The Human DevOps - 19th May 2024 - Leading from Behind


Software development is mentally and emotionally challenging work. Studies reveal that around 50% of developer time is spent on maintenance or wasted in workplace inefficiency. How can we, as individuals, enjoy our work and stay productive and healthy while positively influencing efficiency, quality and customer value?

This question has bothered me throughout my career, and I'm finally on a path to finding some practical answers.

As I delve into this topic, I'm struck by the profound influence of the average software development team's composition, dynamics, and motivations on our collective cognitive load. It's not just about inefficient organizational setups; it's also about the very nature of many of our ‘best practice’ tools and techniques that can limit our potential.

I'm inspired by a few texts and a few people here, not least:

  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • Turn This Ship Around by David L. Marquet
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear

All of these books explore how we lead through inversion of control, using influence and importantly, reducing lofty goals into manageable steps. Leading as a manager sets up a lot of expectations. Leading from Behind is an effective and sustainable way of making sense of complex domains such as software engineering.

Have a great Sunday.

-- Richard


The Passive-Aggressive Pull Request

Published on May 18, 2024

Have you ever had an extreme reaction to someone leaving a comment on a Pull Request (PR)? Why was that? Was it something about your mood that day? Was it that you feel attacked and don’t like it? Is it the frustration with the speed of the PR process? Something else? PRs are divisive. They… Read More »The Passive-Aggressive Pull Request

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Human DevOps

DevOps at is the heart of modern software systems. In my regular newsletter, I dive into the human factors that make successful engineering organizations where teams and platforms thrive at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From leadership to team setup, maximizing performance, tools and techniques.

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