Dev vs Ops, and the future of the SysAdmin

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While Public Cloud is accelerating infrastructure deployment and accessibility through a publicly accessible pool of resources available for organisations to quickly deploy heal delete and scale(ish) their environments there is still a lot to do in Cloud Transformation world.

Re-architecture and many times the REBOOT of the entire STACK have/will happen if organisations want to really see the benefits of the brilliantly disruptive Cloud world were everything moves fast and operational excellence is possible.

It’s not an easy conversation to have with Management and explain that the vision is long term and costs will rise before going down (they will).

Without a commitment from a high level sponsor in transformations like this you will find a high probability of failure.

Back to the Devs vs Ops, developers want and are proud to design beautiful software so they want to innovate and use the best tools no matter their focus or outcomes.

Operations primary focus is to guarantee lights-on and business continuity and many times new releases break the existing systems and are build with a totally different mindset which doesn’t work or perform in production.

“Developers want to invent and Operations want to improve, yes they are two very different mindsets.”

DevOps and Lean Manufacturing mindset created an truce between each other and for a while it was good.

Developers and an Coder Operations would work together to understand how they were doing things and exchange knowledge and practices to ensure an automated release pipeline would be established to make it autonomous and repeatable. 

This meant faster and better releases and much less surprises when in production, the process was repeatable and easy to reproduce.

Agile and Lean aren’t obviously the same and developers want to go faster and design better applications with less code and less operations dependencies (remove all constrains).

Removing all constrains is part of the Agile mindset and all actions add value so you want to make sure everyone is coding.

Teams don’t want to be DevOps, they need to be Agile.

Microservices by design can run without Ops, cross functional teams will skill up, and, serverless architecture, well the name speaks by itself, you run the code on the service and Ops don’t have to be involved at all, no more Ops :( 

Ofcourse some organisations don’t have to run to Microservices or Serverless architectures, only the ones that want to grow and add outstanding value back to the business reinventing will.

DevOps was intended to break the silos and unify the two, it was (is) necessary as a middle step, but, once the Agile cross-funtional teams are skilled and the pipelines created it’s hard to justify both.

Teams need each individual to code above all, and, your infrastructure is now application code on some repo.

Our friendly Developer creates re-creates the infrastructure as he creates code, ops shouldn’t be involved or it would be another step.

Some releases are so fast that even testers are irrelevant, but that’s for another topic, it’s the “code or die” and programmer anarchy world.

Resiliency means the application is designed to expect failure and will self-heal/handle through code and APIs, the Dev domain.

In the very near future internal or managed Ops will be recycled to become developers or something else, maybe Cloud Operations for the Public Cloud provider?…

They are redundant as innovation in Microservices and Agile grow.

Sounds harsh? It is.

Every revolution will see the rise and fall of roles and we are innovating in IT too quickly for it to go unnoticed, Cloud is the biggest revolution after the industrial revolution, disruption is all around us.

Out of this doom and gloom, some organisations still use Windows 2003 (Stop! what is that in the screen, oh Windows 2000…) and offer Cobol certifications for free to anyone that wants, maybe is just a personal decision, but I want to keep growing up not backwards.

In a market with scarcity of talent organisations which want to attract and retain the right talent have to be innovating, it’s is burned in my mind when a new appointed CEO got a report about the state of the IT and although he got a good and positive outlook he asked:

“what are we doing to attract talent? Are we attracting talent?”

This question shifted the entire IT strategy from a Windows to (you know who, no, don’t say it’s name!) which required a REBOOT and they are now happy.

What are you doing today to guarantee your tomorrow?

Disclaimer: this article expresses my vision and observations from first person experience and the shared experience from my peers, although they are opinions they express a un-bias opinion about Developers and Operations and a bias opinion towards what I see as trending in innovation.

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