Like barbecue and microbrew, DevOps is a cultural movement, Chef exec says


Dive Brief:

  • As the role of IT has fundamentally changed, new development methodologies have taken over, reshaping how companies approach application delivery. DevOps, in particular, has become more prominent as its practitioners tout the methodologies’ ability to operate “high-velocity organizations,” said Nathen Harvey, VP of community development at Chef Software, Inc., speaking Monday at Interop ITX in Las Vegas.
  • Part of the draw toward DevOps stems from how companies can offer a continuous rate of application delivery, increasing organizational speed and efficiency while reducing risk. For Harvey, like microbrew and barbecue, DevOps is a “cultural and professional” movement driven by the success of its practitioners. Without the investment and practitioner buy-in, DevOps would not be a success.
  • But DevOps is not just about showing corporate stakeholders that IT can employ industry buzzwords. IT leaders should employ the development methodology to help focus technology on business outcomes, according to Harvey. “We are technologists. We are leaders in our organizations. We need to speak the language of business [and] the language of business is about moving faster.”

In the new technology landscape, every single company has become a software company, according to Harvey. No longer can organizations afford to slowly adopt modern tools and methodologies. Companies that don’t keep up with the constant rate of change across industries could find themselves outpaced by competitors.

But to keep up, corporate IT has been placed in the spotlight, collaborating across lines of business to drive innovation and stay relevant. That’s where DevOps and continuous application delivery comes into play. To work faster, IT decision makers have begun streamlining software and infrastructure processes with fewer instances of computing down time. That collaboration between development and IT operations has accelerated software development and release cycles.

To make DevOps work in a company there has to be practitioner buy-in, according to Harvey. If, for example, a company tried to take on Netflix’s approach to DevOps, it would find its practice a failure. Rather, companies have to adopt the principles, rules and beliefs of DevOps and integrate them into their organizations practice.

Even though you can’t necessarily buy a DevOps solution, IT leaders have started to shift spending priorities to make a quicker rate of application delivery possible. By 2020, BMC Software found, almost all IT decision makers expect automation to spread from IT departments into all areas of business. That has spurred increased investment in containerization, workload automation/scheduling and DevOps over the next two years.

Perhaps that demand is what’s causing DevOps engineers to be among Glassdoor’s top five best jobs of 2017.

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