Five Laws for Aspiring DevOps Folks


Laziness is a great quality when automating repetitive tasks. Laziness flies in the face of learning new technologies and getting new work done. Somewhere between Jr. SysAdmin and Systems Architect, laziness is no longer an advantage. Let’s look at five laws aspiring DevOps folks should follow to be successful.


Forget ‘I don’t know’

  1. Banish the phrase, “I don’t know”
  2. Smarter ways to say it
  3. Treat every task as an opportunity to learn.


  1. Make an effort to not ask your peers how something works without reading its documentation first.
  2. Time is life’s most precious resource.
  3. In the absence of documentation, read the code.

Search before asking

  1. On the rare instance in which you must consult your manager, make sure you have at least searched for possible answers.
  2. Solving new problems requires searching for new answers.
  3. “Don’t bring me problems. Present solutions to me.”

Anything is possible. Never say never. Trust but verify.

  1. The beautiful thing about working in DevOps is that physics is the only limit in your environment.
  2. When it comes to complex, distributed systems—or even simple scripts—you should never assume anything.
  3. Trust your gut.

Acknowledge technical debt

  1. Technical debt is the result of decisions that made sense at the time someone made them.
  2. If you are on a DevOps team, you are either helping to eliminate technical debt or you are pushing it to production.
  3. Technical Debt, much like monetary debt, is something that can be managed effectively. People have debt that is good (a mortgage for example).

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