ChatOps FOMO

A month ago I “discovered” the term ChatOps and was a little surprised it has been around for over 3 years. Guess I have missed out, but not any more. Time to get me some ChatOps. But first, thanks to the githubbers who came up with this idea.

I liked this definition of ChatOps. It starts with a culture where chat is the method of development collaboration and adds in tools so that actions are part of the conversation. If you don’t already have the culture adding tools will not really help. But if you do have the culture then adding in the tooling will just make collaboration that much better.

It only took a few minutes of research for me to understand how valuable this could be. There was definitely coincidence involved in that quick understanding. As the DevOps engineer for a > 20 developer shop, I was used to the requests “can you change staging server xxx-xxxxx-xxx-1 to track branch feature/yyyyyyyyy” happening a few times per week. But in the 2 days before I discovered “ChatOps” it started happening several times per day. The “lazy sysadmin” in me had of course automated the process so it only took a minute to satisfy these requests. But the increase in frequency was causing chafing at having to make this change at all. Now comes ChatOps as a solution to this chafing.

But how to implement ChatOps. My next hour or two of research gave me many possibilities, and lead me down a path of frustration and eventually starting over and going with the simple solution.

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