Ranger4 DevOps Blog

How Does the Ops Skillset Need to Change in a Cloud & DevOps World?

Posted by Steve Thair on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 @ 13:02 PM

Title: How does the Ops skillset need to change in a cloud & DevOps world?

A question was posed in the LinkedIn EMC Cloud group about how the skillsets of Operations professional will need to change in a Cloud (andDevOps) world.

 LinkedInQuestion resized 600

I wrote a quick reply listing the first 3 ideas off the top of my head but I think they’re worth sharing to see if we can stimulate a wider debate. 

(1) Learn how your business generates value & makes money

The days of "I'm just an IT guy in the IT department - it doesn't really matter what the company does I just manage my servers" is dead. It is an ex-role. Pushing up daisies, shuffled off this mortal coil, gone to meet its maker etc.

Modern Operations is expected to be far more agile and responsive than ever before - it's about right-sizing infrastructure to meet loads, it's about deploying stuff faster and more reliably so your organisation can get its products/ideas to market faster.

You can't do that unless everyone in the team understands how the organisation generates value and how the decision they take either protects that value or enhances that value.

(2) Learn to script

Bottom line is that systems administrators that can't script are rapidly becoming dinosaurs.

Whether it's learning Ruby for Chef or traditional sysadmin scripting languages like Python, Perl or PowerShell, everything is moving away from the GUI and back to scripting.

Case in point - Windows Server Core effectively ships without a GUI and is configured by console commands, scripts and PowerShell.

When Microsoft WINDOWS ships without the WINDOWS I think it's a pretty good steer where the market is heading! (P.S. yes you can use GUI tools to remotely manage Core servers but I think my point still stands)

(3) Become "application-centric"

These days someone in Marketing, armed with a company credit card and a Cloud hosting account, can build out more infrastructure in 30 mins than most applications should ever need. Unless you work for the Cloud hosting company your infrastructure skills are being rapidly de-valued because it's now a virtualised, abstracted commodity.

You need to move your skill set up the stack and understand more about how the application works, how the different (loosely-coupled) systems interact, how that maps onto the dynamic Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service etc.

In short, you have to start managing applications, not just infrastructure.

I am sure that we’ll return to this topic of how the different roles will change in a Cloud and DevOps world but hopefully this will stimulate some debate and people will post comments and blog responses!

 - @DevOpsGuys



Thanks very much for your thoughts @DevOpsGuys - much appreciated as always. Readers interested in exploring this topic further may wish to consider attending our webcast 'Stop Thinking About Servers' - you can register here.

Topics: DevOps Maturity, DevOps