The whole point of DevOps is that it isn't a project, it isn't a team, it is a way of working and a culture.
Culture changes are the hardest to implement. They require active support from above and a willingness from below and above all patience. There are practices that support a DevOps culture and tools to help support the practices. I see a few of common mistakes
- Focusing on the tools first then continue doing things in the wrong order.
- Trying to change/adopt too much at once and everything is a mess of uncertainty.
- Forgetting that DevOps is primarily about people and ways of nurturing working together
I think it is important to have a clear statement of what you want from a DevOps culture. Reliability? Rapid deployments? Reduction in SPOFs (Single Point of Failures).
For the various practises that support DevOps I would look at the ones that make me nervous and ask two questions
- What is it that makes me nervous about this practise?
- What do I need for me to address that nervousness?
For example I might be nervous about allowing a wider audience to deploy database changes. To address that we might do the following.
- Place the DB under source control
- Every DB developer has a local instance that is built from source control on which they do their development
- Have a DB test suite that will pick up a substantial number of mistakes (surprisingly effective this one)
- Segregate changes based on risk and clear guidance as to whether something is high or low. Low risk = peer review by 2nd DB developer, High risk = peer review by DBA.
- Allow deployment up through environments but have gatekeepers (most definitely not a single gatekeeper) from PROD.
You won't get to CI/CD in a day but at least you know that is the direction of travel.
One of the earliest things we did was make the metrics the DBAs looked at available to developers on their dashboards. This was in response to feedback where development teams said "Look, we would love to help you but we simply don't have access to the things you are tearing your hair out over".