PolarSeven understands that most of our customers will eventually outgrow us. We are okay with that. With only 10% of the all the servers running on the cloud there is still a lot more work to do to bring everyone into the world we want to create. Most customers who are growing will start to want to bring on devops engineers once they have between 4 and 20 developers. The graph below shows the effort required to fulfill the promise of devops in a new business. We have been with customers for more than five years and we have seen this graph repeated again and again.
In the beginning there will be a steep ramp up of requirements for devops as the infrastructure of the application is built and the various components are put together. Infrastructure is required for autoscaling, redundancy, backups, monitoring and logging.It is very tempting to hire a devops contractor to do this or possibly even hire an employee from A to B. However there is a huge ramp down from B to C and you will probably lose your employee as they get bored and you will fire your contractor as there is not enough work. When an employee or contractor leaves critical knowledge is lost. We think it is a far better idea to use an agency who has your long term goals in mind and will advise you on the most appropriate rather than most shiny solution.
We have come many times into an overarchitected solution that handles a million users but costs the earth to run or worse yet an AWS environment that was built with point and click and is breaking left, right and centre. PolarSeven has sometimes been the clean up crew who then get escorted out when a new consultant gets hired at point C. Point C is also not a very good place to get a Consultant or full time employee. Often there are one or two projects which look promising but are not big enough to sustain a long term engagement. In the story above the second consultant was fired as well and we had to do another cleanup job.
Point D is tempting to hire a full time employee but it is really not until point E where there is enough work to sustain a full time or preferably two full time employees for redundancy. Employees can take four weeks of holiday a year and you don’t want your servers going down when an employee cannot be reached.
Once you have two full time devops engineers you probably won’t need PolarSeven again. It’s sad but we’ll be okay.