While individual buzzwords will come in and out of fashion, the ideas at the heart of DevOps aren’t going anywhere.
Like any good buzzword, DevOps may mean different things to different people. There are several good definitions of DevOps out there. My favorite definition comes from @IanColdwater, who defined DevOps in terms a teenager would understand:
Devops is a set of ideas about how process, tools, and people can engineer software better
I love this definition because it doesn’t focus on existing assumptions about what “development” and “operations” are or should be — the point of DevOps isn’t to stick with those old definitions, but instead to evolve our own ideas about how we can create software in ever-better ways.
This evolution isn’t simply implementing automation: instead these ideas involve changes in people’s roles, process definitions, and the tools which are used.
I can easily remember a time before I heard the words “digital transformation,” and I feel that term is already starting to lose popularity. There may be similar fatigue around the term “DevOps.” In two years, we may find ourselves using that word less. But even if this is the case, I’m confident that in two years we will still be building on the set of ideas central to DevOps about how to engineer software better.
This set of ideas includes focal points of being customer centric, maintaining a steady flow of work, and reducing toil. Work in these areas improves code quality, reduces time to market, and focuses individual contributors on value-added-work which many find more enjoyable than repeatable tasks. These results are attractive both to leadership and to employees across the organization.
Even if the specific word “DevOps” falls out of fashion, the set of ideas it embraces are well positioned to stay at the heart of technical initiatives and efforts for well beyond the next two years.