Devops! What Is It?

DevOps is a pretty popular buzzword these days. It is a misunderstood concept. The origins of DevOps are a bit weird. The creators of this concept didn’t really give a definition initially. Leaving it to be interpreted by others. Which of course spurred several different interpretations and meanings leving us with a nice confusing definition. One of the best definitions that I have come across would be the one from Ken Mugrgage on YouTube.

A culture where people, regardless of title or background, work together to imagine, develop, deploy and operate a system.

So, in other words, DevOps is a culture and it’s all about working together towards a common goal. This means that developers, testers, operators, security experts and other people, regardless of title or background, work together to bring ideas to production for producing value. This means the end of silos. No longer will Ops, QA teams and developers have metaphorical walls put up between the teams.

What DevOps Is Not

There are a few misconceptions when it comes to what DevOps is and what a DevOps Engineer does. Let’s take a look.

  • DevOps means NoOps: This is a common mistake to think that developers take care of operations and that the operators role becomes a thing of the past. This is incorrect. It’s a team effort. A team will include both roles working together bring the product from original idea to production.

  • DevOps is a Tool: Tools like Docker, Ansible, Kubernetes and Prometheus are ususally referred to as DevOps tools. DevOps isn’t a product, but the tools used are relevant to enablers.

  • DevOps is Automation: Automation is an essential part of DevOps, it’s not its definition. DevOps is about devs and ops working together working together from the idea to production with automation of their processes like continuous delivery.

  • DevOps is a Role: If you consider DevOps as a culture, a mindset, it’s hard to make sense of DevOps roles. Yet there is an increasing request for DevOps engineers. Typically a DevOps role want the engineers to have skills like: proficiency with automation tools, scripting and IT systems.

  • DevOps is a Team: Organizations not fully understanding the above risk end up keeping the same silos as before, with one change: adding a DevOps silo to replace the Ops silo or, even worse, as a new one.

Collaboration of Teams

The collaboration between operations and developers is paramount these days for the ability to get an application to design and build higher-quality products.