There are lots of things that DevOps isn't: a buzzword. A magic bullet. A marketing term. An easy fix.
But, as everyone knows, the least effective way to define something is by saying what it isn't. So what is DevOps? Quite literally, DevOps is a contraction of two words and a conjunction of two worlds: development and operations. The term started in large companies where those teams needed to be less siloed and more able to work together to increase efficiency.
With the rise of agile development, the benefits of being able to change rapidly, with shorter release cycles and faster product iterations, became apparent to other parts of the business. It turns out that the ability to implement customer feedback in a timely manner proved to be a win-win for the company and the end user. The goal of DevOps is really to automate processes, whether they're in code deployment or testing software. Once this is done, teams can focus on quick turnaround and more effective collaboration.
So really, the answer to what DevOps is depends on who you ask. If you're talking to someone concerned about the loss of revenue when a company's website experiences downtime, then DevOps is a money saver. If you're asking a developer, then DevOps is about getting closer to the customer and pushing code out faster. And of course, a CTO defines DevOps as an intersection of reduced friction and increased velocity.
At its heart, DevOps is a philosophy. And it's one that if you embrace it, it will change your company's culture and way of collaborating. Still looking for a way to sell DevOps to those around you?
Here's an infographic that might help break it down:
DevOps is no longer just the stuff of large tech companies. Any business that has an IT team or is looking to reduce downtime should start implementing DevOps practices and encourage all those around them to do the same.
Tara Calihman is a social media marketing director at VictorOps, working as part of a company that provides a collaboration and incident management platform for DevOps and agile development teams.