Having a football mentality in the workplace…

July 1, 2019 Jeff Truman

Let me ask you a question… Do you love football?  I do and i use it in the workplace every day.  What does this have to do with DevOps you ask?  Well welcome to my brain … jump on the train and come along for a the ride or jump off now and take a bus 🙂

I was born in the midwest, Minnesota actually.  My father’s family and my last name lineage from what i can find is “French Canadian” which also means i am a european mutt on that side already.  Then on my mother’s side i am almost full blooded German with a sprinkling of Native American.   I was also brought up in a household that valued warrior mentality of our armed forces and the hallowed battlegrounds of the NFL.

Get to the point man… i am falling asleep here…

Sorry right.

Having an NFL mentality is what allows me to enjoy my career in the way that i do.  Let’s draw a comparison between NFL and DevOps shall we?

What makes a great football team great?

Is it toughness?

Is it teamwork?

Is it the players?

Is it the coaching?

Let me offer this… let’s look at some of the best players of all time in the NFL.  Short list… John Randle, Ray Lewis, Reggie White, Mene Joe Green, The Purple People Eaters, Brian Urlacher, Jason Taylor, John Lynch so many others. What makes these people great players?  It’s not talent… it’s toughness. Being a champion is a mindset not a result.

22 Nov 1998: Defensive tackle John Randle #93 of the Minnesota Vikings in action against quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers during the game at the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Packers 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

This all leads us back to DevOps and quintessentially why DevOps is a thing.  If you want to succeed in business you can’t slog through code and deploys every day hating life.  You just can’t be successful that way.  Success in today’s technology landscape means disruption can be moments away.   You and your company can’t just do it the way you have always done it anymore.  There is another company that is either gunning for you or there is some rookie company working harder AND smarter than you are.  Will there be times that you will have to do something you don’t want to do ..sure.  When times like this happen, you can choose which path to take….. either you complain the whole time and slog through it OR you stare at the football and watch with anticipation for the center’s hand to twitch and then you fire off full speed with all the training, preparation and strength.  You keep your eyes on the hips of the QB cuz as Shakira said… those hips don’t lie.  You will know which way the ball is going and you will be in the backfield before the play even gets started.

In technology today there is no lack of problems. How do you deal with these problems?  ATTACK them!

What are some of these current problems? Customer’s want new features as fast as possible. The business wants to give them features…even some they asked for.  The Ops side wants stability to assure that customers needs are met first. Devs want to write code.  All of this while being AUDITABLE  and SECURE to assure you do what you say you are going to do.

Whether you are an Agile shop, Scrum shop, or even waterfall… It’s not about the process.  It’s about the Mindset first.

DevOps is PEOPLE, then process, then tools.  The most successful Devops implementations are Top Down and Bottom Up at the same time.  The entire team needs to work together to vanquish whatever foe you are facing that day.  Whether it is you cross border rival (Green Bay Packers), your playoff round one opponent or that project that just won’t die.

Either way it’s win or go home.

Dig deep, Play hurt, Drink water and Hit it as hard as you can.

–ScriptWarrior Out!

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