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Is DevOps a Power Grab?

02.14.2012
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"I find the majority of people's definition of 'DevOps' insulting to Ops people," says Edward Capriolo in a recent sunday diatribe titled "Why I hate the word Devops".

Capriolo seems indignant over suggestions of "NoOps" organizations or Dev domination of Ops will become the norm.  (not that anyone in the mainstream DevOps community ever suggested that).  I'm really not sure why he links to three bloggers who agreed with him about operations being more than just racking servers and organizing cables.  The bloggers he cited:


… they were only suggesting the death of that kind of Sysadmin, not the one kind that Capriolo is.

Although I agree with Capriolo that some in the DevOps and cloud communities are getting over-confident about the ability of developers to handle some operations tasks, there will certainly be some contexts where simple apps being built on a PaaS will be the best option, but many companies will not be able to do that with the level of complexity in their applications, which really need to be designed alongside the infrastructure.

That's why developers and operations need to have a culture of cooperation and collaboration on these projects.  Capriolo obviously works in a context where complex Hadoop applications need operations with specific skill sets.  But there are many contexts where a specialized ops person is not required. There are legitimate tools out there that have obviated the need for administration by hand, meaning less people are needed.  Not necessarily less operations, but less grunt work.




He does make a good point, however, that operations may have been pushing for something like "DevOps" this whole time and no one ever noticed.  According to Capriolo, operations was pitching standardized deployments, sudo, and roles in an organization long before developers.

It's clear that Capriolo feels that the DevOps movement (and these 'death of the sysadmin' posts, which he misunderstands I think) are a threat to the dignity of his occupation:

I see DevOps for what I think it is, a power grab. Revenge for not giving "devs" root when they wanted it. Now they turn our own tools against us!

All devops is going to create is a generation of half ass devs pretending to be ops, who half learned everything from some half assed wiki page. If your technical team needs DevOps to pull together you have bigger problems.  --Edward Capriolo

What do you think about the post?

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