Companies use DevOps cultural changes in IT to upend industries

Open source software tools of DevOps

Mark Rinkle

DevOps, once a small cultural movement, is driving demand for experienced professionals who can improve IT agility as they try to move at “cloud speed”. Mark Hinkle, VP at The Linux Foundation, talks about what’s next for the effort to improve coordination between software developers and operations personnel.

Unlike most technology trends, DevOps’ focus is on the collaborative elements of delivery infrastructure bringing together software developers – those who know exactly why they are building a particular piece of software – and operations personnel – those who are maintaining the IT infrastructure. Bridging the silos between the two sides, the early pioneers of DevOps were hoping this would enable IT professionals to make better judgments about how to deploy and integrate software more effectively.

Many of the methodologies in DevOps show parallels to those of lean production, which systematically eliminated waste and worked to optimize flow between steps. The result transformed Toyota into a world leader in production.

Similarly, DevOps is transforming the modern IT landscape – and those people who can apply DevOps practices to their environment are increasing their productivity and transforming their organizations. Just as Toyota’s lean manufacturing revolutionized the automotive industry, companies utilizing DevOps like Uber and Airbnb are using these cultural changes in IT to upend industries in their respective fields of transport and hospitality.

Successful DevOps professionals typically seek a broader understanding of the software development and deployment lifecycle than in the past. From the start, they seek to understand how to holistically incorporate new technologies as they arise even though they may have expertise in a particular discipline. Not only do they value understanding but they share their understanding to help improve the overall process.

SEE ALSO: DevOps at HashiCorp — “With independence comes ownership”

Organizations that implement DevOps best practices have demonstrated that they are more flexible and effective in designing and implementing IT practices and tools, and this often results in higher revenue generation – at a lower cost.

The Puppet Labs’ State of DevOps Report 2016 showed how high-performing IT organizations experience 60 times fewer failures and recover from failure 168 times faster than their lower-performing peers. They also deploy 30 times more frequently with 200 times shorter lead times. And one of the top measures of how an organization can move towards becoming more high performance is an organizational investment in DevOps.

Nowadays, we see an almost desperate call for DevOps engineers., a job search site, shows that DevOps job postings have more than doubled year-over-year. A quick perusal of these jobs posts indicates a degree of confusion around the definition: do we all mean the same thing when we talk about DevOps? Is it a job, a methodology, a trend, or a just a buzzword?

This is where support materials such as the “DevOps Handbook” and easily accessible online courses such as The Linux Foundation’s Introduction to DevOps can offer assistance. The idea behind these initiatives is to further educate the DevOps talent pool, support and encourage projects, and professionalize DevOps to the same standards as other, more established fields.

Open source tools have always held an important role for DevOps professionals as they typically result from user-driven innovation and sharing. Open source was also the most logical path forward for organizations that may have lacked the needed tools to accomplish their goals. Fifteen years ago there was a very limited availability of robust open source tools — today we see a thriving industry of tools that allow for automation, continuous deployment and portability. While Ansible, Kubernetes, Puppet, Chef and others are tools of the cloud, DevOps may well be the manual.

That is why open source will continue to play a role in the professionalization of the industry. A collaborative approach is the best way to create a framework that will enable individuals to better understand the concepts involved in DevOps – before they begin to do the work. DevOps has come a long way already. The next challenge is the continued creation of networking forums of all kinds: places and opportunities where members of the DevOps community can expand their skill sets, share their experience with one another, and keep advancing the community-based, collaborative development, deployment and integration that’s at the core of DevOps.



To read more about DevOps, download the latest issue of JAX Magazine:

People like Patrick Debois, Andrew Shafer and John Allspaw (to name a few) have given us the means to transform this group of concepts into a movement but now it’s time to focus on some of its facets: continuous delivery, business culture, cloud platforms, microservices and container technology. Let’s allow our authors to convince you that these ingredients are equally important to DevOps. Mark Hinkle, VP at The Linux Foundation will tell you what’s next for the effort to improve coordination between software developers and operations personnel while Justin Arbuckle, CTO & Agile, Lean and DevOps Transformation Leader for Sococo, Inc. will explain why measuring DevOps ROI is essential for companies that are embracing the industry’s forward movement.

Thirsty for more? Open the magazine and see what we have prepared for you.


Mark Rinkle

Mark Rinkle is responsible for marketing programs and community relations at The Linux Foundation. Previously, Mark was senior director, Open Source Solutions for Citrix, where he managed their Open Source Business office and their involvement in the Apache CloudStack and Xen Project communities. He also drove the strategy and execution of open source marketing efforts for, leading to its acquisition by Citrix in 2011, and grew the Zenoss open source software project to more than 100,000 members, which fueled its ascent into the Inc. 500 fastest growing businesses in the U.S. With nearly 20 years of experience, Mark is a marketing and open source expert, experienced in growing open source communities, spawning demand for emerging technologies, and creating catalysts for user-led adoption of new technologies and services.

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