The other day at the office we were talking about “DevOps.” Quite frankly, most of us involved in the conversation had very different definitions of DevOps.
Some people simply said “it’s a culture.” Some said “It’s when operations works closely with developers”. The truth is, no one in the conversation was wrong, and no one was right. No matter where you work, your company probably has a different definition of DevOps.
Amazon defines it this way: “DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.”
As technology progresses, enables, empowers… the lines and the silos that formerly existed out of necessity have begun to blur. Through improved tooling, such as CI/CD pipelines, Microservice Architecture, Infrastructure as Code, and so forth, development teams no longer need to hand off their work to another team for deployment.
The same can be said for other formerly siloed functional groups, as we are already seeing terms like DevSecOps arise.
Embracing Evolving Technology
The question is how people with these skills will evolve with the changing world.
Some ignore the change. The speed at which technology grows is only combatted by the hesitancy enterprises have toward adopting it. Thus, those siloed functional groups will continue to exist for a time. But they will become rarer and rarer, just like floppy disk drives.
Another common response is to resist the change, perhaps build walls around the silo, in the form of rules, policies, etc. This unfortunately works for a time, but only hurts the company and the individual in the long term. As companies become aware of the benefits of new technologies, they also become aware of those who have held them back from benefitting from the technology.
The best response is to embrace. As technology changes, the knowledge and skills needed to be relevant change as well. Those who embrace the change are most prepared to become leaders, by cross training team members with different disciplinary backgrounds, by recognizing the ways new technology opens up innovation, and by ensuring that the adoption of technologies are consistent with company goals.
This week’s blog post was contributed by our very own Michael Switzer, Associate Director – Software Engineering.