The true meaning of devops

Devops would be impossible without automation tools, but the real key is getting the workflow and culture right

If you’re still puzzled about devops, allow me to make a recommendation: Read “The Devops Handbook” by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis. It’s a beautifully crafted, no-nonsense book that is filled with case studies and actionable advice intended to help you boost productivity by magnitudes.

The handbook is not structured the way you might expect. Only one section is devoted to what the authors call “the technical practices of flow” from development to operations, otherwise known as continuous delivery. The other sections address gathering and incorporating feedback from application monitoring — and, more important, building continual learning and experimentation into your culture. Security and compliance get their due as well.

Devops in the trenches

That said, most technical people want to hear about the details of continuous delivery, because it’s impossible to achieve devops productivity gains without automation and improved workflows. I recently spoke with Armon Dadgar, co-founder of Hashicorp, which is famous for its Vagrant software to create portable development environments. He breaks devops into seven essential elements: build, test, package, provision, secure, deploy, and monitor.

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