Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Devops Elevator Pitch

There is a growing list of posts by people trying to describe what Devops is. The definitive one is, of course, from Patrick Debois who actually coined the term Devops. You can find his article at his JEDI blog . The other article I really like is from the Dev2Ops blog. I was debating whether I should write another article on what Devops is, and I think since the community is so new and so many people are coming to Devops from varied experiences that the more brushstrokes will help paint a better picture. The reason I say this is that in the three days I was at Velocity and Devops Days I found myself several times asking "What is Devops?" I heard so many great speakers talking about so many topics that occasionally I would get muddled and have a hard time describing to myself what Devops is. After I got back to work and am faced with my co-workers who looked at my Devops Days T-Shirt and asked "What is that all about?" I had to come up with a quick elevator pitch to grab their attention and see if they get it and are interested in learning more.

So, when I'm in the break room and someone asks me "What is Devops?" I say something like:

Devops is a name that is a rallying point for a community of people who primarily work in the software industry (primarily SaaS) who see the need for Development and Operations to work closely together to produce better software and meet the growth objectives of their companies. Yes, you are probably telling yourself that you've been "Devops" for a decade. This is nothing new, but a concerted effort by a global community to provide support for everyone in the community.

You ask "Why is this special?" or "Why now?" What I learned from the hundreds of operations and development folks at Velocity and Devops Days is that the internet has passed a maturity milestone and many of the practices from the 80's and 90's just don't cut it in the stratospheric-growth, super-fast release cycle web-centric internet. I was blown away by the number of people who weren't in the top 0.01% of the internet (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter) who are coming out saying "We need a new way of writing and operating software. Things are different now and we need some different skills and tools in our belt. The way we've been doing business just isn't cutting it any more"

So, Devops is a community where people can share their ideas and help the internet keep growing and most of all help all of us who make the internet tick have fun and do even more of the cool stuff that brought us into the tech world in the first place.

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