Last Thursday night in Sunnyvale, CA, the recently founded Cloud Center hosted a DevOps Kanban Meetup. It started off as a casual discussion, but it soon became clear that some of the best minds in the community were present and contributing.
When someone asks “So, what is DevOps?” it’s relatively problematic. Most of the leaders in the DevOps movement would agree that at this moment, there is no clear widely accepted definition of “DevOps.” When forced to come up with an answer, many will quote Adam Jacobs, saying “DevOps is a cultural and professional movement. The best way to describe devops is in terms of patterns and anti-patterns.”
One of our goals is to capture and codify how to start and finish DevOps transformations, and capture the observed patterns have worked. As part of that journey, we’ll have to pick a definition of DevOps that the community agrees with.
However, no one pattern is a defines the movement. For example, a pattern for configuration management that doesn’t employ a tool like Chef, Puppet or cfEngine can still be a devops pattern or best practice.
So where does this leave us?
What we do know is that most leading thinkers in the DevOps space dislike the term NoOps for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it implies that operational expertise is unnecessary this new cloud/web-scale world. The term is also divisive in replacing “Dev” with “No.” However, like it or hate it, this similar and reactionary terminology implies unity. For similar reasons, the term “NoSQL” is not used as often now, as it implies that one way is better than the other.
To paraphrase Ben Rockwood at the end of the meetup, with DevOps we finally have something that we can agree on, are proud and happy about. Why do we want to pollute this message by creating new walls [DevOps vs NoOps]?
DevOps is about destroying these kind of walls.
Stay tuned. I’ll be working with my coauthors Patrick DeBois, Gene Kim and Mike Orzen on more position statements. DevOps is a great movement and we all want to improve it, not slow it down.