Leandro and George discuss a few of the practical considerations that teams need to tackle when moving to a model where teams own the code they ship to production.
We discuss the transition from just writing software code to empowering teams to own more of that lifecycle. Leandro tells us a bit about how his company, MessageBird, has approached this problem.
“It’s giving ownership to both functional and non-functional aspects of an application to a single team: functional aspects being something like delivering product features to a customer, and non-functional being aspects like availability, performance, and security.”
Leandro debunks two popular myths about going on-call.
“You hear a lot of people saying that developers don’t want to be on-call. You’d be surprised how many people step up to and take that responsibility when you actually empower them to fully own their services. People will take that responsibility and go the extra mile.”
As teams shift to a full-service ownership model, one of the biggest challenges is shifting roles and responsibilities in a way where things don’t fall through the cracks. How exactly is that done when people have a finite amount of bandwidth and knowledge? Do you hire more people? Do priorities just change?
“We still have a platform team that is more focused on [infrastructure]. But we also invested a lot in training. So instead of having a skills gap, our teams have an intersection with that [platform] knowledge.
We talk about both the challenges and the things that became much easier when MessageBird transitioned to a full-service ownership model.
“What makes it easier is the closeness you have to [customers] and how easy it is to get to the bottom of issues with your service. It brings people closer to the punchline of solving problems.”
We discuss how this shift in thinking is being driven and reflected by how MessageBird manages their approach to incident alerting.
“In the past we structured ‘services’ around escalation policies and team structures… Now our services are at the center. Now our on-call rotations and escalations are set up around who actually owns that service, instead of reflecting our organizational structures.”
We talk about the fear most teams have that software engineers can’t own running code in production. The first wave of DevOps seemed more focused on having Ops engineers learn to code. The second wave we’re in now, is about Devs learning how to Ops.
“What I always say is, honestly, software engineers have a great foundation for what they need in order to be successful when running software in production.”
George and Leandro both get real about the mistakes we made early in our careers.
Leandro is VP of Engineering at MessageBird, where he is responsible for developing and maintaining a technical roadmap that ensures MessageBird is able to quickly drive product innovation and solve customer needs, while also maintaining operational efficiency and delivering reliable products. Previously, Leandro was Director of Infrastructure @ Booking.com and has many years of experience as a Software Engineer, from which he collected many interesting stories. If you’re interested in Leadership and/or Surfing, then you both have something in common!
George Miranda is a Community Advocate at PagerDuty, where he helps people improve the ways they run software in production. He made a 20+ year career as a Web Operations engineer at a variety of small dotcoms and large enterprises by obsessively focusing on continuous improvement for people and systems. He now works with software vendors that create meaningful tools to solve prevalent IT industry problems.
George tackled distributed systems problems in the Finance and Entertainment industries before working with Buoyant, Chef Software, and PagerDuty. He’s a trained EMT and First Responder who geeks out on emergency response practices. He owns a home in the American Pacific Northwest, roams the world as a Nomad with his wife and dog, and loves writing speaker biographies that no one reads.