Video games taught me a lot about DevOps

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I’m a parent of two teenagers and I’ve observed, and in some cases participated, in playing video games. I grew up with video games and played Pac-man, Qbert, and Asteroids in the 1980s. It is amazing for me to see the advancements in video games.

I’ve learned to play newer video games with my kids and added new words to my vocabulary such as MMORPG – massively multiplayer online role-playing games – and First Person shooter. I’ve noticed a common characteristic. Many video games are constructed using a key concept of a “technology tree.”

What is a technology tree?

The “technology tree” is an intrinsic design built into many games. The basic premise is that you progress in the game by learning new skills and completing activities or quests. As you do so, you can upgrade equipment, improve your abilities, and level up in the game.

The best illustration of this design can be seen in turn-based games such as Civilization. In Civilization, you start with base skills (in the beginning of a civilization) and as the game progresses; you build cities, learn skills and win the game by colonizing a new planet.  The key to progression lies in a technology tree that dictates what units you can build and what city improvements can be built.

Video games have figured this out correctly – you must work over time and acquire basic skills before you can advance to the next level and learn more advanced skills.

This core concept of a technology tree exists when I work with clients who are adopting DevOps practices.   Most clients have an end goal when they start their DevOps journey of continuous delivery, but one cannot achieve continuous delivery without having base skills and practices in place.

As an example, working with one client, we built a DevOps technology tree that looked similar to this:



Working through a technology tree is a useful exercise for organizations looking to adopt or advance DevOps practices. You may find that some of the practices shown above are already in place, while other practices may require more focus. The good news is that as you build and execute your “technology tree,” each step along the way will provide some measurable value back to your organization.

Learn how UrbanCode Deploy can bring your DevOps technology tree to life.

Cloud Advisor

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