It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today's contributor is Seth Vargo. He's DevOpstastic!
1) What’s your preferred definition of DevOps?
"DevOps is the art of breaking down organisational silos, increasing cross-team collaboration and communication, and striving to improve the overall health, happiness, and prosperity of the organisation and its individual members."
2) When people ‘do’ DevOps, what’s the most common mistake you see them make?
The biggest mistake is people believe that DevOps is a title or team. DevOps is about breaking down organisational silos; as I said in my 10 Myths of DevOps post, hiring a "DevOps engineer" or "DevOps" team only adds another silo to the farm. Organisations need to stop thinking of DevOps as a "role" and start thinking of it as a philosophy.
The second most common mistake I see (especially among younger companies) is the conflation between DevOps and operations. Many organizations think DevOps is having an on-call rotation, monitoring, alerting, etc. These are, in fact, many of the responsibilities of an operations engineer or team. All-too-often I see job postings on LinkedIn for DevOps engineers, but the job description is really a systems administrator or operations engineer. DevOps is a cultural movement
3) How do you recommend an organisation new to DevOps start?
There is an excellent article by C. Aaron Cois, Security Engineer at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon and CERT entitled "An Introduction to DevOps". An organisation new to DevOps should make this short, 5-minute article required reading for everyone in the organisation. Note that everyone in the organisation includes engineers, operators, managers, marketing, sales, and even the janitorial staff. Every member of the organisation can benefit from understanding the importance of DevOps principles
4) What’s your prediction for what DevOps will look like in 2020?
I do not know what DevOps will be like in 5 years, but my hope is to see the DevOps movement and philosophies extend beyond the traditional "Developer" and "Operations" roles into marketing, management, and leadership. To be totally honest, I really hope the talk of "DevOps" diminishes. I hope that we reach a point where so many organisations are following DevOps principles that it becomes the norm. No longer will we require education, case studies, or blog posts because it will have been proven to be a successful strategy for organisation and individual happiness. It will be the standard.
5) Where do you like to go to get a DevOps hit?
The local DevOps Days franchise conferences are an amazing resource for learning and collaborating with peers in the DevOps space. As far as podcasts, The Ship Show and FoodFight Show are two of my personal favourites. If you have a Twitter, I would highly recommend following @allspaw, @postwait, @nathenharvey, @mitchellh, @adamhjk, @RealGeneKim, @littleidea, @puppetmasterd, @petecheslock, @sigje, and @lusis. If you like a little humour in your timeline, follow @devops_borat for some funny jokes and tricks.
Seth is a software engineer and open source advocate at HashiCorp. Previously, Seth worked at Chef (Opscode), CustomInk, and a few Pittsburgh-based startups. He is a co-author of Learning Chef and is passionate about inequality in technology and organisational culture. When he is not writing software or working on open source, Seth enjoys speaking at local user groups and conferences. He is a co-organizer for DevOps Days Pittsburgh and loves all things bacon. You can find him on the Internet under the single moniker @sethvargo.
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