Let Me Tell You A Story
Allow me to share my perspective and anecdotal experience. When I first heard about DevOps a few years ago, fellow operational IT folks were up in arms. Why? I asked what the big deal was and the answer I got was “DevOps is going to eliminate the need for Testers & Operations. Developers will control and manage the entire stack, end-to-end.”
Well, the reactions to that message ranged from contempt & ridicule, to job loss terror. I heard many who felt threatened. The perception was that the expertise of Testers and Operations was being marginalized by Developers who evangelized DevOps. Somehow that message was being circulated, and it was downright arrogant and foolhardy… and fortunately not an accurate picture of what DevOps strives to be.
That’s Not How I See Things
My take on DevOps, is that it is all about moving away from a “we do this, you do that,” siloed mindset of operating. It is about breaking down barriers of communication and creating tighter integration. The world of DevOps still requires specialists – that will never change. I see DevOps as pushing the three fundamental groups of software development: Developers, Testers, and Operations, into integrating far more closely together than they ever did before.
In the world of DevOps, an Operations team might utilize a monitoring tool that feeds useful directly back to Developers and Testers. Developers & Testers may cross train, so both learn how to effectively write automated unit tests. Developers & Testers could cross train with Operations, to improve application deployment automation processes.
These examples all share one common theme – teams reaching outside of their traditional skill boundaries, to actively engage, learn, and integrate. This active engagement is what has often been missing from traditional operations.
This is what I believe DevOps is all about. The tools and processes being pioneered today help all of us build better, more stable software, which is better for all of us.