One of the mysteries of our time is understanding what is DevOps. No one knows the answer and you always get cryptic answers or links to vendor marketing material from thought leaders.
Many a people in the enterprises have successfully used “DevOps” as a way to consolidate their empire, grow their team sizes and successfully buy tickets to Starwars movie using company budgets for their entire team. Its all good in that smart people figured out how to profit from this.
So, what is DevOps? I won’t fall into the trap of trying to define it, but will provide some thoughts on what DevOps is not.
- DevOps is not a prescriptive set of practices
DevOps is not ITIL ( Thank God ), and does not have volumes of ancient books like ITIL does. It does not specific specific format on how your team should meet and stand like Scrum does. It does not tell you to force everyone to be in the office by 8 AM like Scrum does. It also does not have certifications. Certifications are offered by some people in hopes of making a quick buck — who are we to come between them and their dinner plate? so, let them continue exploiting dumb folks among us.
2. DevOps is not set of tools
Buying a deployment automation tool does not make you DevOps overnight. Automation tools can be incredibly productive for your team and can help them improve their daily deployments. But, there is no one tool or set of tools that can be called DevOps tools. Again, we see marketing elements among us trying to brand their products as “DevOps. Who are we to come between them and their dinner plate? so, let them continue exploiting the dumb folks among us.
3. DevOps is not specific platform or architecture
Micro services is often mentioned in same breadth as DevOps. Micro services is a really good idea for those developing new apps or refactoring their existing apps. Getting Micro services right will take some practice and understanding distributed computing principles ( not easy ). However, Micro Services or Cloud Native platforms won’t turn you overnight into DevOps. Who are we to come between them and their dinner plate? so, let them continue exploiting the dumb folks among us.
4. DevOps is not about team reorgs
DevOps is not about taking people from Dev team, Ops team and merging them into one team. Team reorgs are often healthy when done correctly. However, just reorganizing the team won’t make you DevOps overnight. Middle managers have used DevOps to justify team reorgs and consolidate their power. Who are we to come between them and their Tesla Model X purchase? so, let them continue exploiting the dumb sr execs among us.
5. DevOps is not about Taskforces or Committes or BiModal Fractured IT
Many enterprises have formed DevOps taskforces or committees or split their teams into two: Smart and Dumb . The idea is that Smart will work on new apps while Dumb team will maintain existing apps. This came as a result of misguided BiModal IT recommendation. BiModal IT or a new Taskforce won’t make you DevOps overnight. Who are we to come between people and their dinner plates? So, let them continue exploiting the dumb IT execs who pay lot of money to get this kind of advice.
So, what is DevOps? IMO, DevOps is a label that you may use to drive your team to get shit done. You can call it Bonkers, and it would be as effective as calling it DevOps. Don’t be looking to thought leaders, vendor marketing or analysts for answers on how to get more out of your team. The answers are with your team, talk to them.
These are my thoughts — comment below or tweet your take.