What the heck is devops?

Ok. There’s probably a gazillion blog posts around the topic. I just felt the urge to give you my very own 2 cents. So here I am.

This post would probably most useful to HR people or recruiters, as I believe most of the confusion begins there. My very own job title now is, in fact, DevOps Network Planner…
DevOps is not a “job”, nor is a skill. It is just an organisational model, a paradigm trend that has emerged in the last 5 years or so, and was mainly driven and bred by the Googles/Facebooks/Ebays and alike.

In the old days, there was a clear split between whoever developed something and who operated it (and this is still the case in most of the enterprises in our marked, although things are changing. fast.).
DevOps means essentially breaking that barrier and make whoever develops something, responsible for operating it too! I know this is trivial and probably not what you were hoping for, but, hey ho!

Now, I can see another potential cause for confusion here.
The definition above might seem applicable just to the case of software developers who develop, test, maintain and deploy their own code, but I think the concept could apply to many other use-cases.
Infrastructure DevOps is another perfect example (and this is how most of the HR people interpret the buzzword). You have some nice fellas, who used to be called ‘Sysadmins’, who design some compute/storage/DB infrastructure, deploy it and operate it. In the end, doing such a thing today can be well regarded as ‘coding’ as all you do is code some Ansible Playbooks, Chef Recipes, or Puppet Manifests (or similar).
And how is this different to operating networks? Is a network not a bunch of hardware behaving as per the instructions contained in some “code” which we call “configurations”?

I particularly like Julia Evans’ post on the matter, and I really suggest you read it.

DevOps is a concept that can’t be just demoted to a mere job title, it’s a movement made of people coming from very different backgrounds (project managers, coders, networkers, etc.)

There are two very juicy topics that could be spawn from what we just discussed.

    1. how do you change your organisational model(s) to become dev-ops-y? That’s the holy grail! There’s a really good book that I read on this: The Phoenix Project
    2. what are the pillars of the DevOps movement? what are the concepts it mainly builds on? This is where I leave you today. In my next post, I will discuss the 6 pillars of the DevOps movement.

Stay tuned!

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