Enter Stage Right

I have worked in environments where reacting was the "normal" way to approach issues and being proactive was just a waste of time... facepalm The seemingly simple idea of changing the workplace culture from reactive to proactive was hard to pitch, let alone implement on my own.

18 months ago, I knew there was a better way of doing things and I was determined to find something. I had been watching developers implement Agile Development processes with great envy and I was starting to see concepts that would have great outcomes if adopted in a traditional operations environment.

Finally having something tangible to explore I started looking into Agile Operations, which led me DevOps. Lurking in the shadows for a while, I digested as much as I could of the DevOps movement. I thought it was  time to talk to some of the developers and get them on board.

6 months on and here we are...

So what is DevOps to me?


DevOps is a way of thinking and acting. It is not a toolkit, but is something we all can practice everyday. Adam Jacob is spot on with his Velocity 2010 talk, DevOps is an inclusive movement and I believe this includes developers, operations and management.

Business Problem

Although it has stemmed from the trenches of development and operations theatres, DevOps is very much a business problem. It needs to be supported by the business to be successful, otherwise we end up with "Black Ops" style DevOps and no one benefits.

Stakeholders may point out that DevOps addresses some of these business problems with technical solutions, but DevOps is still a business problem.

Not A Role

You can't be a DevOp, but you can practice DevOps in your role.

In contrast, I believe that in the next couple of years we will see businesses creating roles that were traditionally filled by either developers or system administrators. These roles will filled be the masters of DevOps-fu, but not a "DevOp".

Catalyst For Change

The IT industry is due for a much needed shake up and DevOps has provided a catalyst for this change.

Embrace change, don't fight it.

DevOps has presented an opportunity for IT professionals to identify the fundamental issues in the way business is run today and change them. We need to address this by becoming more adaptable and identifying business needs.

Ask yourself, is this providing value to the business?


CAMS to me is the "Howto guide" of DevOps. Damon and John have hit the nail on the head with this one: - Culture - Automation - Metrics - Sharing

By implementing these four areas, regardless if you are trying to achieve a DevOps nirvana, you will see a greater response to change within the organisation.

I have found CAMS to be the easiest way to for people new to the DevOps scene to understand what it's all about.

So What Is Next?

Spread the word! Get DevOps out there.

The response to DevOps from sysadmins has been amazing, but we need to get other key influencers from within business on board. We need to start promoting/evangelising DevOps to developers, managers, directors, VPs and C-level executives too.


  • Get together and piggy back a local developer user group meet up (Java, Ruby, Python etc.)
  • Talk to developers at work and ask them what you can do to help. ###Devs
  • Gatecrash a user group that is traditionally full of operations folk (Linux, Puppet, Chef etc.)
  • Ask your operations team what you could do to make their lives easier. ###Everyone
  • Run a internal DevOps meet up at your workplace. Invite your manager.
  • Find a DevOps meet up in your area.

Further Reading

10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr - John Allspaw and Paul Hammond. Agile Web Operations - Matthias Marschall and Dan Ackerson What DevOps Means To Me - James Turnbull What Is This DevOps Thing Anyway? - Patrick Debois What DevOps Means To Me - John Willis Velocity 2010 - Adam Jacob on DevOps - Adam Jacob What Is DevOps? - Damon Edwards No Operations Team Left Behind - Where DevOps Misses The Mark - John Vincent The Rise of DevOps - Dmitriy Samovskiy The Future of Corporate IT - CEB

If any of the links are broken, please contact me.

Matthew Jones is an operations engineer, living in Melbourne. He is one half of Infracoders.

Follow him on Twitter or find out more about him.