An Interesting Tale of DevOps Gone Wrong

Posted on Saturday, Sep 16, 2023 by Chris Hayner

Featured in this episode of Tech News of the Week

So- here’s the thing about DevOps. It’s not a panacea, or a guarantee of success. Much like other vaunted and poorly understood concepts like Six Sigma or Quality Assurance, if DevOps (or any deployment methodology, really) isn’t implemented right (and by capable and bought-in staff), it can spell disaster.

Unfortunately far too many people were suckered into the concept by the great fiction of our IT era, The Phoenix Project. That book was, at best an oversimplification, and at worst, a dishonest and impossible fabrication on the order of Rich Dad Poor Dad. My favorite review of The Phoenix Project reads thusly: “Imagine an Ayn Rand novel where John Galt gives stilted lectures about ITIL and lean manufacturing instead of objectivism.”

This brings us neatly around to the lesson at hand: The link describes a financial services firm called Knight Capital Group, which in 2012 utterly failed at a deployment of business-critical software. Within 45 minutes, Knight lost $400 million dollars and ended up bankrupt, based on the back of an IT deployment strategy that can best be described as “YOLO.”

Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights- er, I mean, read the article.