DevOps is a culture, not a job description


The original idea of DevOps is to smooth out the interaction between development and operations. It is a method that helps you achieve great results - not a job position.

There are 2 great misconceptions tied to DevOps culture that do it great harm:

  • DevOps engineers are System administrators that can also code and are the ones that are solely responsible for system uptime.
  • System administrators are not necessary in a DevOps environment, since developers take over system admin tasks.

Both are wrong. The original idea of DevOps is to smooth out the interaction between development and operations. It is a method that helps you achieve great results – not a job position.

You can define DevOps as system administrators participating in an agile development process alongside developers and using a many of the same agile techniques for their systems work.

DevOps means a lot of different things to different people because “agile development” itself covers a lot of ground.

The “DevOps” movement is about having everyone understand how the entire system works, and everyone being able to express what their underlying business value is.

Developers are all about innovation, making something cool and new. Sys admin or Technical Operations teams are focused on never letting the site go down. Before DevOps came along developers weren’t incentivized to worry about the site uptime and vice versa. devops In order to embrace DevOps principles you need to tie operations to revenue, and you make system availability the problem of the entire company. This is why it’s a misconception that what people tend to call a “DevOps engineer” is coming from the development side of the house to wipe out operations – in fact “DevOps engineers” usually come from system admin or tech operations departments.

“DevOps engineers” are just system admins or developers working in a DevOps culture. Separating them from the “other side” and other developers and system admins is working against the DevOps principles.

As businesses and development teams need more agility as the business climate becomes more fast paced, we’ve often been providing less, and we need a fundamental reorientation to be able to provide systems infrastructure in an effective manner. Ultimately, the promise of DevOps is about increasing your responsiveness to customers. If the site goes down, you are clearly not serving your customer. And the sooner you can catch a problem, the less costly it will be.

According to this puppetlabs article – DevOps departments are here, and they are here to stay.


You do not need to call people that come from a development or sys admin background but have both mastered puppet, chef and other deployment and automation tools DevOps engineers. Simply call them “good at their job”.

This story originally appeared on Linkedin Pulse.