The Enormity of DevOps

by Andromeda Booth
Published on January 2019

DevOps is a buzz word these days and because it’s such a beast of a subject it can be very difficult to pin down what DevOps means to different people and organisations.

DevOps is like a rabbit hole.  You could broad-brush it and just say, well it’s just the amalgamation of ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’ – simple. Except it’s not. It’s much more than that. It’s like the creation of the word ‘DevOps’ is expected to provide a magic solution that will easily fix the complexity of developing in accordance with operational standards or automatically help you become more agile, delivering better and faster. If you Google “What is DevOps?”,  you would expect to find some consistency in the results, right?  But you won’t, the subject is broad and complex and means different things to different people and organisations and one can chose to concentrate on certain aspects of it. To some, it’s a kind of methodology, to others it’s a philosophy, a culture or a practicality.

ConstructionGiven that so many elements come together to create DevOps (development, infrastructure, testing, cloud, QA, security, processes and procedures etc), it becomes a movable feast. For example, many people think that because of the continuous development/improvement aspects of DevOps, it supports the agile methodology, which it does, but how many companies are truly agile anyway? Most have some elements of waterfall in them – especially in larger organisations with understandably complex approval processes and procedures.

For those with ‘DevOps’ in their job titles, it can feel as though the weight of responsibility for all the aspects of DevOps is theirs. As DevOps includes a multitude of considerations and practices, it would be nice to assign each/all responsibility neatly to a person, except it doesn’t work like that. From experience working with various agencies and brands, it tends to be futile for organisations to hire one person to do all their DevOps tasks. A DevOps professional can’t do everything, be everywhere, be on 24/7 or work in isolation. A team of specialists are required to work together to cover all tasks and roles, including cloud architecture, software development, delivery, automation, security etc.

When you have a team of experts, you need to allow them to specialise – the definition of expert is “a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area”, not lots of areas, one particular area. So, when you have a team of experts you need to have some glue to hold them all together, be it organisational processes and procedures, a way of thinking and some overarching direction from the leadership team. To us this is ‘DevOps’: the glue that holds the specialisms together.

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How can Just After Midnight make tackling your DevOps needs easier?

As the breadth of knowledge and skills needed to form a successful team is so wide, you need numerous, quality, in-house resources or reliable third parties you can call upon for help and advice and support services.  Clients can find it hard to recruit quality people who have this breadth of skills, especially with budgetary constraints. Just After Midnight is a team of specialists providing cloud hosting management, infrastructure and application support, so this is one area of DevOps that can be easily outsourced.  We are used to providing consultation and working with a myriad of different companies from small to large and so we know the right questions to ask, how to design and implement the most appropriate solutions, and help avoid common pitfalls. We know how to listen to our customers and we don’t have preconceived ideas about how things should work for you – we adapt to meet our customers’ specific needs; we work like we are part of your organisation.

If you would like to learn more about how Just After Midnight can help with your DevOps needs, get in touch.

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