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2016 Is The Year Of DevOps, But Most People Don’t Know What That Really Means

4 min read

1614iE35AC83A0C889583I had a run of posts I used to do, and may start it back up again, called Brochure Buzzwords. This idea came from post-conference momentum of returning tech leaders who would see the latest trends, inspiring presentations, and the latest ‘buzzwords’ and turn them into immediate new projects or initiatives. Cloud is one of the biggest brochure buzzword because it has so many meanings but instead of wrapping proper context around it, I see over and over ‘cloud’ being used as a blanket solution and most of the time it didn’t fit. Now DevOps is the latest trend that you will hear all about in 2016.

With 2015 coming to a close the news sites, tech blogs and industry reports are talking about DevOps. The next phase of the cloud and mobile revolution. DevOps is becoming a brochure buzzword and I am beginning to see and hear DevOps being used as a blanket solution term and not really forming to what DevOps really is. DevOps on the surface looks like Development Operations (Dev + Ops). For those that are not fully immersed into the holistic IT picture they gravitate to the idea that DevOps is for developers and their operation and then stop at the code level. They are not incorrect but they are not entirely correct either. It’s the Operations side of DevOps that I have seen get lost. Of course there are many interpretations of what DevOps means but I am going to define it as the majority of the industry think tanks do (Gartner, Forrester, Deloitte, etc…).

DevOps is the practice of development (software engineering), QA, and Operations working together through the entire lifecycle from design, development, testing, release and production support.

question-31842991Most commonly DevOps is attributed and goes hand in hand to ‘Agile Development’ where the pure design of the methodology demands the integration of continuous development and delivery and in order to do that effectively and securely you need to have all parties involved. That’s the true end game of Agile however most organizations today only focus on the application’s development, customer interactions, code level ‘agile’ and still do not include the operation side as close as they should.

Prior to the Agile ideas Development and Operations were exclusive to each other. Development created and built, Operations maintained it afterward. Separated, siloed, isolated from each other the world now realizes the downsides of such an approach. DevOps is the marriage or rather the full integration of everyone involved, together as part of the whole process rather than a step or checkbox.

Where DevOps falls off from a concept is when organizations and people define ‘operations’. What is operations? Like most things in IT we have allowed operations to be defined multiple ways and most time those definitions are too granular. Look at operations at face value and apply everything that is a business or IT operation that coincides to a solution. It’s not just system engineers and administrators. Operations also includes, security, network, change control, business units, storage, DBAs, virtual team, cloud teams and so on. Developers (Dev) have been traditionally tagged as the people writing code, everyone else is not part of development. DevOps bridges those worlds into a collaborative flow.

If you have a robust source code control and security scanning process in place prior to apps going live is not DevOps. Just because your developers now adhere to a more processed oriented SDLC workflow mean you are doing DevOps. Running a few things by the admins before release isn’t DevOps.

DevOps is much more than following the Agile Method step by step. It’s goes beyond something like ITIL where you can lay it out and force it through tools. It’s much more than a process flow and although some of the concepts of true DevOps resonate in Agile they are separate concepts. Agile focuses on the solution and customer devilry, DevOps provides the holistic approach across all development and operational functions to deliver to your maximum potential. DevOps strives to bring the understanding and practice that a software solution is not truly successful until it’s delivered to a customer and meets all their expectations around availability, performance, security and at the pace of change they require.

DevOps is truly the glue that holds the methodologies together. Without true DevOps you will re-create the isolated problems of the past and go through the motions of an Agile environment but not feel any of the benefits and eventually your customers will become frustrated with your delivery, not because it’s not timely, but because it’s sloppy operationally.

devops-everywhereEnd of Line.

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