DevOps or Maybe Not

What is DevOps? AWS defines DevOps as “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. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.”[i] So in essence DevOps is not only about the tools and practices it is about the mindset also. I have worked as a DevOps Engineer for about 7 years for three different organizations and DevOps was defined very differently at each organization. At the first organization I was more of a service engineer attempting to move our traditional on-prem infrastructure to the cloud. At the second organization I was an automation engineer, writing scripts to automate workflows for deployments. At the third organization I was an actual DevOps Engineer, this meant that I was directly working with the development team from when a feature was designed to when it was deployed to the customer on the production environment. I have come to realize that often as is the case in the Software industry when a new technology or methodology is introduced, the majority rush to implement a version of it in their own product or team. This rush often forgoes any cost benefit analysis and leads to issues. For example, at every organization where I worked as a DevOps Engineer, we were not doing pure DevOps, where we should have rearchitected our application to take advantage of CI/CD. Instead, we were taking legacy applications and wrapping them in some automation scripts and calling it a day. I assume it is because if we had done actual cost benefit analysis, it would have cost too much to rearchitect the application. But I think for DevOps to be successfully implemented, it requires the whole organization to change, and I think that is too much for a lot of companies and so what is left is this half and half implementation.


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