What DevOps Is Not
First and foremost DevOps is a way of working. In other words it is the approach to delivering technology solutions
One of the biggest challenges with DevOps is that there is no prescriptive definition or framework to follow. As a consequence it means different things to different people. With this in mind, it can be easier to start by understanding what it is not
DevOps It is Not A Set Of Tools
Many think that DevOps is a tool or set of tools that can be implemented. Nevertheless this is a common misconception. In the same way that using Planning Poker for estimation does not make you Agile.
Using tools like Docker or Kubernetes does not mean you are following DevOps ways of working.
In fact using tools designed to enable these practices can do more harm than good. Especially when they are used without an understanding of the principles on which they are based.
A tool is only useful when you know how to use it
It Is Not Just A Job Title
For DevOps to work and deliver the many benefits it offers everyone must be doing it. Thus, it is everyone’s responsibility.
Because of this, simply hiring a DevOps Engineer or taking an existing team and calling them ‘The DevOps Team’ does not get you any closer to adopting DevOps ways of working. For this reason, people often refer to it as a culture.
In short, to get the benefits you need to adopt the values and principles throughout your company. And not just within a specific team or business unit.
It Is Not NoOps
Additionally, another common misconception is that DevOps means replacing Operational teams with Development teams. However, this is not true.
Even though the existing principles and practices of traditional operational teams need to be adjusted to deliver infrastructure effectively. Similarly, development teams need to adjust their principles and practices as companies increase their agility.
Hence, it is about bringing people with extensive development skills and people with extensive operational skills together. To create better overall products and solutions by automating lower-level tasks and focusing on higher value work.
It Is Not Just Devs And Ops
Despite only calling out Development and Operations, DevOps is not exclusionary. Importantly it includes everyone involved in the delivery of technology solutions. Including Security people, Network Administrators. As well as other development and business stakeholders.
Agile focused on bringing business people into the software development process. Conversely, it focuses on bringing operations people into the software development process. As a result, you have everyone collaborating in the software development process.
Therefore, anyone participating in the software development is part of DevOps.
Everyone participating the software development process is part of DevOps
It Is Not Just Culture
A lot of people believe that it is is just culture. And that you cannot apply a specific set of principles or practices to it. But this is not completely accurate.
Without a doubt, culture is the foundation, but equally important are the principles and tangible body of practice that has emerged around it.
In short, simply having a great culture is a good start on your DevOps journey. But you will need to infuse the principles and practices into that good culture in order to get the value it offers.
While DevOps is many things to different people it is important to understand what it is not. Importantly it is not a silver bullet to solve your software delivery problems. And make them magically disappear. Because of this it important to take time to continue learning and experimenting. So that you can find what works for your Organisation.