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Stef van Hooijdonk for Coolblue

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Automation

Automation is the backbone of what we do. It provides repeatability, reliability, scalability, and speed. Four things that allow us to recover quickly. It reduces the damage caused by imperfect software, simply because we are able to get everything back up and running quickly and easily. This oversimplifies the benefits of automation, but everyone should understand why this is necessary.

If something will be done more than once, automate it.

Here are some practical examples:

  • From the initial code change/pull request being approved, no human intervention should be necessary to put that change live. It should happen automatically.
  • No virtual machine should be deployed by a person following actions defined in a script. It should only take a button press, at most.
  • Applications should never require configuration by hand.
  • Stop toil. Toil is the kind of work tied to running a production service that tends to be manual, repetitive, automatable, devoid of enduring value, and that scales linearly (or worse) as a service grows.

Automation doesn't remove the human element, it allows humans to focus on the right element and stop performing trivial, tedious and error-prone work.

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