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DevOps Shrugged

In a well known book, Atlas Shrugged, the heroine Dagny Taggart instructs her engineer to design a bridge to be constructed with the revolutionary new Rearden Metal. Disappointed with his proposal she rejects it, claiming it doesn’t take into account the metal’s strength and other innovative properties. It’s basically a copy of a steel bridge.

This part of the story caused me to reflect on DevOps, where we find “innovative properties” of agile development, merging with the innovation of virtualized and cloud-based IT operations. But are individuals and companies working in DevOps really innovating?

My sincere response is a qualified “yes.” When I learn about new products promoting cloud based development, rapid provisioning and cloud based deployment, I see technology being applied to reduce cost, increase quality and bring applications to market faster. That’s innovative.

However, I can’t help but speculate that we can leverage the “innovative properties” of agile, DevOps and cloud to reap even more benefits far beyond those gained from using new tools for the same old processes. Executing the existing release process more quickly with new tools delivers a speed improvement, but not high impact innovation. In other words, have we just made a copy of a steel bridge with a new metal?

Is it possible to insert high value policy or compliance checks in our pluggable architectures? Is it possible to have a deeper level of collaboration that can be achieved through rapid notification and response using our mobile devices. Is it possible to tweet an idea and have it deliver real business value as a new product feature (tweatures to deployed features) by injecting 140 characters into a finely tuned continuous delivery pipeline?

IMHO, the answer to all of the above is an enthusiastic “yes!” MaestroDev is implementing features like these and working with customers to deliver innovative DevOps solutions. We welcome your DevOps ideas as well!

The prizes will go to the innovators. The benefits will go to everyone.

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