Andy's Fun House


Stop Calling Me DevOps, I Do DevOps!

I’ve been grappling with a bit of personal reality as of late.  I do technical articles/posts on DevOps topics, I consult on (and perform) DevOps at work, and when I teach people how to program I accidentally teach them a bit of DevOps in the process.  The problem is this: I don’t want to be called DevOps.

“But Andy, why don’t you want to be called DevOps?!  It’s so great!  And it’s just a name.”

I’m so glad you asked, and I’ll do my best to keep it simple.  Let’s all agree that DevOps (as it relates to software development) is the concept of increasing communication and collaboration as well as cross-specialization for the purpose of building better software.  Sounds great, which is why it’s what people have done for decades before the term DevOps was uttered.

Before people had phones more powerful than the things that sent us to the moon, before we could bicker over functional vs imperative paradigms, and before we had operating systems named after furry death machines, people had to create computers.  The ones who did this weren’t computer scientists (and certainly weren’t Rockstars, Gurus, Ninjas, or anything else that absurd).  They were mathematicians, engineers, and maybe sometimes chemists.  They had other jobs and plans, and things that could’ve used automation.

Those people who did the most for our industry were often doing so because programming/sysadmin simply were unfortunate enough to get in the way.  And though I certainly wouldn’t claim I’ve done anything useful or great for the industry, I can at least relate to programming and system administration getting in my way from time to time.

I taught myself how to program, and in the process I had no choice but to learn how to keep an eye on the quality of my software, how to get rid of menial tasks for deployment, and how to communicate what I wanted/needed with my collaborators and clients.  I didn’t do those things because I wanted to expand my areas of expertise, I did them because I was annoyed and was sick of waiting for something or someone to do it for me.

When I say that I don’t want to be called DevOps, it’s really just me being frustrated.  This term, which apparently is a very big deal these days, is yet another industry repackaging of something most great engineers do anyway.

So just remember… I’m not DevOps, I’m just an engineer who has a lot of things in his way on a daily basis.


- Andy

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