DevOps has been a hot topic in the industry for some time now. A lot of people been talking about it. Some have built business models around DevOps-related tools and themes. There are even conferences and trade shows dedicated to DevOps-oriented things. People have made career around talking about it. In light of all of that, I find it chuckle-worthy that very few people actually know what DevOps is (just follow #devops on Twitter for proof.) I am not going to be one of many trying to create a buzzword-infested definition of DevOps to suit my particular agenda. Instead, I’d like to talk about what DevOps is not. So, without further ado, DevOps …
…is not a product (or a suite of products)
DevOps is a philosophy. An approach. A method. Is is not a product. Or a thing. You can’t “buy” DevOps (or its accessories) just to say that you have it. No matter how many companies are trying to sell you a “complete DevOps solution,” DevOps has to be adopted/embraced by the organization, not bought.
…is not a way to make employees do more work
Despite the naive opinion of small business owners, who know very little about technology, or the cynical opinion of enterprise-minded developers (who think they know a lot), DevOps is not the new way of the “webmaster” of late 90s. It is not a ploy to pile double (and triple) responsibilities of a lonely company developer. It logically expands the area of responsibility to help developers to remove dependencies on operations team and to optimize development processes.
…is not a demand for mediocrity
No, you should not be a “jack of all trades, master of none” if you embrace the DevOps way. On the contrary, as software becomes more complicated, DevOps encourages to grow your areas of expertise to become “a master of many” (many, not all) areas that would help you (emphasis on “you”) with developing, managing and, most importantly, troubleshooting the systems you’re responsible for.
…is not interchangeable with other industry buzzwords
DevOps is not a synonym to “agile”. Or cloud. Or automation. And sentences like the following make absolutely no sense in every conceivable universe: “By using Agile techniques, which at heart is about working and talking together to achieve common goals, DevOps can help you make the most of your cloud.” I am not sure I can follow that with a better conclusion.
And most importantly, DevOps…
…is not new
People have been applying DevOps principles for years. Companies that understood the need of cross-department collaboration have been successful in streamlining execution and increasing the success rates in both time-to-market and quality of products. The toolsets that are most commonly associated with DevOps-related concepts are (arguably improved upon) derivatives of what we’ve used over a decade ago. So “DevOps” principle is a solid one, proven over time by undeniable success. But for the cynical ones of you – be wary of the industry buzz that, in an effort to capitalize on the hot topic, can push the real goal of DevOps to the background.