Bare people and empty containers

An example of how well the DevOps team was doing spreading their practices was recently used to encourage us who work with people to repeat their success. As much as I would like to follow their methods of innovating and introducing new things I’m struggling with it.

As per the title, I think my biggest obstacle to face is that they started with nothing (well, almost nothing, a few bare-bones VMs with nothing more than the OS). We never get humans like that, we all come with pre-loaded experiences, expectations, feeling and whatever else you want to use to describe your history. We’re not empty containers, most of the people you’ll work with are somewhat full.

We’re now considering another “start” to getting things better and I’m left considering how much teaching, showing new things should we start with versus “unlearning” things and creating space for new. You certainly cannot do it as easy as creating a new container in Docker, is it worth the effort then? Should we rather be looking for find and replace function? That seems like a better option but creates integration issues as one new practice needs to link to a lot of old ones. It’s like rebuilding a legacy system, the initial overhead on the new thing is huge as and “visible change” maybe not that obvious, but you have to start somewhere, right?

No answers or suggestions in this one as we’re on day three of our new thing but I’d like this also to be a start to me writing about this journey. If you’re interested, I’ll see you next time.


The DevOps guys, even with this clean start they quickly run into the same blockers as us – the moment they step out or want to interface with the environment outside their creation all kinds of blockers and problems emerge. Same with us, we often very quickly manage to get the small team around us to improve, but the interfaces outside are where the pain starts and our power to change ends.

Maybe they’re no different to us in their struggle after all, and it wasn’t such a great example to follow?

PS again

Yes, I know how this looks like yet another new year resolution 🙂


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