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Programming IT Technology

Opinion: DevOps Is Dead (techcrunch.com) 123

Andrey Akselrod, CTO and a co-founder of Smartling, writes for TechCrunch: DevOps, as we know it, is dead. Perhaps not many people agree with me, but the age of DevOps is just about over. It's a "Perfect Storm" scenario in some ways. Lots of events coming together that drastically change the status quo. And where it all began was the concept and eventual widespread adoption of agile development and continuous deployment practices. DevOps was invented as a way to unite developers and IT operations (system administrators) to help them find a common ground. The premise was to automate the development and deployment tools that require collaborations between both disciplines. But someone still has to come in and write the required tool set. Thus, most companies resolved to create DevOps teams that combined the expertise of both sides to support their developers. The old model of throwing the code over the wall to system administrators who would deploy it stopped working with agile processes and continuous deployment practices. Whose responsibility is it when something goes wrong -- the person deploying the code or the developer? Developers don't know much about deploying and systems administrators don't know much about how the code is supposed to work.
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Opinion: DevOps Is Dead

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  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @01:19PM (#51869629) Homepage

    "DevOps was invented as a way to unite developers and IT operations (system administrators) to help them find a common ground."

    I thought the idea was to make developers do system administration and save money. Did I miss something?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes because our company had DevOps and Sys Admins doing very different things.. DevOps has just been dissolved here, and this thing of tribes and guilds has been implemented, where a tribe can have people for any number of different areas working together on a common set of goals or targets.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes because our company had DevOps and Sys Admins doing very different things.. DevOps has just been dissolved here, and this thing of tribes and guilds has been implemented, where a tribe can have people for any number of different areas working together on a common set of goals or targets.

        Our company has made us all serfs.

      • Yes because our company had DevOps and Sys Admins doing very different things.. DevOps has just been dissolved here, and this thing of tribes and guilds has been implemented, where a tribe can have people for any number of different areas working together on a common set of goals or targets.

        Why did the giant pillow fight from Community just come to mind...
        http://putlocker.is/watch-community-tvshow-season-3-episode-14-online-free-putlocker.html [putlocker.is]

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        It sounds like your company just hired a new executive with "ideas" and now you have to deal with that bullshit. I'm so very sorry.

        DevOps, for all it's fabulous buzzword glory, actually sounds a little bit more sane than that. Especially, if your company managed to redefine it into something workable before it was deleted.

    • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @02:41PM (#51870313) Journal

      I thought the idea was to make developers do system administration and save money. Did I miss something?

      Nope - you got it. And since devs make more than admins, the whole thing is fucking stupid any way you look at it.

      We do devops in my shop. We're devs being forced to do sysadmin work for the production stack. We're professionals and we try our best, but it's a train wreck. We're great at automating our mistakes, but we're constantly doing to sort of shit that seems right to a junior sysadmin, but a veteran sysadmin shout down as idiotic. Too bad we don't have any of those.

      It's the kind of deeply stupid idea that could only make sense to an MBA.

      • I've never really understood this admin/developer dichotomy. If you're a developer, don't you need to know how to do admin tasks like install operating systems, manage user accounts, compile software from source and build packages? If you're an admin, don't you need to know how to program so you can build the tools you need, or understand concepts like IPC? How do you troubleshoot misbehaving processes if you don't know how to use a debugger or follow system traces? Granted, you may not be the best at a

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          I've never really understood this admin/developer dichotomy. If you're a developer, don't you need to know how to do admin tasks like install operating systems, manage user accounts, compile software from source and build packages?

          Even in devops, I never install an OS or manage a user account - we're too large scale and each of those things is a well-staffed specialty. We do software deployments to quite a large number of machines. If we do it wrong, and take the whole fleet down due to a bug, it costs us hundreds of dollars per minute (so we're sort of medium-scale). There's a whole career around managing deployments and patching responsibly, ensuring you don't break anything, and if anything breaks on it's own, you're paged with

        • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

          I think it's a really bad idea to let developers act as the admins in any environment with production systems in it. Developers tens to be really keen to get the admin stuff done quickly and get back to the exciting development work so they take short cuts which can lead to disaster.

