Article / Journalism / SD Times

Developer Hubris Meets its Match in DevOps

In my latest Special Report for SD Times, DevOps teams are on the move, I found the story leading somewhere different from the original assignment, which was to focus on how DevOps and the cloud were increasingly tied to one another. Interviewing developer-centric deployment solution vendors, the refrain was: agile has sped everything up so much, ops better get out of the way. But I realized I’d neglected to ever talk to folks at the tail end of the lifecycle: People like Scott VanDenPlas, DevOps Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign, or Christopher Brown, CTO of Opscode. And the cloud? It’s orthogonal to DevOps (sorry, I had to use orthogonal just once in my life). Ultimately, the story showed that the sysadmin/coder hybrids Patrick Dubois held up as new heroes really do exist, and the questions surrounding capacity planning are more complex (adhocracy, anyone?) than developers imagine.

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Mark Burgess is CTO and principal author of the open-source configuration management system CFEngine, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. He laments that we still think of IT management as the creation of “golden master servers that are to be worshipped by hundreds, perhaps thousands of clones. Adhocracy is not the default doctrine in computer administration.”

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