Will DevOps die? There is no shortage of those who believe DevOps is already dying. Andrey Akselrod recently gave a nod to managed services. Regardless of terminology, DevOps or not, cultural change is inevitable that results in continuous delivery of high quality products and services to customers.
Within current research, it appears that the underlying dimensions of DevOps are certainly not dead. For instance, findings released by IBM on DevOps remain positive. Undoubtedly, automation surrounds us and is capable of achieving higher levels of efficiency, reducing human error, and increasing the bottom line. From Redbox to Kiosks at our favorite place to dine, automation looks to continue its disruptive force in numerous industries.
The Culture Behind DevOps
Despite wondrous advancements in tools and automation, human culture remains a tremendous value proposition within the DevOps paradigm shift. Dave Farley recently discussed the implications of the human capital behind building software.
DevOps changes culture in a way that allows us to cross-collaborate, cross-pollinate, integrate more proficiently, adapt, learn, and continuously improve – to name a few. Behind the cultural shift I believe remains a deeper meaning behind what DevOps is accomplishing. Thus, I have set out to explore the theoretical context behind DevOps.
For this, the research community needs your help! I kindly ask you for a favor: if you have experience in a Fortune 1000 company, please complete this short questionnaire to help us build the theory behind the DevOps paradigm shift.
Why is Exploration Behind the Cultural Shift Important?
Reputable theories provide the means to explain some of what we observe in technology. Observing phenomenon through various research methods can lead us to new explanations behind the cultural shift that DevOps can instantiate. Indeed, theory is proven wrong and replaced over time. For instance, the luminiferous æther, a hypothesis on the propagation of light, was argued by some to have scientific potential. Yet, experimentation in relativity and quantum theory soon provided testable answers to the nature of light that luminiferous æther was unable to. Growth in knowledge from further research overcame what turned out to be sound doubts about luminiferous æther. Despite any perception of failure in exploration, investigation must begin to progress somewhere and somewhere often turns into something valuable through pragmatic processes.
In a paradigm shift in which many of us are passionate, it seems that few peer-reviewed articles exist in scientific journals that compel the aforementioned experiential process. Organizations continue to adopt DevOps with great success and industry surveys clearly point to numerous benefits. Irrespective of those, how important is theoretical context for a discipline such as DevOps? I would argue that without this investigation we may be missing some of the roots that provide nourishment necessary for future growth. If the roots are shallow, DevOps and the underlying cultural changes will sway in the wind without the anchoring it needs when stronger winds challenge its existence. Not that DevOps must prevail, it may soon be a distant memory. Yet, embracing the improvement it is currently contributing and learning from the general cultural change behind DevOps is important.
Is DevOps dead? The cultural change behind DevOps, I would argue, has just begun!