Continuously Improving as Super-NetOps

"We play games in order to 'come up against ourselves' in the presence of others."

No amount of googling has helped me identify its source, but this statement is peppered across a lot of golf forums and rings true for todays big announcement. So, the golf angle...

On paper, the game of golf is completely absurd! Sure, for some its completely absurd off paper, too. Whichever your preference, to explain the basic actions, "Well, what you do is you start out by hitting a ball away, with a crooked stick, then you go and find that ball, so you can hit it away again, ideally getting closer to a hole in the ground...", does seem odd. It's basically fetch, but without the dog, right? Ok, but stepping back from the individual actions, this worldwide golf obsession is really about an endless pursuit of betterment. Or, as they say in DevOps, 'Continuous Improvement'.

Change is constant

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change" -Heraclitus

Hand-in-hand with Continuous Improvement is change. Racing cars get faster because the team's engineers and mechanics fastidiously review every last detail time and time again. A tenth of a second here and there can be the difference between a podium finish and new sponsorship dollars versus somewhere unremarkable in the middle of the pack.

Golfers and race car drivers have it easy! Golf is still golf, and cars still have to get round the track as fast as they can. Their area of focus remains narrow, and fixed. We, on the other hand are working in an environment of constant change. Us networking technologists, we're faced with a never-ending stream of new protocols, frameworks, and architectures. An endlessly moving target.

What happens if you don't adapt?

Failing to let go of learned patterns and embrace the encroaching fluidity of modern development practices is simply not an option. Try googling, 'businesses that failed to adapt', or words to that effect. You'll see an impressive list of big brands we all remember, but aren't hearing much of any more.

Granted, many of these extinct entities failed the test of time for various non-technological reasons. However, nowadays, with the unparalleled benefits of digital business, technology has become a primary factor in survival. That said, common, both before and after the technological evolution, is the inevitable result of doing nothing. The guarantee of demise.

Showing us the right way, take Etsy, the craft-focused e-commerce site, and why it's engineers send company-wide emails confessing mistakes they made. "It's called a PSA and people will send out an email to the company or a list of people saying I made this mistake, here's how I made that mistake, don't you make this mistake," says Etsy CTO, Chad Dickerson.

SOURCE: https://qz.com/504661/why-etsy-engineers-send-company-wide-emails-confessing-mistakes-they-made/

Being comfortable with change starts with a keen interest in experimentation, and a level of comfort with, not failing, but dealing with unanticipated outcomes as a means of learning. The successes of this new philosophy are revealing positive outcomes.

Another example, from Smith College, Northampton, MA, where leadership development specialist, Rachel Simmons shares, "What we're trying to teach is that failure is not a bug of learning, it's the feature".

SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/24/fashion/fear-of-failure.html?mcubz=0

To fail is to not push the boundaries in the search for breakthroughs.

Help yourself

Ever felt 'stuck' in your career? Or, maybe just like things are getting a little stale? For me, this feeling creeps in when I'm not evolving. When I'm not learning something new, or being challenged to venture beyond my comfort zone. This isn't just about learning a new product, or API. Its about challenging process and never accepting, "but this is the way we've always done it".

The digital transformation wave, and its ever-increasing importance for business success, is waiting for no-one. There will be no invitation. Help yourself to the F5 Super-NetOps Training Program. The skills and operational practices learned from this can be applied to both F5 technology, and any other network infrastructure.

The Super-NetOps training program

The Super-NetOps training program was created to bring network-based services into continuous delivery pipelines. It does so by teaching engineers and architects how to move their valuable networking experience off of the CLI and over to a 'programmable infrastructure' model. New skills for the new era!

Acutely aware that this requires more than reading a few blogs, F5 Networks has invested in your free, on-line, self-service education. Starting the Super-NetOps journey, network engineers and architects will learn skills transferable across network technologies developed by F5, and that of other vendors.

So, wait no more, and help yourself to the next step: https://f5.com/SuperNetOps. We'd love to hear your feedback!