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Matthias Marschall is a software engineer "Made in Germany". His four children make sure that he feels comfortable in lively environments, and stays in control of chaotic situations. A lean and agile engineering lead, he's passionate about continuous delivery, infrastructure automation, and all things DevOps. Matthias is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 38 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

DevOps is NOT a Job Description

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The DevOps hype produces some strange effects. Not only do tool vendors try to jump on the DevOps band wagon by declaring their products “DevOps inside” or listing DevOps as a feature, but companies start to look for a “DevOp” in their job ads. Don’t be misled! Here’s what DevOps is really about:

DevOps Is About Culture

The fundamental basis for successful DevOps is a culture of trust and a feeling of fellowship. Everything starts with how people perceive each other: Is it an “us vs them” culture or is it a “we”-culture? I don’t see any job description in here.

The Way I See It #17
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DevOps Is About Automation

Let’s look into automation. A lot of the advantages DevOps promises lies in the right use of automation tools. Automation removes variance from your processes and minimizes human error. While you’ll definitely need people with automation skills and experiences, this is not enough. Automation only – without the right culture – will not provide the benefits you hoped for.

DevOps Is About Measuring

Then let’s examine measuring. While measuring is a critical, mandatory practice for improving processes, it’s not really a job description. Every employee should formulate hypotheses, run experiments, and validate or scrap her ideas. No magic sauce here either.

DevOps Is About Sharing

What about sharing? I’m sorry to say that while the DevOps movement is largely driven by sharing ideas, problems, and tools, this isn’t really a good job description. It is an attitude more than a task.

If you run through the points, which really define DevOps you’ll see for yourself how strange it is to try and hire a “DevOp”. DevOps is not a job – DevOps is Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing (CAMS).


Published at DZone with permission of Matthias Marschall, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Timo Lihtinen replied on Wed, 2012/03/14 - 12:16pm

Great points Matthias. I’d like to know your opinion on the following tho: what if I’m trying to hire someone that believes in a we-culture, is all about automation and monitoring and wants to share all the benefits and the knowledge with the entire company? My job ad could spell all of that out or, if we agree that’s what devops mean, it could just say ‘person with devops mindset’ or for short ‘devops person’. What do you think?

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