What is Devops?

What is devops? Devops is a cultural movement that seeks to change how individuals think about work, value the diversity of work done, develop deliberate acceleration of business value, and measure the effect of social and technical change. Devops is a way of thinking and working that enables individuals and organizations to develop and maintain sustainable work practices and a cultural framework for sharing stories and developing empathy, enabling people and teams to practice their crafts in effective and lasting ways.

Devops is part of the cultural weave that shapes how we work and why. Tools are not devops. How tools are used, and the ease with which they can be used impacts the acceptance and proliferation of specific aspects of culture. When we talk about devops tools, we mean the tools and the manner of their use – not fundamental characteristics of the tools themselves.

An equally important part of our culture is our values, norms, and knowledge. Examining how people work, the technologies that we use, how technology influences the way we work, and how people influence technology can help us make intentional decisions about the landscape of our organizations, and of our industry.

Devops is not another software development methodology – while it is related to software development, viewing it as simply another methodology like Agile or XP misses the larger picture. It has a broader reach than specific tools or techniques, like configuration management or continuous delivery. While these concepts are related and may be frequently seen in devops environments, focusing solely on an outcome misses the cultural and interpersonal processes that give devops its power. Devops can include software development, infrastructure automation, and continuous delivery, but it is so much more than just the sum of these parts.

In our upcoming book, Effective DevOps, and in future posts on this blog, we will be expanding on what devops means to us through our five pillars of effective devops. Stay tuned!

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