I do not proclaim to be an expert in DevOps, but it is certainly something I have been watching and keeping track of, given the work I’ve been doing. It is always fun to go look for definitions of a term or concept that keeps changing over time. And it is nice to hear from people who make their livelihood from the work.
The latest DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) wrapped up last week in Las Vegas. Amongst the videos and tweets and blog posts that have come out of the event was a quick interview with Gene Kim on the Agile Amped podcast with Greg Bledsoe of SolutionsIQ.
Around the 10-minute mark, Greg asks Gene for his definition of DevOps. Gene laughs and says it has changed (again) based on an earlier conversation with Chris O’Malley. (I assume it is this Fireside Chat with Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley on YouTube.) Here’s what he said (as far as I could understand):
DevOps is a set of architecture, technical practices, and cultural norms that allow us to innovate and ideate and quickly delivers that to customers so that their getting value as speedily as possible. We need Fast .... allows experimentation and innovation. Allows simultaneously the fastest flow through the technology value stream while preserving world class reliability, security, and stability.
I also like that his definition is clearly something in flux and he’s still pondering what must have been some interesting discussions from the conference itself. (And this is one of the guys credited with coming up with the entire movement!) There are some familiar themes in there speed, flow, value. And it is not as simple as throwing new technology at IT - it is a combination of “architecture, practices and cultural norms.” Interesting. Clearly, one of those big norms is around the idea of learning and re-learning.
Greg Bledsoe threw in his, much simpler definition: “realignment of IT around business value.”
And they mentioned John Smart’s (of Barklays Bank) definition: “better value sooner, better, safer.”