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DevOps is an Answer to Changing Times

Mark Mzyk | August 11, 2014

 You get rid of the artificial barriers, and in operations you get rid of the stove-piped fiefdoms of the storage guys and network guys and the database guys and sysadmins. So you have to kind of mash this stuff back together again to make it efficient, and that’s to make the speed of delivery efficient. They got siloed for optimizing for cost rather than for speed. So this is kind of a cost-versus-speed thing. And the pendulum is swinging back away from cost to speed. Because the cost of infrastructure is so low that now the time it takes to develop something is the biggest problem, so you’ve got to speed things up. So that is causing people to think about things in different ways, and different products are appearing, and the scale that people are dealing with things, and the “software eating the world” kind of ideas where every company now has to be a software company.

— Adrian Cockcroft, in an interview with The New Stack

Optimizing for speed vs. cost, a perfect distillation of DevOps. As hardware has become cheaper, building org structure around it no longer makes sense. The optimizations should no longer be around hardware, but around people.

Organizing people by expertise was the right idea when hardware was expensive. Conditions change, so it’s time for a new way of organizing, which focuses on new costs and new efficiencies. It’s a parallel situation to waterfall vs agile development. Waterfall isn’t wrong. It made great sense when computers were expensive and difficult to procure. Once computers became ubiquitous and cheap waterfall no longer made sense. Agile development was an answer to a changing landscape. So too DevOps is an answer to a changing landscape.

Don’t tell someone who isn’t convinced that they are wrong for not choosing DevOps. Instead show them how things have changed and why the proper response is a new method of organizing and working.