    • The real intent behind DevOps is to enable the rapid deployment of capability - at scale. The problem is that since windows came around, it's not uncommon for your average sysadmin to have no idea how to meaningfully scipt; even some RHEL admins are hostage to the GUI. This has been changing in the past ~5yrs, but it's not where it probably should be (blame the misalignment of pay and expectations). One of the elements of DevOps is to combine the skillets of developers and sysadmins to shorten the deploym
      • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

        One of the elements of DevOps is to combine the skillets of developers and sysadmins to shorten the deployment timeframe. In places where it works, it works well. Of course, this wouldn't be required if we raised the expectations and pay of sysadmins (like a flat 15-20k bump, or more, afer passing some type of sufficiently hard qualifying exam)

        I'm not particularly a certificate hound, but I think the RHCSA and RHCE are good things for exactly this reason.

      • "The problem is that since windows came around, it's not uncommon for your average sysadmin to have no idea how to meaningfully scipt"

        That was a very clever push from Microsoft's marketing: call mere operators sysadmins. Once you had the pay scale of sysadmins down to those of operators, make the claim of how cheap using Windows was, compared to Linux/commercial UNIX. Once that there basically were no sysadmins anymore (who would do it for almost help-desk wages?) no one would even tell the difference.

        Now

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          Interesting....
          I switched from Windows to Linux as a system admin, and while there are some excellent Windows admins, there are alot more who would probably be better classified as operators. They only follow very specific instructions.
          I find that the wheat to chaff ration on the Linux side is much better, but there are still alot of System Admins who don't know anything about networking. In today's world, IMHO, that's as important as writing and reading scripts.
      • One of the elements of DevOps is to combine the skillets

        Makes sense. Most DevOps people would be better employed as fry-cooks.

  • Unicode on Slashdot is dead!

  • Insert BOLD claim here to get attention because I'm lonely.

    DevOps, as we know it, is dead. Perhaps not many people agree with me

    Should have stopped right there.. because the next sentence fragment should be "because I'm a raving lunatic who doesn't understand the words coming out of my mouth"

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @02:34PM (#51870249)

    It is now official. TechCrunch has confirmed: DevOps is dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered DevOps community when TechCrunch confirmed that DevOps market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all positions. Coming on the heels of a recent TechCrunch survey which plainly states that DevOps has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. DevOps is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive job openings test.

    You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict DevOps's future. The hand writing is on the wall: DevOps faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for DevOps because DevOps is dying. Things are looking very bad for DevOps. As many of us are already aware, DevOps continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    AgileDevOps is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developer/administrators. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time AgileDevOps developers Andrew Clay Shafer and Patrick Debois only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: AgileDevOps is dying.

    Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

    OpenDevOps leader Lennart Poettering states that there are 7000 users of OpenDevOps. How many users of SystemDevOps are there? Let's see. The number of OpenDevOps versus SystemDevOps posts on Slashdot is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 SystemDevOps users. DevOps/OS posts on Slashdot are about half of the volume of SystemDevOps posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of DevOps/OS. A recent article put AgileDevOps at about 80 percent of the DevOps market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 AgileDevOps users. This is consistent with the number of AgileDevOps Slashdot posts.

    Due to the troubles of Caldera, abysmal sales and so on, AgileDevOps went out of business and was taken over by SCODevOps who sell another troubled OS. Now SCODevOps is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

    All major surveys show that DevOps has steadily declined in market share. DevOps is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If DevOps is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. DevOps continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, DevOps is dead.

  • I was doing DevOps before it was cool, and now I'm doing it after it's obsolete. Warby Parkers and luxuriant 1800s facial hair should spontaneously appear on my face any second now.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @02:37PM (#51870271) Homepage

    DevOps was invented as a way to unite developers and IT operations (system administrators) to help them find a common ground.

    devops was invented as a means to staunch bleeding from companies with 50% or better turnover rates due to rushed products, shit management, and poor work-life balance. the idea being if you could get devs and ops to do eachothers jobs youd invent a new third commodity that could become more resillient to 90 hour work weeks and bullshit feature-before-fix code releases. It failed because devs arent great ops, and ops arent great devs.

    The old model of throwing the code over the wall to system administrators who would deploy it stopped working with agile processes and continuous deployment practices.

    this process stopped working because of the inclusion of draconian, conflicting, confusing, and often times lip-service change management processes that fit the quarterly management meeting and not much else. CM's gave project and team leaders the sensation of doing something every monday morning when they rubberstamped some code push, but otherwise made life hell when they left for vacation/hangovers. when a code push failed and had to be rolled back, management pushed again to have it rolled forward broken and defied often times their own decrees. In the same breath, theyd crucify you for updating a package or rebooting a server without 15 hours of review and objection from a guy who didnt know TCP from BBQ.

