November 30, 2019

DevOps = agile infrastructure

Similar to the previous post on the different agile methodologies, this post will cover some of the basics of DevOps. Last week I attended DevOps Foundations training and certification. It started with the origins of DevOps, and just like agile, before the "DevOps" word was coined, there was already movements that were working on CI/CD and agile infrastructure, which led to DevOps as we now it now.  The DevOps Institute lists a number of really cool important videos,  one of which is "'A Short History of DevOps’ with Damon Edwards" which goes over the origins of DevOps.

The Case for DevOps

The "Beyond The Phoenix Project" audio series provides an in-depth discussion on the constraints in the IT value stream, and how DevOps unlocks it:

This white paper provides an excellent view on how DevOps impacts the business in terms of increasing income, protecting revenue, and improving cash flow.

Agile + Lean + Ops = DevOps

I have listed what I felt are key messages on what makes DevOps. This post puts it nicely together.

Imagine a world where product owners, Development, QA, IT Operations, and Infosec work together, not only to help each other, but also to ensure that the overall organization succeeds. By working toward a common goal, they enable the fast flow of planned work into production, while achieving world-class stability, reliability, availability, and security.  - The DevOps Handbook
DevOps extends agile principles beyond software to the entire delivered service
DevOps, in a sense, is about setting up a value delivery factory -- a streamlined, waste-free pipeline through which value can be delivered to the business with a predictably fast cycle time. - Mark Schwartz from The Art of Business Value
More than anything, DevOps is a cultural movement based on human and technical interactions to improve relationships and results
...aligns IT goals with business goals by removing all of the bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and risks between a business idea (the 'ah-ha!') and the measurable customer outcome (the 'kaching!') - Damon Edwards
Agile was instrumental in Development regaining the trust in the business, but in unintentionally left IP Operations behind. DevOps is way for the business to regain trust in the entire IT organisation as a whole - Clyde Logue
SRE: What happens when a software engineer is tasked with what used to be called operations - Ben Treynor, Google

check Google's "SRE implements DevOps"

DevOps has its roots in the lean manufacturing world, which addresses the problem of engineers designing productions that factories cant afford to build
I believe that most of the DevOps patterns are the emergent properties that arise when you apply Lean, the Toyota Production System, the Theory of Constraints, and so forth to the IT value stream - Gene Kim

What DevOps is not

DevOps is not about automation, just as astronomy is not about telescopes
  • a title: You can’t hire DevOps, just like you can’t purchase it off the shelf out of a box.
  • a separate team: There's No Such Thing as a "Devops Team"
  • a tool
  • only culture
  • only automation
  • anarchy
  • one size fits all

Culture > Tools

For me, the most noticeable part of the course was not the tooling and pipelines. Rather, it was how much time was spent on getting the culture right, and making the right business case for DevOps, and dealing with change. We went over things like team structures, funding/budgeting, Kubler-Ross change curves, Thomas-Kilmann conflict modes, change fatigue, Peter M Senge's and Peter Drucker's works on organisations and other change management topics.


True to its core values, DevOps is emerging through a shared and collective body of knowledge, including these books:

DevOps books