10 Ways You Drive Your DevOps Engineers So Crazy

If you’re a DevOps engineer, there are surely some things you love to hate, like Kubernetes for example. But there are other things that you really, truly, and genuinely despise. Once someone mutters one of these sentences, questions, or requests your skin may start to crawl, your blood pressure begins to rise, and you might even need to hold back a punch – alright maybe it’s not that dramatic, but it is still incredibly annoying. 
So those of you that work with DevOps engineers, take note. Here are some habits DevOps Engineers hate.
1. Asking any Question You Can Google

Some questions may be so specific that they require particular expertise. Other times, you may need someone to explain complex technical information in a manner that’s easier to swallow. But a large percentage of questions DevOps engineers get asked can be answered by Google, Reddit, Quora, or Stack Overflow. 

Asking questions that can be Googled is not only frustrating, it is also damaging for DevOps’ productivity. Their job requires a lot of concentration. And anytime you interrupt their momentum, it forces them to switch context and focus on something else. 

As a result, your question will take time, not only to answer, but for the context switch as well. Depending on the person, this shift in focus can take anytime between five to twenty minutes.

So let’s say your question takes fifteen minutes to answer, you’ve now wasted anywhere from twenty to thirty-five minutes of your DevOps Engineer’s time. Make sure your question’s worth it. Double and triple check Google to see if the answers there  are adequate. 

And if all else fails, your DevOps engineer is there to help, but he or she will definitely appreciate your prior research. ; )

2. Directing Questions to the Wrong Person

Are you absolutely sure that your question is best answered by a DevOps Engineer? Oftentimes, DevOps Engineers are approached with questions that are not relevant to their expertise. These questions may be better suited to a VP R&D, IT person, or software engineer. 

So before you ask, get a consensus from your peers that your DevOps team are the right people to go to.  

3. Not Checking Your Own Code

You’ve got a lot to do. But so does your DevOps Engineer. He or she is tasked with everything from CI/CD and developing new features to managing the very infrastructure your product is running on.

Making them check your code in addition to all the other things on their plate is simply not cool. So before you push your code over to DevOps, make sure you’ve tested it, checked it for bugs, and given it a thorough code review. 

Before you test the code, start with testing basic functionality then move on to peer reviews, static testing for security vulnerabilities, unit and performance testing, and finally, QA. 

After all, nothing gets on DevOps nerves more than fixing someone else’s faulty code.

4. Saying “Can You Just Do This One Small Thing?”

“Small” is a relative term. And generally speaking, most things people think are just a small fix, may require hours of work.

If you’re not familiar with the tech behind a particular request, it’s better not to run to your DevOps engineer and ask them to make your “minor adjustments really quickly”.

Instead, ask them about the request you need, find out how long it’ll take them, and give them a reasonable amount of time to perform the task at hand.

5. Setting Useless Meetings

If you’ve noticed any pattern by now, it’s this, DevOps engineers hate wasting time. So if that meeting could or should have been an email, it’s best to leave it that way.

How do you know if a meeting is not necessary? If it’s not a super complex conversation, something which requires a lot of planning, discussion, or logistics, it’s probably not worth making a meeting about it.

Save yourself the time, the effort, and the frustration. Next time, just send it by email or Slack.

6. Saying “We Need This Now..It’s Urgent”

Is it actually urgent? I mean really–is it? So many spur of the moment tasks are deemed “urgent, but in reality, they can wait until tomorrow – sometimes even ‘till next week. 

DevOps engineers typically have quite a hefty to-do list. So prioritization is critical. Don’t badger them with tasks they need to “get done now” unless it’s regarding an outage, application failure, or something similarly crucial.

7. Interruptions While They’re in Their Zone

Similar to the unnecessary meetings and poorly researched questions, interruptions in general should be avoided. Take note when your DevOps engineer is wearing his or her headphones. 

Might it mean that they’re rocking out to their favorite song? Probably. But it also means they are in the zone, meaning that interrupting them will cost them time, and possibly their sanity. 

8. Make Them Manage Costs

DevOps engineers do what they do because they like to solve complex problems. Writing code, developing new features, ensuring product quality, and delivering results fast is a tremendous challenge. But for the most part, they love the thrill of it all. 

Financial management on the other hand is mindless, repetitive, and time consuming work that offers no thrill, no challenge, and no reward.

That’s why DevOps engineers hate financial management tasks such as monitoring capacity , keeping a record of showback and chargeback, planning and forecasting usage. 

These tasks are best done through automation since computers can do them faster, more accurately, and without any resentment whatsoever (or so we think). 

This brings us to our next topic.

9. Not Automating Routine Tasks

So many DevOps tasks can and should be automated. Whether you’re talking about configuration management with tools like Chef or Puppet, or deployment automation with tools like Jenkins, automation is of key importance to DevOps because it’s extremely efficient and enables DevOps Engineers to focus on tasks which require more brain power and bring greater value to users. 

Anything that can be automated, should be automated. 

So if a machine can do it better, make sure you invest in automation. Your DevOps engineers will thank you. 

10. Lack of Integration Between Tools

We use tons of different tools for various aspects of our work. And sometimes, they don’t always play nice together, especially when there are new versions or updates. When tools don’t integrate well together, it requires DevOps to make a lot of manual configurations, and oftentimes, these fixes aren’t perfect.

Dependency management can also be problematic when investigating particular tools and can prevent organizations from purchasing the most ideal tool for their use case. 

Vendors that produce software targeted at DevOps engineers should keep this in mind and make sure to create integrations with popular tools in the industry.

Final Words

DevOps is not an easy job by any means. For the majority of the time DevOps engineers enjoy the challenging aspects of their roles, except when it comes to the aggravating things mentioned above. So if you work with a DevOps engineer, make their lives (and yours) easier by understanding their pet peeves and ensuring as little interruptions as possible. 

DevOps Engineers have enough on their plates without babysitting the cloud. So let our AI technology do the heavy-lifting for you! Talk to one of our cloud experts to learn more.