DevOps = The A(gile) Team? Image

Agile testing

DevOps = The A(gile) Team?

The landscape of software development is constantly changing. Sometimes it‘s hard to stay up to date. In recent months, you might have heard the term “DevOps” being bandied around a lot, and wondered: “What does DevOps actually mean?”.Well, it sure sounds like just another buzzword hitting the interwebs, but it’s impact may be more far reaching than you would first think.

Besides having a really cool name, DevOps is actually a merging of many different ideas into one. It’s a bit like the A-Team. No, in fact … it’s exactly like the A Team.

In 2015, a crack sysadmin unit was sent to development by an IT manager for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Agile underground. Today, still wanted by corporate, they survive as testers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the DevOps-Team.

In this scenario, the role of Hannibal is played by a fearless sysadmin coder… who came up with an amazing plan. This sysadmin is faced with the daunting task of maintaining quality systems. All too often, the software he gets isn’t designed with him in mind. Around him, he’s seen a major shift in the way things are done:  small teams of developers and testers getting together and using Agile methods to improve the development process in a major way. However, they don’t have an overview of how their software is being used. Typically you have 2 sides of an operation. The “Dev” are the makers, and the “Ops” are the people who deal with the creation after its birth.

Hannibal finds 3 soldiers. Each of them have their own troubles fitting in, but he can see their potential where no-one else can;  what they need is the right leadership. So he forms a new team: on their own, B.A. Barracus (Development), Face (Testing/ Business analysis), and Murdock (Tech operations) are rogue agents, but if only he could get them to work together as a team, nothing could stand in their way.

It turns out bringing people with different skill sets together is a recipe for awesome. Not unlike the way Agile and Lean approaches already changed the way we develop software forever after, DevOps brings in more people into the mix. In our increasingly service-oriented world, operations can be just as important in the development process as the programmers and testers themselves.

B.A. is obviously the most technical minded, but the rest of the team have to pitch in if B.A. is going to build a tank or fly a plane. He couldn’t do it without Face procuring an old banged up tractor he charmed out of the farmer’s daughter, he couldn’t do it without Murdock’s talent to trick him, and fly him to where he needs to go. But he most certainly couldn’t do it without Hannibal knowing how to use and coordinate all of these individual talents and synergize them into an amazing master plan.

In a way, getting all the people involved right into the development process, just feels like what the Agile approach set out to do in the first place. DevOps is almost the natural evolution of Agile.

It’s clearly no accident that every episode featured an explosion, a car flip, the team getting trapped in a warehouse, bad guys learning a hard lesson, Face getting the girl, Murdock coming up with another goofball way of annoying B.A.: the show used a formula that works, refined it, and stuck with it. DevOps isn’t new. Its something that works, but now it has a name.

And if you have a problem, there is help, and now that you’ve found it, you too can use DevOps in your team.

I love it when a plan comes together.