    And when I say the cloud, I really mean managed services.

    sure, maybe one buzzword killed another but it sure as shit wasnt the latest incarnation of thin clients, hosted services, SAAS, or PAAS, which we now call "Cloud." clouds are just other peoples hardware, so when your devops bullshit went down in flames as a transparent attempt to milk skilled professionals for free overtime and flex-goals, they all quit and submitted their CV's to the cloud. You didnt have to worry about devops for your precious service, but they in turn didnt have to worry about you anymore either unless you skipped a check for the month.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @02:38PM (#51870279) Homepage

    "Developers don't know much about deploying and systems administrators don't know much about how the code is supposed to work."

    That's the problem. DevOps was never a solution, but more the term used by companies that were searching for a solution. Lots of studies done, probably lots of consultants got paid - but an actual solution that was better than what people had been doing for years anyway? Never seen one yet...

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      So.... like every other big technology buzzword since the history of the industry?

      It's really a tiresome industry in that respect. Lot's of real stuff happening, but far more weird marketing bullshit for utterly inane stuff.

      It'd be like if a new socket wrench came out and made headlines for it's new approach to manipulating bolts. People would rightfully wonder why the hell a bunch of articles are being written about something so banal. In IT, somehow it's exciting...

      • Never heard this buzzword before. Therefore, combined with the mention of agile here and there, I conclude that it must be something to do with web server backends?

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Companies like Netflix make their Devs responsible for deployments. Netflix can have tens to hundreds of live deployments to production every day throughout the day. If your project crashes and burns, you get called in the middle of the night. On the other hand, the Devs treat the infrastructure like a cloud resource. It's very simple for them to deploy, rollback, do partial roll-outs to a subset of customers, get useful immediate feedback, and can support multiple versions of the same microservice.

      Devs t
    • DevOps is a term you enter into a search engine to find jobs in that area.

      DevOps is a keyword you add to your job description if you want to hire an build engineer or admin for QA or Test systems, probably someone pushing CI and CD or doing second and third level support of a platform.

      Jobs like that always existed and will always exist.

      DevOps is just a new keyword/name. Not a new concept and not an obsolet concept.

      On my business card is written: software generalist

      I do everything form requirements engineeri

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @02:57PM (#51870451)

    DevOps isn't dead. It just smells funny.

    But someone still has to come in and write the required tool set.

    This is what is killing it. Not the idea that developers have to write deployable, maintainable stuff. Ops needs to plug it in correctly. So lets create a software lifecycle that sits both parties down at the table while the requirements paper is still blank. That's a good idea. What makes it smell like a rotten corpse is the idea that a nice, shiny toolset must be procured to do the job. And consultants tacked big price tags onto their products and shoved them down the CIO's throat.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      What you describe sounds reasonable. I don't think I've heard anyone proclaim DevOps to be that rather than starting to apply particularly hyped tools to a process indiscriminately. I suppose unsurprisingly a recommendation about something like modifying your philosophy about planning would not get any attention, since there's no profit to be had in that sort of interpretation.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      Now, now. Sometimes the CTOs or CIOs used the term to make themselves sound impressive and relevant. Let's not put it all on the consultants.

  • OpsEng, not DevOps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @03:09PM (#51870519) Homepage

    And where it all began was the concept and eventual widespread adoption of agile development and continuous deployment practices.

    There's a difference between recognizing the limits of testing and ensuring you can rapidly respond if something doesn't go as expected and reverting is likely to be less successful than fixing forward.... and being unable to plan because you have no idea what you're doing and don't understand system troubleshooting.

    But someone still has to come in and write the required tool set.

    Yes, this group is called OpsEng.

    The old model of throwing the code over the wall to system administrators who would deploy it stopped working with agile processes and continuous deployment practices.

    If you're throwing over the wall, you're doing it wrong. You should be throwing it above or below you in the stack, with each group having a clear demarcation point and expected SLAs to other groups internally, so planning, risk assessment, and performance expectations can be performed appropriately.

    Replacing one broken culture with another one doesn't fix anything; and DevOps nowadays usually results in developers trying to code their way around their lack of systems skills more than systems engineers getting to be able to communicate back to devs.

  • Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @03:41PM (#51870737)

    It's always a good day when a buzzword dies before I ever get the chance to learn what it means.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Too true. Although now I have to go back and laugh at the people that have been using this buzzword. Some of them are such posers.

