What is DevOps?

By Sam Pogue

As a recruiter in the technology industry there are always hot words that recruiters and companies use to draw top talent. However, just like the game of telephone, most things get lost in translation and we forget what the original meaning is. Which is why I want to cover the true meaning of DevOps.

This new concept that some have been doing for years while others are using it as a way to be seen, does it really just mean development and operations? Is it a Sys Admin who can program or is it a programmer who can administer? Is it only for small mom-and-pop shops that can’t afford to hire two people? Can places like IBM or Dell have DevOps professionals?

Now before we get too deep let me first say that prior to working as a recruiter I was misinformed and was unable to tell you the difference between a .NET developer, Linux Administrator and the Help Desk team. However, as I begin to dig deeper and deeper into the needs and issues of talented individuals and understand the real headaches that IT/Engineering teams face I can say that DevOps is here to stay, not the name per say, but the ideals that go behind it.

Here is my understanding (take this with a grain of salt because I am far from a Sys Admin or an Engineer):

As we see “big data” (sorry for my massive use of hot words, especially when I am trying to debunk their arbitrary need for popularity) or vast amounts of information being transferred between every device, tablet, computer, phone or television, the need to manage this information is at an all-time high. With that being said, gone are the days of manually performing every task and spending every minute managing tickets from two hours ago. Rather we come to this idea of automation and the ability to continuously deliver the same task with the reduction of error and thus downtime.

Products such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible and CFEngine are taking charge and helping those beloved “geeks” or “nerds” keep your systems alive and running while delivering the mission critical information your company needs to succeed. You have to understand that everyone needs IT: Engineering relies on IT to release their product and Marketing and Finance need IT to run campaigns or keep the books straight and deliver pay roll on time (Thanks Gene Kim for “The Phoenix Project”). The IT guys are not just the guys who fix your email when it’s down or put batteries in your mouse when it dies, they run the show, but behind the scenes. And no, not all of them are like Milton from Office Space. So the next time you see one, just say thank you for making me better at my job.

Coming up next month: Can you really automate yourself out of a job or is it true that a lazy Sys Admin is a good Sys Admin?

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave your comments below!