What is DevOps?

Metallica already knew it: Nothing else matters! At least it seems that nothing else matters when it comes to DevOps. A movement that has begun to take shape around six years ago, still manages to create a huge buzz around the IT industry.

Right now however, I want you to stop.

Stop to internalize this fact: DevOps is, always has been, and always will be a movement. This does not by any means help us to understand what DevOps is, but it gives, at least to us, an idea what it isn’t: it is not a product, it’s not a job title, it is nothing you can point to.  It is not even a goal. So, what is it?

The term Ops embraces all persons that operate, monitor and scale the technologies and services that are provided. It includes a myriad of job titles such as systems engineers, system administrators, DBAs, network engineers, release engineers and various other subdisciplines. On the other side of the coin, the term Dev is indeed much greater than one might expect. It is a blanket term for everybody that is involved in developing the product. It includes developers, testers, business analysts, product managers, product owners and, again, a truly long “et cetera”.

As such, DevOps literally means development and operations. Already got the idea? It stresses the word and, not versus. It is a vitally important statement – we can’t even imagine how important it is. It somehow cries out with big drumming that DevOps is a cultural movement that takes place between Dev and Ops. That is indeed its purist definition.

It aims to form a friction-less cross-team collaboration between two groups. It is intended to enable a willingness on both sides to change current processes. DevOps is about the collaboration of people and convergence of processes that together aim to enable continuous delivery (as an example among many others).

DevOps is not continuous delivery as many might think. Rather, it promotes a bridge between Dev and Ops in order to lay the foundation for continuous delivery. In a nutshell, DevOps clears the way for continuous delivery. It is regarded as the “Holy Grail” – that is believed to revolutionize the way technology is done in all our organizations on a cultural level.

These are bold statements indeed, demanding further investigation. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our DevOps: Nothing Else Matters?! series, delving into the ideas that drive DevOps. Next up: Why DevOps?

 

DevOps: Nothing Else Matters?! Part 2

 

Ingo Philipp

Author Ingo Philipp

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