      • These buzzwords, some years ago "SOA" and "EBS", and more recently " devops", are press invented jargon to try keep historically paper-based IT weeklies and more recently their web-based equivalents (infoq, the serverside, ... etc) and their advertisers afloat. More recently it's "microservices". Keep an eye out for that one now "devops" is "dead".

    • It's always a good day when a buzzword dies before I ever get the chance to learn what it means.

      "Truer words were never spoken!"

      But Buzzwords are like mosquitoes, there is always another one... 8-)

  • by 6Yankee ( 597075 ) on Friday April 08, 2016 @03:41PM (#51870747)

    Not dead, just lying comatose until the next generation of MBAs "invents" it again.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Or...were DevOps just an invention to try and get sys Admins to do development work so you didn't have to hire a developer at a higher cost? Now we just need ExecOps so that we can fire all the executive staff and have our sys Admins do everything the CEO used to do at a tenth of the price.
  • I checked into the author's venture, Runtime Technologies, and this is one of the blurbs I found;

    Simplifying the use of websites and related technologies to meet business communications and information management needs dynamically and without requiring in-depth technical knowledge or expertise.

    One suspects their staff writers are quarantined deep in the darkest heart of Dogfood City.

  • SRE, or Site Reliability Engineering, is the future of asking a team of engineers to handle a production environment. In fact, Google literally just released their book on the subject. https://landing.google.com/sre... [google.com]
    • First, I'll say if you think SRE is new you haven't read the book or been around this part of the industry that long.

      He addresses DevOps in the book. SRE and its concepts have been around longer. "DevOps" has a larger scope, but effectively the same approach to the problem SRE tries to solve.

      Both terms are widely abused in the industry, in the public, and quite obviously on Slashdot. I can understand the confusion. So let's look at the job titles and terms' usage in industry:

      As far as job titles go, my

  • FTFS:

    Developers don't know much about deploying

    That's what you get when you can the more experienced, more expensive developers for twice or three times the number of code monkeys.

  • I think that DevOps was dreamed up by a bunch of bean-counters (CIOs, CFOs, Accountants, etc.) to reduce headcount and make the developers (the "Dev" part) be responsible also for deployment and operation (the "Ops" part) of the infrastructure and systems. Because, they argue, that Developers can deploy code, but Operations personnel cannot develop applications. It was doomed to fail from the outset. Any decent software developer who is an analytical, creative and disciplined designer and writer of comput

    • by tweek ( 18111 )

      "I think that DevOps was dreamed up by a bunch of bean-counters (CIOs, CFOs, Accountants, etc.) to reduce headcount and make the developers (the "Dev" part) be responsible also for deployment and operation (the "Ops" part) of the infrastructure and systems."

      If you spent five minutes researching the history, you would know that you are entirely wrong.

  • The need for automated deployment isn't going anywhere. The bigger your site, the more important it is to have automation in place. It doesn't matter whether you are running on servers in the next room, or on Amazon, you still have to have a reliable deployment mechanism, unless you can tolerate prolonged outages. DevOps might be called something else, but it's not going away.

  • The idea of DevOps is to improve the communication between operation and development. Especially as software becomes more fluid, the constant change requires not only improvements in development, but also methods to deploy the software without destroying the system and without giving the admins a headake .

  • In the beginning was the word
    and the word was buzz and it was bad.
    Then Satan moved over the face of of the CIO and said:
    "Let there be darkness"
    And the evening was really dawn, and it was already the fifth day because it was crunch time.
    Then Satan said "let there be bugs"
    and there were bugs. Boy were there bugs...

  • There never was that level they call DevOps. And I'll tell you something I've sene with Agile over the years. Two things fall down completely flat with Agile - bug chase and documentation.
  • Devops is just another named iteration of a thing that been always there. It's buzzword, nothing more nothing less, this is why it's really hard to define this thing. For me, it's all about this: The business defines a business process or goals, someone design and plan it and someone implement it so it will be the fastest, easiest and accessible for all the people/systems, all that with a rollback option and no downtime. going back to your assumption, you can call it devops, system ops engineer, integratio
  • "DevOps was invented as a way to unite developers and IT operations (system administrators) to help them find a common ground."

    This quote got it right. But there are problems:

    Companies want to sell a product.
    Right, "I want buy a hundred units of teamwork please."

    Devs quite often see it as a way to bypass Operations:
    "We will automate everything so we won't need any pesky sysadmins."

    Ops are often in charge of NO:
    "No thank you. We don't trust development and our way works just fine."

    Tool chains and other too

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