DevOps, fitness, and religion have a lot in common

There are a hundred different answers, and everyone is passionately sure that their answer is the “right” one.

That statement can be applied to diet and fitness programs, religious faith, or DevOps equally. DevOps is like fitness and religion because it’s hard to define, and even harder to come up with a packaged solution that just works for everyone that we can slap a “DevOps” label on.

I wrote about it in a recent blog post:

What is DevOps?

I noted in a blog post last summer that limiting DevOps to a single definition is challenging. The Wikipedia entry for DevOps contains a variety of possible explanations that seem to disagree in some ways:

  • It’s a “software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) operations professionals.”
  • The goal of DevOps is “to maximize the predictability, efficiency, security and maintainability of operational processes. This objective is very often supported by automation.”
  • It “targets product delivery, quality testing, feature development and maintenance releases in order to improve reliability and security and faster development and deployment cycles.”
  • It “aids in software application release management for a company by standardizing development environments.”

All of these are true, and yet none of them is necessarily THE definition of DevOps.

A recent ZDNet post titled why there will never be one do-it-all devops tool proclaims, “There is really no such thing as a specific DevOps “tool”—and don’t buy into the “DevOps” labeling many vendors are attaching to their solutions. Successful DevOps depends upon a multitude of tools and methodologies that can help organizations better align their software development and release cycles.”

The question, “What is DevOps?” isn’t like asking, “What’s the temperature today in Phoenix, AZ?” or, “What’s the fastest land animal?” Those questions have precise answers that are based on measurable, irrefutable metrics. The answer is the answer and it isn’t really open to debate.

Check out the full post on Why DevOps is like fitness or religion.

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