DevOps will mean the end of mankind.
Sure, it seems great now. Organizations can operate more efficiently. Routine tasks are automated. Development, deployment, integration, monitoring, and testing are all happening in continuously continuous harmony, freeing people up to focus on larger, more important things and continue to grow the business. What’s not to love about DevOps?
Well, all of that seems fine at face value—but eventually it could be the catalyst that brings about SkyNet from the movie The Terminator and enslaves the human race to our Matrix overlords. DevOps is the missing piece that will enable technology to take over the world.
Wikipedia defines the Technological Singularity as:
The technological singularity is the hypothetical advent of artificial general intelligence (also known as “strong AI”). Such a computer, computer network, or robot would theoretically be capable of recursive self-improvement (redesigning itself), or of designing and building computers or robots better than itself. Repetitions of this cycle would likely result in a runaway effect — an intelligence explosion — where smart machines design successive generations of increasingly powerful machines, creating intelligence far exceeding human intellectual capacity and control. Because the capabilities of such a superintelligence may be impossible for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is an occurrence beyond which events may become unpredictable, unfavorable, or even unfathomable.
We already have robots and drones capable of physical movement / action, and we have machine intelligence approaching full artificial intelligence. DevOps—with its continuous monitoring, continuous deployment, continuous integration, etc, all automated to essentially self-diagnose and self-heal—will be the glue that connects the artificial intelligence with the robot technologies. If the machines can plan and organize on their own, and have the connectivity to communicate with and control physical objects, and can automate most of the grunt-work through DevOps tools and practices the humans end up just being in the way.
“Let’s face it. Humans are complicated. And human-driven release processes even more so. We find too many bugs in production code, performance is unacceptably sluggish, and breakages from manual handoffs are always holding us back. We need to let the machines handle these things so we can deploy production software that’s error-free and lightning-fast,” explained Alon Girmonsky, Founder & CEO, BlazeMeter. “With the full automation provided by Continuous Delivery and Deployment, we can finally achieve properly efficient operations.”
Girmonsky added, “How can we expect the Singularity to come anytime soon with these clunky, error-prone, human-driven deployment processes?”
Not everyone is so anxious for the advent of the Singularity, though. Jay Wampold, VP of Marketing at Chef, told me “We’ve never announced it, but we built a Singularity Kill Switch into our software for exactly this scenario. The truth is our work is more interesting when it involves humans. The cultural aspects of DevOps are more important than technology when it comes to achieving great business outcomes.”
DevOps is awesome right now and everyone is happily jumping on the microservices bandwagon and embracing container technologies with both arms. As more things become continuously automated it is becoming painfully obvious that the one remaining bottleneck—the inefficient element of the whole process—is the biological human units that keep screwing things up.
Coincidentally, I saw a quote recently that sums things up nicely: “From the machine’s point of view, The Matrix is just a cautionary tale on the importance of securing your wireless network.”
DevOps may well be the catalyst that enables technology to rule the world. Whether it’s a benign evolution that eventually results in catastrophic consequences, or a well-orchestrated distraction by the technology we rely on—part of the early stages of the strategy to eliminate mankind—we might be on the path to the end of the human race.