Disruption is Uncomfortable



The other day we were doing an urgent Chef policy update in our production environment. It quickly became clear to all that this was uncomfortable. I had written extensive documentation to explain, as I saw it, how interact with Chef within our system. The person who was assigned the task, however, wasn’t able to make much sense of my documentation. So we had an awkward back and forth where he was asking me for the commands he should run and I was telling him that he should know what he is doing when running those commands. It was all very uncomfortable.

So I talked to a colleague about it who reminded me: “Hey Michael, you’re doing something disruptive here, you shouldn’t be surprised when it is…disruptive”

Oh yeah.

I then calmed down, got another colleague on my immediate engineering team on a call, and we figured out a better way to bring people on board with the process. We didn’t get angry. We didn’t go to lunch and talk about how idiotic that other team was. We realized that disruption is uncomfortable, so we can empathize with that and help people along.

I think this has been a major part of my job: helping people through the discomfort of change that DevOps presents to their status quo.

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