Somewhere in the last year I decided I was into DocOps.
What that really meant for me is that I am into Docs-as-code, which is a related trend, but not quite the same. I care about things like single-source documents (DRY), version control, plain text editing, style linting, and automated deployment. I write little Python or Bash scripts to pipe tools together and customize the output of static site generators. I'm learning a lot, having a lot of fun, and finally weaving together a number of different skill sets and interests I've picked up over the years (writing, coding, project management).
When I was the only writer at a startup, this was all really effective. I could fool myself into thinking I was doing DocOps. And maybe I was, but only in that particular context.
But now I work at a big, hulking enterprise company. And all of the sudden it is clear that DocOps isn't just the fun technology bits, just like how DevOps isn't just about knowing how to deploy Docker on Kubernetes. It's about dealing with people and dealing with organizations.
I just want to stand up my docs somewhere. "Give me SSH access to a directory with a public URL." At the startup I just made a decision and had live docs published my second or third day there. At the enterprise? Not so simple. My tooling has to go through security checks. Engineers have to sign off on deployment processes. Customer service has a vested interest in how documents are delivered. Can we integrate to Salesforce knowledge base? How do I
pip install from behind a firewall?
If I'm into DocOps, this is what I'm into. Not just hacking on writing tools (as much fun as that is), but also being effective in an organization. I was very effective in a startup, where hacking on things was how the organization operated. Now I have to level up and learn how to be effective at scale.