Sporadically delivered thoughts on Continuous Delivery

The State of Devops, Based on a Tiny Sample

| Comments

We’ve been interviewing developers at my current (soon to be former) employer, which I always find has a nice side effect of getting insight into what other development teams are doing.

The impression I get (from an admittedly tiny sample) is that although continuous integration is a mainstream concept, devops is nearly unknown. In fact, so far zero candidates who have come through our usual recruitment channels have even heard of devops.

So despite the noise in the twittersphere, “devops” as a term is far from mainstream. But what’s worrying is that devops practices, which have been around for far longer than the trendy new label, aren’t common either.

A few items:

  • Even for fairly agile development teams, the development / operations divide is commonplace, and few people seem to see it as a problem. Development and testing happens on one side of the wall, then the build is chucked over to the ops side. Environments may be different, methods for deploying may be different, and the teams are defintely different.
  • Running unit tests on commit seems fairly standard. Web-based testing such as Selenium, is known but rarely practiced. BDD tools like Cucumber are largely unknown.
  • Automated configuration of deployment environments is a nice idea, but only an idea.

So basically, continuous integration is about the limit of what mainstream development teams know about, much less practice.

So even if “devops” is a painfully trendy label slapped onto old ideas, those ideas haven’t really taken hold in the mainstream of software development. Here’s hoping that repackaging these ideas under a new label will help bring them into common practice.