The only thing we know for sure about the future is that it will look different from the present. In Kevin Kelly's excellent book The Inevitable, he paints 12 technical drivers that affect development in society. One of these is that we will all be beginners. That we always have to learn about and learn new. No knowledge is persistent. We will never be able to settle down with the skills we possess. A challenging insight.
IT clearly exemplifies the pace of change in society. A few years ago, it was legio with long development cycles and development projects where it could be months and years between kravspec and developed product. The waterfall method reigned in the development department. Improvements to software, such as operating systems, came in the form of "patches" that were sporadically distributed to users. Installation of these patches was a high-risk game in which the price, in the form of malfunction failure and incompatibility, often exceeded the value.
Today it looks different. Cloud services and operating systems are continuously updated and, more or less, without our knowledge. IT services are being developed in an almost stepless way and all of a sudden a menu selection has disappeared or been added. It happens that errors are introduced but as quickly as the error appeared, it has disappeared again. Popular services such as Facebook, Netflix and Spotify carry out several releases per day and reportedly introduce Amazon updates in its production environment every eleven seconds.
What has enabled the shift from waterfall to continuous development? On the one hand, technological progress is progress, but the rapid pace of change also requires new ways of working for the development of IT services. The waterfall method has been replaced by agile methods and manual testing of automated. What has recently become a stronghold is a "model", DevOps, which binds development with operation, support and management. The word Devops is a co-writing of the words "Development" and "Operations" and the purpose is, as the name suggests, to link development with support and management. Unlike several other frameworks and methods, such as ITIL®, there is no one who owns or manages DevOps. There is also no accepted definition of what DevOps is and contains. Wikipedia defines DevOps as follows:
DevOps is a culture, movement or practice that emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims to establish a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.
It is a common misconception that DevOps is primarily about automated testing and commissioning. That is not the case. The main point is that the development of an IT service should be done in interaction between several roles. In each development team, there shall be representatives of operation, support, management and security. These aspects will be built into the DNA of the IT service.
There are several examples of organizations that have embraced DevOps for a long time (even before the concept of DevOps was coined). Spotify, Klarna, Netflix and other shooting stars have never worked any other way. Now organisations with significantly more years on their neck are also starting to steer onto the same track, both in the private and public sectors.
As a result of the fact that there is no owner of DevOps, it has been a long time before established training and certifications within DevOps become available. Now, however, they are starting to fall into place. There are two organizations, dasa and devops institute, which have in parallel developed accreditations and pathways. Course layout and content are similar. Olingo has chosen to deliver DASA's course offering. The reason is that there are more organisations that are behind dasa and that we have judged the chances of world domination as greater. Whoever lives will see.
No matter what happens to dasa and devops institute, DevOps has come to stay so it is well worth learning for all organizations engaged in service development. Knowledge brings success. At least until the next thing comes up and we become beginners again.
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Ola Källgården is CEO of Olingo Consulting. You reach him on email@example.com or via Linkedin.