Top 4 Core Values Every DevOps Professional Must Know

One night, I met Jack in one of the meetup event.

Jack is a DevOps specialist, he worked at the DevOps space for the past couple years.

He tried to share his knowledge and experiences with another person, who has absolute zero technical background. Jack is very passionate, and kept throwing up a lot technical jargons during the conversation.

Few minutes later, the guy walked away and never come back to Jack. Jack was very disappointed, and ask for my thoughts.

So, what’s wrong with Jack?

Well, as a professional, we often suffered from the curse of knowledge. For instance, Jack knows too much which makes him difficult to think like someone who knows nothing about it. 

And guess what? After going through the top 4 core values of DevOps with Jack, he managed to nail all the conversations with any strangers in the room!

I am very excited to share this good news with you about what I have explained to Jack. 

Trust me, just stay CALM and read on… 😉

What is DevOps?

Unlike agile, DevOps is not a framework, role or methodology, it is a software engineering culture that integrates between software development and IT operations work transparently together to plan, release and deploy, or even increase the scaling performance of products within an organisation.

Back in the old days, organisations were facing so many issues due to lack of communication between the development and operations team. A lot of organisations were using a framework called ITIL

On the other hand, DevOps encourage organisations to create an environment where small teams are able to develop, test and deploy code independently, securely and quickly to customers.

DevOps has gained its popularity in the IT industry, it is also being widely used in business strategy and transformation in nowadays.

What are the top 4 DevOps Core Values?

I have been worked with many Ops professionals in my previous career, and everyone is asking the same question again and again.

“Is there any values or framework we can follow to adopt DevOps in the organisation?”

Certainly, the answer is yes!

CALMS has been widely adopted by the DevOps community nowadays. It was originally introduced by Damon Edwards (originally called ‘CAMS’), later on, refined by Jez Humble into a simple acronym called CALMS:

Core Value #1 – Culture

“When you turn your team upside down and try to figure out what the culture of the team is, you take the greatest risk a team can take” – Mark Cuban

Culture is one of the most common terms that is being used in business or organisations, however, it is not something you can implement easily.

To put it in simple terms, as a manager, you need to start to hire people with the mentality and willingness to take on calculated risks. Everyone in the team should be focused on a common goal and strive for their best to achieve it.

It is okay to fail from time to time, everyone should support each other and step out from their comfort zone to learn something might not be their specialty.

Core Value #2 – Automation

“Improving daily work is more important than doing daily work” – Gene Kim

To increase the speed while maintaining the quality of deliverables, the DevOps team often invest a lot of time and effort to develop automation tools to automate the repetitive task and cumbersome work.

Netflix is one of the greatest case study about DevOps automation, which creates frequent build releases and increasing developer’s productivity.

Core Value #3 – Lean

“Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is a waste” – Eric Ries

The basic of lean principles were originally from the Toyota Production System.

The primary tool of focus on Lean in DevOps is Value Stream Mapping.

It is important for an organisation to understand the end-to-end process that delivers customer value (in this case, it could be the software delivered to customers) and identify and eliminate any ‘wastes’ in the current processes.

Core Value #4 – Measurement

“One accurate measurement worths a thousand expert opinions” – Unknown

Focusing on the right metrics and measurements are key to the success of DevOps adoption in EVERY organisation.

One of the devOps unicorn startup, Etsy, has introduced to measure everything, literally.

It is okay to measure everything, but it is also up to you and your organisation to choose the right DevOps measurement since different organisations know what they need to focus on their end, the key is to make sure values are being delivered to customer from a business perspective.

Core Value #5 – Sharing

“Sharing is caring” – Unknown

When we talk about sharing, it may sound quite familiar since we are talked about C (Culture) at the beginning, why we need to have “Sharing”? Isn’t that part of the culture?

Well, sharing is also one of the core value of adopting DevOps. One of the biggest benefits of DevOps is to eliminate knowledge silos. If one small team or one person is responsible for implementing an entire process, it will become difficult to track down the problems and could end up affecting the whole organisation.

Hence, organisation that adopts DevOps will avoid this by allowing team members to work collaboratively and sharing information across different teams.


Before you go, I would like to summarise within a few words about the DevOps values.

DevOps Core values

  • Culture – Take ownership from work to drive collaboration and communication
  • Automation –  Take out all the cumbersome and manual steps from the value chain
  • Lean – Use lean principles to understand and improve organization processes so that delivers real values to customer
  • Metrics – Measure everything that is related to the business objectives and goals
  • Sharing – Share is caring, empower teams to share experiences, and help others to learn


Remember to … ???



Thank you for reading. 🙂

PS: If you have any questions, please contact me by leaving a message. I will get back to you within the next 48 hours!