Can DevOps make people happier? For me, I’ve seen how DevOps is a way of working where software is created with a good vibe.


DevOps is about the tooling and efficiency, but in most cases it is even more about things other than tools and environments. Of course teams utilize well-designed tooling for everything, but more importantly, it is the way they are used by people that makes DevOps as effective as it is.

It is these cultural changes that lead to DevOps improving job satisfaction.

I have a background in software development, testing, and software development transformation projects in various industries and customers. Having seen various software development methods in action at teams of different sizes and in many different countries, I’ve witnessed how DevOps plays an important role in transforming software development into something more fruitful, transparent, honest, and reactive.

For example, last year, at a large client, I experienced how using a version control system efficiently for configuring and automating the team’s environments made it easier for developers and testers to work together.

Why job satisfaction should matter to companies

In some cases, companies think that software development is not their highest priority because they are interested only in the end results, like running services with to bring information to their customers.

Except, nowadays, almost all companies are software-driven companies. The speed and efficiency of your software development processes can be a limiting factor to business growth. But what does job satisfaction have to do with that? Well, without talented software engineers who are happy to work for you, you can’t get the software your customers want or your business needs. Where software engineers are happy, everyone wins.

Let’s drill down into the detail of why DevOps helps keep software engineers happy. We admit that this may be a DevOps utopia we’re describing here. But this is precisely what we strive for in organizational DevOps transformations.

Humans like to have meaningful work that they can fully contribute to

  • Learning new skills is the norm in a DevOps culture of constant improvement and experimentation.
  • Teams are the masters of what they are doing. They don’t need to wait for multiple approvals before getting the green light.
  • Teams do not need to wait for the bureaucratic steps to finally happen in another company/team when they have the needed access rights and motivation to serve customers.
  • Making and reverting configuration changes is simple because everything is treated as code and stored in a version control system.

Humans like to make progress and change things for the better

  • Development teams have a common understanding of what is developed and why. The big picture is evident to the whole team.
  • With less bureaucracy, individuals and teams are able to learn from their mistakes, be more self-guided, and search for the correct solutions with a fresh twist.

Humans like to belong

  • User-friendly communication tools encourage the teams to communicate and to share information with everyone onboard.
  • Planned tasks/ideas are visible and accessible to everyone, decisions are logged in the system(s) and traceable.
  • DevOps helps developers and testers, among others, receive swift feedback for their work and improve it based on the feedback, which minimizes uncertainty.

Humans like to play and be creative

  • Continuous delivery encourages constant, creative improvement to existing products.
  • Ad-hoc or predicted challenges are investigated promptly and solution proposals tested and tried out in the form of POCs. For example, trying to create software with an updated version of the programming language for better results.
  • Automation creates freedom of choice. The variety of tools that could be used to automate various tasks is huge!
  • Metrics and data from a software production line give further fuel for high-level creative problem solving.

Tying up loose ends

Taking the previous points into consideration, you can see how development teams benefit greatly when they take DevOps practices into use in an effective manner.

Happy software engineers make good software: it’s as simple as that.

Ps. What’s more, good principles in software development can be applied in your free time, too. Only by continuous improvement and prioritization can one achieve actual changes such as better results and improved productivity. I’ve experienced this when competing in long distance trail running and cycling competitions, for example!

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Published: Mar 20, 2019

Updated: May 3, 2021