Team Guide to Software Operability
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Last updated on 2018-12-22
About the Book
Team Guide to Software Operability is the first guidebook in the new collection from Skelton Thatcher Publications.
Learn how a focus on software operability helps to increase system reliability, reduce problems in Production, and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).
The ‘Team Guide’ collection is designed to help teams building and running software systems to be as effective as possible.
Guides are curated by experienced practitioners and emphasise the need for collaboration and learning, with the team at the centre.
Manuel Pais is an independent DevOps and Delivery Consultant, focused on teams and flow.
With a diverse experience including development, build management, testing and QA, Manuel has helped large organizations in finance, legal, and manufacturing adopt test automation and continuous delivery, as well as understand DevOps from both technical and human perspectives.
Manuel is co-author of the Team Guide to Software Releasability book and lead editor for the remaining books in the Team Guide series.
- The Team Guide series
- What is software operability and why should we care?
- Where can operability techniques be used?
- How to use this book
- What is covered in this book
- Feedback and suggestions
1. What does good operability look like?
- 1.1 Use operability checklists to assess core operability
- 1.2 Assess operability with real people regularly
- 1.3 Provide a good User Experience for all agents and all users, external and internal
- 1.4 Treat operational aspects as product features: viable, configurable, deployable, diagnosable, reliable, well-performing, securable, observable, recoverable
- 1.5 Good operability does not necessarily mean good safety or ethics
- 1.6 Summary
2. Core practices for good software operability
- 2.1 Logging and metrics are the first features to implement
- 2.2 Enumerate all likely failure modes of the software
- 2.3 Use well-defined, meaningful event identifiers
- 2.4 Define and track at least one KPI or SLI per service
- 2.5 Include operational hooks as first-class features
- 2.6 ‘DONE’ means working correctly in Production
- 2.7 Treat Operations as a high-skill activity
- 2.8 The software development team writes a draft Run Book
- 2.9 Avoid a separate ‘Production-ization’ or ‘Hardening’ phase
- 2.10 Avoid Production-specific tools
- 2.11 Talk about ‘operational features’, not ‘non-functional requirements’
- 2.12 Developers and Product Owners should be on-call
- 2.13 Make operational problems visible
- 2.14 Test for operability in a deployment pipeline
- 2.15 Summary
3. Use Run Book collaboration to increase operability and prevent operational issues
- 3.1 Operational aspects are very similar across many software systems
- 3.2 Use a Run Book template as a common baseline for operational aspects
- 3.3 Use a Run Book Dialogue Sheet to facilitate discovery and avoid ‘documentation fallacy’
- 3.4 Assess operability on a regular basis: every sprint, iteration, or week
- 3.5 Summary
4. Use modern log aggregation and metrics for deep operational insights
- 4.1 Use logging to help design and understand distributed systems
- 4.2 Collect and aggregate logs and metrics centrally using standard tools & software
- 4.3 Focus on collaboration, design decisions, and team experience
- 4.4 Identify 2 or 3 key application metrics and test these early on
- 4.5 Run log aggregation and metrics locally on development workstations
- 4.6 Hide sensitive information at the point of logging
- 4.7 Use Structured Logging for greater meaning
- 4.8 Use Event IDs for visibility of application behaviour
- 4.9 Collaborate on Event IDs to enhance operability
- 4.10 Test your logging and metrics
- 4.11 Trace operations across system boundaries with correlation IDs
- 4.12 Adapt your logging and metrics techniques to the technology characteristics
- 4.13 Summary
- 5. Use Deployment Verification Tests and Endpoint Healthchecks for rapid feedback on environments
- 6. Use information radiators and dashboards to drive effective behaviour and good psychological responses
- 7. Use operability as a differentiating aspect of your software product
- 8.1 Adapt your logging techniques to the technology characteristics
- 8.2 Understand how the complexity of modern distributed systems drives a need for a focus on operability
References and further reading
- Chapter 1 - What does good operability look like?
- Chapter 2 - Core Operability Practices
- Chapter 3 - Use Run Book collaboration to increase operability and prevent operational issues
- Chapter 4 - Use modern log aggregation for deep operational and insights
- Chapter 5 - Use Deployment Verification Tests and Endpoint Healthchecks for rapid feedback on environments
- Chapter 6 - Run operational checks within a deployment pipeline to gain rapid feedback and increased collaboration
- Chapter 7 - Use information radiators and dashboards to drive effective behaviour and good psychological responses
- Chapter 8 - Use operability as a differentiating aspect of your software
Run Book template
- Service or system overview
- System characteristics
- Required resources
- Security and access control
- System configuration
- System backup and restore
- Monitoring and alerting
- Operational tasks
- Maintenance tasks
- Failover and Recovery procedures
About the authors
- Matthew Skelton
- Rob Thatcher
- Why we wrote this book
This book is published on Leanpub by Skelton Thatcher Publications
Developing and running modern software systems requires teams of motivated and well-trained people; however, most IT books are written for the individual technologist. The Team Guide series from Skelton Thatcher Publications takes a team-first approach to software systems with the aim of empowering whole teams to build and operate software systems more effectively.
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