Is 2018 the year of the DevOps backlash?

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The DevOps honeymoon is over – well, it could be… and here’s one reason why.

As we know by now, DevOps is a portmanteau term used to describe the notion of more connected, cyclical, integrated and holistically-aware way of working between Developers (the Dev in DevOps, obviously) and the Operations team, which could encompass sysadmins, DBAs, configuration specialists, testers and other key supporting operational staff.

DevOps origins

The term itself [arguably] arose not because developers decided they needed to get more friendly with operations (that would never really happen anyway}, but because the software industry saw a tier into which it could feed new tools that would attempt to connect the Dev function to the Ops function and produce a more polished, more cost effective, more functional, more robust, less flaky end product.

But DevOps (as a term) has been around for a decade now… popular science seems to agree that the term was coined in 2008, so what happens next?

Sources are murmuring on this topic and some suggest that a DevOps backlash is imminent – but why?

Backlash clouds form

The reason DevOps itself could implode is because of DevOps, that is – in order to embrace DevOps, developers need to use DevOps… but hang on, that’s not quite as tautological as it sounds.

In order to benefit from the Continuous Delivery (CD) dream that DevOps promises, software application development professionals need to use a) their core development platform and environment of choice and b) DevOps tools.

That’s development tools, plus also DevOps tools, just in case you weren’t counting.

What developers would like to use is a more singular integrated toolset that removes the frustrations they feel when they have to change spanners several times to complete an entire development life cycle.

Nails in the DevOps coffin

Could this multi-tooling issue be one of the signs that signals the death of DevOps?

Some of the so-called ‘digital transformation’ [yawn!] projects that we heard so much about in 2017 and before will now logically start to fail — they have to, not everything can work — so will that add another nail in the DevOps coffin? Will we hear people say that not even DevOps can carry you into digitally transformed bliss?

Perhaps a new breed of more competent ‘full stack’ developers will rise up that can handle operations functions and this too will dampen the DevOps furore?

There was DevOps before DevOps anyway i.e. elements of IBM Rational tooling were tackling the issue of ‘code being thrown over the wall’ before the turn of the millennium.

The honeymoon might be over, or, at least, some serious marriage guidance counselling might be needed this year.

  • Balaji Sundar

    Its entirely possible to deliver and deploy applications faster than ever before without the developers worrying about nothing but their piece of code. Thanks to automation , CM/CI/CD philosophies and the tools around it .

    If DevOps is implemented in such a way that it makes the devs life harder than before , then it’s just means that they don’t understand what DevOps means. The goal is to accelerate software delivery without burdening devs with unnecessary concerns .

    I think the author took a bad example of a DevOps’s implementation and blown it out of proportion with a fancy title. 😛

  • ProfFalken

    I’ve been saying that DevOps is dead as a word for over a year now (c.f. ) – DevOps was an ideological movement when it first started, the tooling was entirely secondary to the primary purpose of working together to achieve a common goal.

    About 5 years ago it started to become a buzzword for efficiency, so all the major software companies used their marketing budgets to change the meaning from Culture to Tooling in order to meet their targets and succeeded.

    DevOps as a word is dead. Fortunately there are a small group of consultants and consultancies who recognise the value in collaborative working and are still helping organisations instil the cultural changes required to successfully manage large-scale rapid software and infrastructure deployments in both datacentres and the cloud.