Thursday, April 21, 2011

How important is the devops movement

My short answer is: "very".

My Long answer Follows:

Devops is a reaction to a common problem in software development. It's referred to here as a "wall of confusion". I've blogged on this before and anybody who has ever worked in a shop with two different teams (ops vs dev) you will likely understand the problem very well. Inherently, Ops wants stability and dev wants change.

I believe the recent push for "agile" in IT organizations has aggravated this problem to an extreme in some places. This aggravation has been because the focus of agile has been on the DEVELOPMENT of software, but not the OPERATION of software. To clarify how these responsibilities are typically divided:

Make new features for customers
Get it done quickly
Get it done cheaply
Move on to next thing
Don't worry too much about the future or past… Live in the NOW

OPERATIONS Perspective
Fix the messes created by development
Prevent development from making more messes
Support all previous and future messes for eternity

Devops seeks to reconcile these differences and develop new processes, attitudes, and tools to align the goals and attitudes of these two perspectives. While largely in it's infancy and not without it's
detractors, I think the idea of fostering this change within technology organizations is critical to the future of successful software development.

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