel Wiesche
ACM Queue (2019)

Abstract

A traditional software company releases their flagship product infrequently; as rarely as every few years. Each release can include hundreds of new features and improvements. Because releases are infrequent, the users are thankful, as they had been growing impatient for the new release. However, disappointment sets in when bugs are found and features don't work as expected. Under great stress and with great turmoil, an emergency release is produced and put into production (hurried through the regular release process, often achieved by skipping tests), which has more bugs and the process repeats with more emergency releases, leading to more frustration, stress, and disappointment. Worst yet, new business opportunities are missed or ignored due to doubt, uncertainty, and distrust in the IT department's ability to deliver value.

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