Application Performance Management 

How do you spell “America?”

How a CEO’s frustration with spelling errors on his website led to a clear business understanding of the value DevOps brings to the organization.

Remember when Mitt Romney’s app set Twitter alight after infamously misspelling America as “Amercia?” Not the kind of impression you want to make, especially when running for the country’s top job.

First impressions are often very hard to change. So if there’s a spelling mistake on your company’s website, that could have a negative impact on your brand and whether people choose to do business with you.

When it comes to DevOps, correct spelling also matters. Here’s why understanding the need for DevOps goes beyond writing code. 

What about those spelling errors?

An executive I spoke with recently told me that he cared less about code than spelling when talking about DevOps. A spelling mistake can take up to six weeks to fix as they are subject to the same checks as changing code in software bundle releases:

Corrections can’t break anything existing on the site or introduce new problems.

Each new problem shouldn’t require a separate QA test to ensure an efficient process.

Uptime shouldn’t be affected by changes during production hours or while trade reconciliation is going on.

Approval time in the app store for consumer-facing apps should be taken into consideration for planning.

While these checks are necessary, there needs to be a way to fix mistakes quickly to protect the brand the customer experience.

Pivot from fixing the problem to reinventing the process

Regardless of whether spelling errors are nitpicking, they can collectively damage a brand.

They’re easy to solve technically, so why do developers sometimes devalue them?

It’s not the thing but the process of fixing the thing that’s broken. And it gets worse at scale – when you have a hundred or a thousand simple things to fix you can’t just keep working around the process. You have to have re-write it.

That’s how to understand DevOps, even if you’re not a developer.

A lighter note

Where a developer would say “just run spellcheck [and leave me alone]” a user, like me, knows how you don’t ever find that last spelling mistake until you hit publish on the blog and send a Tweet with the link. 

After all, would you vote for someone who can’t spell America correctly on their app?

Image credit: Philippa Willitts

David is VP finan­cial ser­vices solu­tions at CA Tech­nolo­gies. He is an expe­ri­enced tech­nol­o­gist focusing…


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