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September 21, 2012

The History Of DevOps

By Damon Edwards

My first impulse for this inaugural IT Revolution post was to dive into a meaty DevOps topic. But this isn’t that post! That will come later.

Instead, I want to share my first hand account of the history of DevOps.

So much of the drive and unique flavor of the DevOps movement is a direct result of how it came to be.  But despite this, I’ve been surprised by how few people actually know the tale.  This all prompted me to have some fun, channel my inner Al Gore, and record a narrated slideshow.

Send me feedback and I’ll compile the notes for the recording of version 2!

One final note… In addition to being an interesting human story about timing and a confluence of seemingly inevitable ideas, there is an interesting social media angle here. DevOps might just be the first technology movement that was started on and is centered around a Twitter hashtag (#devops). The DevOps Days events provide the movement with repeated bursts of energy, but it’s Twitter that is the constant hub. I’m not sure if it was an essential element or just a sign of the times, but it does seem to give DevOps a unique flavor.

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Damon Edwards

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  • Matías E. Fernández May 29, 2018 7:11 am

    The embedded video doesn't display, neither in Chrome (66.0.3359.181 on macOS) nor in Firefox (60.0.1 on macOS). Here's the link to the video “The (Short) History of DevOps” on YouTube:

  • randybias Jan 30, 2016 1:46 am

    This is great, but I'm disappointed that you didn't really talk about the genesis of many of these ideas. DevOps is simply the coalescence of work that was being done at web-scale businesses. I saw the 2009 presentation of Allspaw's and spent time with him and many other presenters at that Velocity conference and these notions behind DevOps were widely in use within Amazon, Google, and others. It is true there was no terminology around it and that the #DevOps movement really helped to crystallize and educate others, but it's really a bummer that this history doesn't really go back to more like 2000-2002 where the seeds for DevOps were well and truly planted.

  • robboyd Oct 6, 2015 3:00 pm

    Maybe it is my browser..but I don't see a date for when this was posted? Hard to know how fresh this is and/or perhaps account for context. Thanks for the post however!

  • [...] a part in the rise of the global phenomenon known as DevOps Days. If you aren’t aware of the history of the DevOps movement, it traces it’s roots (and name) directly back to the first DevOps Days event, organized by [...]

  • [...] For those of you familiar with how the DevOps movement got started, this is the grass-roots meetup and convention path that has been generated by the community at large. There is more info over here: as well as a history of the movement here: [...]

  • Lee Thompson Jan 23, 2013 6:02 am

    Nice capture of the genesis of change.  If you won't bring up your own early contribution, I will...   You and Alex were first blogging devops-ish posts in August 2007 Nice job Damon

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