Back in 2017, I was interviewing people for a position as a system administrator. I have been adamant about DevOps, and obviously this was a specific question around what the opinion of the candidate was around DevOps.
Over the course of the years, I have heard many people ‘define’ the term, explaining either what it meant as a solution, some were more considerate about the collaboration and mindset aspects.
But this candidate floored me. I was speechless when he answered and his answer haunted me ever since.
His answer as a system administrator was really simple, just 4 words
Empathy for the developer
It clicked in my head, this was the best definition I have heard, and haven’t heard a better one since.
From a developer perspective, DevOps would be basically “Empathy for the operations”.
Generally, empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is what makes people work together, help each other, achieve results together.
And so, if you go and look into BizDevOps, the real power here, where the business side is involved. The concept of “empathy” is again key here, where the sales needs empathy for the technical guys and vice versa.
Now, this Empathy doesn’t come natural, you can’t force it, you can’t buy or instruct to have it.
Empathy is a human trait, that is in the same category as respect, trust, confidence, etc…
In the end we are humans, working together to achieve the goals we set together.
Bonus: What about ‘customer centric’, does’t that trump the goals of BizDevOps? Actually, in my experience it means we are adding an aspect to it, where everybody needs to have “empathy for the customer”. The big challenge here is to have clear definition of “customer”, because you can’t have empathy for the whole world.