Thoughts on a "DevOps" working group?

cyberswat's picture

The global DevOps community exists to explore the concepts of process and management in a digital world. For many people, this immediately causes thoughts of automation, deployments, virtualization, source control systems, and monitoring. For others, DevOps is reminiscent of the factory processes the digital world has blurred. It becomes a conversation of workflow management, bottlenecks, team interdependence, and being able to accurately plot states of a project. DevOps is an important topic but its mysteries have not been systematically understood, quantified or shared within the Drupal community.

In the spirit of the working groups, we are opening a feedback stage to the broader community regarding the formation of a DevOps type of working group. As a community, we do not have a concise resource for DevOps as it relates to development, management, and culture. It is the desire of this group to provide a concise resource for anyone that works with Drupal to understand how DevOps can help them.

Our goal is to begin the conversation and build momentum for a meeting at DrupalCon Austin. In addition to seeking initial feedback, we have three areas of initial focus to facilitate the conversation.

  1. AGGREGATE – Glean available DevOps options available for Drupal.

  2. DISAMBIGUATE – Decompose jargon into a controlled vocabulary.

  3. COMMUNICATE – Form transparent conversations and documentation.

Unlike other working groups, is not the explicit focus of this effort. The deliverables of this group would be a set of materials that could be generically applied as components of any technological effort that involves Drupal.

Tagline?: Provide guidance for any person working on a project to deliver value.


jpw1116's picture

Special thanks to cyberswat and rickmanelius for helping turn this concept into a known effort. The three of us have been strategizing for a few months and are counting on the community to start building a conversation around this.

More details to follow throughout this stage.

sounds like a good idea

greggmarshall's picture

I think there is a need and should be a lot of interest.

This all sounds great. Most

protitude's picture

This all sounds great. Most talks I've seen around this subject center around you must use chef, jenkins, etc. and if you don't you are a bad person. This is basically the entire talk and I feel like a fool for sitting through the entire talk only to see they never give any practical information on how to stop being a bad person. I went to cyberswat's talk at Drupalcamp Colorado last year and actually got something out of it, which was a refreshing surprise. It would be nice to see more talks centered around this that give practical advice on how to actually dive into this stuff. The Aten meetups have been really good for this as well.

"DevOps" working group

fndtn357's picture

This is a very well articulated introduction that is needed and should generate solid feedback and enjoin participation. It is official and I hope that in the ensuing months it gains the momentum and platform it deserves.

How can I help?

Chaulky's picture

Ok, you've got my interest... now what? I've had experience with some areas of Drupal DevOps, mostly around source control and semi-automated deploys and dev site refreshes using Drush. But I've also spent time as an agile Product Owner on a non-Drupal product and worked closely with the Dev team around our overall process and flow. I'd love to dive into more DevOps topics and contribute what I learn, and learn as I contribute.

Where can I get more information about what I can do to help? What are the next steps for someone who wants to get involved?

I think, at this point, a

cyberswat's picture

I think, at this point, a general indication of interest and any immediate suggestions that spring to mind. If we see enough interest, we would like to formalize a group that can help drive the organization and delivery of this data.

I have the sense that this is an important topic that can solve more problems than I have the space to outline in a comment, and that many people share the same thoughts. Since our focus touches on both the business and technical sides of DevOps we are attempting to gather metrics from the community to make sure we are addressing a legitimate need and providing measurable value.

If interest is high enough this will result in further organization at Drupalcon Austin. I've submitted a community working group proposal for this effort as well as a session to address some of the issues:

"If interest is high enough

x.algorithm's picture

"If interest is high enough this will result in further organization at Drupalcon Austin"

Awe man, that'd be great. I can't make it this year but you can skype me in?

"This is basically the entire

x.algorithm's picture

"This is basically the entire talk and I feel like a fool for sitting through the entire talk only to see they never give any practical information on how to stop being a bad person."

This, so much this.
Which speaks to:

DISAMBIGUATE – Decompose jargon into a controlled vocabulary.
But what's needed along with that is a clear and concise definition of what the role DevOps serves with regards to Drupal. A nice list of the kinds of techniques, patterns and practices - step-by-steps that Drupal developers use in the realm of DevOps, is sorely needed.

We use vagrant to do 'x'
With git we can do 'y'
We test using Jenkins because - and we do it by doing step-a,b,c

The fact that most of us face having to manage a large part of our own infrastructure is nothing new. Organizing those practices into a comprehensive discipline / area of expertise IS relatively new. Is that what we call DevOps?

If someone does this, because they're probably smarter than I - don't present it in Austin; I can't make it there this year :-/

I am so onboard with this.

It would also be useful to

rickmanelius's picture

It would also be useful to hear from groups that already responded to our were identified in this thread: "Who do you think of when you hear DevOps?" The more people that we can identify as having an active interest, the more we can continue to justify spending the time and attention.

Much interest

pirog's picture

Kalamuna and several other orgs/people did a pretty awesome DevOps meet up in Portland last year. Very sure they would all be down to do it again.

This is relevant to me personally as it relates to this issue.

Right ... I believe those

cyberswat's picture

Right ... I believe those conversation helped spawn Proviso and even more that I am likely unaware of. I'm bummed I missed Portland.

The neat part about this is that the conversation goes back much further than Portland. In fact, we've been able to outline initiatives, groups, modules, and blog posts dating as far back as 2006 that have all tried to address variants of this issue without making solid connections to each other. It's important to note that we are focused on continuing the conversation vs detracting from it or pretending like it hasn't been ongoing. Anything we can do to expand these conversation is greatly appreciated.

In the next week we will be posting a survey similar to the puppetlabs 2013 state of devops survey for puppetconf. A goal of this is to give us metrics that allow us to start ranking ourselves as a community. In addition, it will help us guide the direction of this proposed group and what it should focus on for Drupal Austin. We would like to help continue the tradition of the DevOps meetup that was started in Portland.

Here is the promised survey

cyberswat's picture

Here is the promised survey ... any help getting relevant eyes on it is greatly appreciated!

Comments on Survey form

ijf8090's picture

Just filled it out - looking forward to hearing more about this initiative.

Couple of thoughts
- some of the questions struck me as single-site specific. I support more than one site (50+ at last count), I'd imagine a lot of DevOps people are in a similar position?

  • I'm assuming that my contact info will only be used to send me the iPad that I'm sure to win:)? Might be good to explicitly state that.
    I almost did not submit the survey - I get plenty of junk mail already.

  • A comments field at the end would be useful. I could have put all this feedback there....


I agree. I feel like a few

cyberswat's picture

I agree. I feel like a few of the questions could have been rephrased to be a little more modern but they are also serving the purpose of correlating to the survey that was introduced 2 years ago. Part of the goal is to measure where we have come from.

I received the questions themselves in xml format and would like to post that content with the sanitized results of this survey so that they can be publically refined and referenced from time to time. I feel like this should go on a d.o. project so that it get's it's own issue queue, etc. I'd like to announce that project when the sanitized data is released.

Your contact information will only be used to send you the ipad if you win or to send you the survey results if you select that checkbox. If at any time, you would like your results completely removed from the survey, simply let me know.

I agree about the comments box as well. Unfortunately, I can not add it now that the survey has begun.

Thanks for taking the time to fill out the survey and to find a place to leave feedback.

I was able to update the

cyberswat's picture

I was able to update the static text elements (landing page) of the survey to better articulate how the data will be used and to direct people to this group if they would like to discuss.


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