It’s an old mantra in tech: You either have the right technology or you don’t get anywhere. But is the premise that having the best technology equals success really valid?
Today we know there is more to it. You could build the best technology in the world, but if you haven’t helped people understand how to apply the new concepts and capabilities to their problems, you just have a widget that nobody can use—and no way to know if it’s really even working.
The real job of building a successful product happens when we invest equally in developing that product and in the people who will use it in their environments. As technology evolves, it’s important that vendors actively invest in teaching, mentoring and enabling people—ahead of products—with the foundational skills required to leverage new technology.
By doing this we help create a better, more informed user base that can apply their experience and context. And in turn, that newly informed user base forms a symbiotic relationship with us as a vendor, helping to guide how we develop products and solutions from a position of mature, informed authority.
In this environment, the bar for success is no longer releasing a new product. It’s continually engaging and listening to all of the product constituents—customers, partners, F5 engineers, support staff—in a constant lifecycle of innovation and improvement.
Bringing DevOps to training, and training to DevOps
You can see how this works by looking into the history of the Super-NetOps program. As part of F5’s transformation to a multi-cloud application services company, we had to train hundreds of engineers around the world with a new set of foundational skills in cloud, automation, orchestration and DevOps methodologies.