The Power of Labeling and the Rise of “DevOps”

If you’ve been around the IT space for many years and are starting to hear all this buzz about DevOps you may find yourself confused. Why? It’s because the practices that define DevOps is not new. Your organization may be pro-automation, your dev and ops teams get along just fine, your culture is one that gives back to the community and you value each team members individual contributions.

The individual components that make up DevOps have been happening in high-performing organizations for a long time now. The reason that DevOps is such a hot topic is that someone finally put a word behind a set of beliefs, processes and practices. I see this all the time. I was just reading a book called The Millionaire Fastlane. In this book, the author talks about different kinds of people and their mindsets toward wealth. He speaks to this as Sidewalkers, the Slow Lane and the Fast Lane. The concepts that he talks about are not new but this book rose in popularity because he put something tangible behind that set of beliefs.

The same goes with DevOps. Once you put a label on a set of beliefs or concepts it’s something that people can get behind. When you dribble a ball and shoot it through a basket, you’re playing basketball. When you cut up some chicken, add some spices, throw it in a bowl and heat it up you’re cooking.  Using a specific word to put a label on a set of actions is simpler than describing each individual action.

Don’t be fooled into thinking most of the practices of DevOps are new; they aren’t. Just realize that DevOps is a conglomeration of a lot of best practices that are aimed at helping the organization reach it’s goals. It’s that simple. If you want to get granular and list out each of those practices, more power to you but I, for one, will just call them DevOps.

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