Is DevOps More Than a Passing Fad?

DevOps was the hot topic at the Gartner IT Infrastructure and Operations conference in June.

A number of sessions referred to DevOps, but Cameron Haight, Research Vice President at Gartner, presented it in the most straightforward and clever way.

Cameron’s presentation really made sense, so I thought I’d share some of what I learned with you:

What is DevOps?

Cameron describes it as taking the agile, lean processes that have been driving development in the past and joining them with operations frameworks.

This creates a synergy between development and operations that embraces risk, speeds response time, and uses the available resources in a very productive way.

DevOps Philosophy

The DevOps philosophy doesn’t have a hard and fast roadmap to follow. Rather than focusing on how to get things done, DevOps teams focus on why.

Best practices are created for each business area or IT department because one size does not fit all, and you have to be brave enough to take a leap and get it done.

DevOps, like agile developing, breaks tasks down into small pieces and has a constant and quick feedback loop which looks at product definition, development, delivery, and support through the life of the product.

IT Culture Needs to Change

In order to combine these two departments (which have been separate in almost every IT shop I’ve seen in the last 20 years), IT culture needs to change.You must have a culture of mutual respect between development and operations, which is sometimes difficult to maintain.

Cameron used the story of the "prisoner’s dilemma" to explain the current culture (Erik Minick explains the prisoner’s dilemma further in this blog post).

There a division not only between operations and development, but also between the staff that supports various platforms, such as Windows, UNIX, and mainframe. In order to create a successful DevOps atmosphere, those divisions need to dissolve.

A culture of cooperation that stops the finger pointing when mistakes are made, manages risk by embracing mistakes, and keeps changes small enough to manage will create an agile and productive DevOps environment.

If you have access to Gartner’s On-Demand, I highly recommend streaming the entire session.

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