What is DevOps? Maybe the question should be, “What isn’t DevOps?”
One thing that seems to more or less define DevOps is that it’s continuous. Just look at the marketing materials for just about any DevOps tool or service and you’ll find that everything is continuous. I wrote a blog post about the seemingly ubiquitous nature of continuity in DevOps:
Defining DevOps is getting easier, but it’s still an elusive goal. Part of the challenge is that DevOps is more of a culture than a specific “thing” and how that culture exists is subjective and varies from one organization to the next. DevOps is what you want or need DevOps to be to some extent, but one thing seems to be consistent no matter how you define DevOps—it’s continuous.
If DevOps is the buzzword du jour for tech, then continuous is the buzzword du jour of DevOps. Everything is continuous. Continuous development and continuous testing lead to continuous deployment and continuous delivery, which requires continuous support. Continuous monitoring produces continuous integration and continuous change. Continuous security results in continuous incident response…or vice versa. To top it off, all of the continuous activities continuously feed each other to drive more continuousness in some sort of DevOps Mobius strip of continuity.
What does it all mean? I mean, aside from being a catchy buzzword and making that new DevOps tool or service sound sexy and impressive?
In a nutshell it means there’s no end. You don’t really reach a point where everyone can shut down their PCs and grab a beer to celebrate the completion of the project. The project—whatever it is—is more of a living, evolving thing than a deliverable.
There’s also no beginning—or at least no new beginning. All of the continuous activities cycle back over each other like a Spirograph drawing. Have you ever tried to find the beginning or end of a Spirograph drawing? Good luck.
DevOps is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
When you strip out the buzzwords what it really means is working in a more effective and efficient way. I’ve worked on software development projects the old-fashioned way. No, not Agile—Waterfall. The cascading tasks feed each other in what appears to be a logical progression. It makes sense to define requirements, design the software, implement it, test or verify it, and then kick back and go into maintenance mode…on paper at least.
Read the full post at DevOps.com: The continuous continuousness of DevOps.
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