So, I’ve wanted to write on this topic for a while as I think it deserves a little attention! I’ve heard numerous times that you shouldn’t have DevOps in your title or that job reqs shouldn’t be “DevOps Engineers”. This came up again at the DevOps State of the Union event that we hosted in Boston recently. There were definitely some very vocal folks saying that it just didn’t make sense to look for a DevOps engineer or hire a DevOps engineer. These folks make the following points:
– DevOps is a methodology not a job description – we don’t call our developers Agile engineers, they are just developers. They happen to follow the Agile methodology but they their job description isn’t to do Agile, it’s to create awesome products.
– DevOps should permeate an organization – having a DevOps group sort of missed the point of DevOps. DevOps should be embedded into the fabric of the company, not an adjunct to the development process. If it isn’t embedded how can you actually practice DevOps?
– DevOps does not equal tools – asking for a DevOps engineer with 5 years of experience in Chef or Puppet is sort of an oxymoron. Very few people have long-term experience with new, up-and-coming toolsets. So asking for that doesn’t make sense and again, it’s a methodology, not a toolset.
It was an interesting discussion and I’m curious to hear what other people think about this perspective. We see a number of job descriptions and cards that say DevOps engineer on them. I can completely understand why people would do that, but I also understand the criticism of that approach as well.
Before I sign-off, I’ll weigh in with my thoughts and hopefully we can add some discussion in the comments. As a proponent of DevOps, I’d like to see as many people adopt DevOps as possible. Strategically for businesses, I think it will make a significant difference in their operations. They will move faster, understand customers better, and be more efficient with the resources that they have. If it takes assigning a group or a title to bring DevOps into an organization, I think that they should do it. It’s a way to get started and work at embedding DevOps into their culture. I fully agree with the statements that DevOps isn’t a title or a tool, but I guess I’m practical about it too – some organizations will take different views on how to bring it into their company and have it take hold. In the end, I’m pro-DevOps, so if that’s how you need to make it happen, go for it! My guess is that over time, you’ll end up building DevOps into the fabric of the company and you won’t necessarily think of it as a job description or title, but just as a part of everybody’s job.
What are your thoughts – is DevOps a title? If so, why? If not, why not? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!