DevOps MythBusters: 8 DevOps Myths Debunked

In a recent webinar our own VP of DevOps Strategy Andrew Phillips sat down with Atos’ Global Thought Leader in DevOps, Dick van der Sar, to separate the facts from the fiction. Their findings: most myths come attached with a small piece of fact and vice versa…

Myth #1: DevOps or Die! – Fact

Many of today’s market leaders already have some sort of advanced DevOps structure in place. As industries incorporate IT further into their business we will begin to see DevOps as a basic necessity to the modern business and those that can’t adapt will simply fall behind.

That being said, you shouldn’t think of DevOps as the magic invincibility potion that will keep your enterprise failure free. Rather, DevOps can prevent many types of failure, but there will always be environment specific threats unique to every organization that DevOps can’t rescue you from.

Myth #2: DevOps is Developers Doing Operations! – Myth

An integral part of DevOps’ automation component involves a significant amount of code. This causes people to believe Developers do most of the heavy lifting in the equation. In reality, what ends up happening is due to the amount of infrastructure as Code, Ops begin to look a lot like Dev.

Myth #3: Projects are dead – Myth

Projects are an ongoing process of evolving systems and failures. To think they can just be handed off to maintenance forever after completion is simply incorrect. This is only true for tightly scoped software needs, including systems built for specific events. When you adopt DevOps and Agile you are replacing traditional project-based approaches with a focus on product lifecycles.

Myth #4: DevOps Doesn’t Work in Complex Environments! – Myth

DevOps is actually made to thrive in complex environments. The only instance in which it doesn’t work is when unrealistic and/or inappropriate goals are set for the enterprise. Complex environments typically suffer due to lack of communication about the state of, and changes to, the interconnected systems. DevOps, on the other hand encourages communication and collaboration that prevent these issues from arising.

Myth #5: It’s Hard to “Sell” DevOps to the business – Myth

The benefits to DevOps are closely tied benefiting the business. However, that’s hard to believe when you pitch adopting DevOps as a plan to “stop working on features and sink a lot of your money into playing with shiny new IT tech.” Truth is, DevOps is going to impact the entire enterprise. This may be the source of resistance, but as long as you find the balance between adoption and disruption, you will experience a successful transition.

Myth #6: Agile is for lazy engineers – Myth

DevOps prides itself on eliminating unnecessary overhead. Through automation, your enterprise can see a reduction in documentation, meetings, and even manual tasks, giving team members more time to focus on more important priorities. You know your team is running successfully if their productivity increases.

Nonetheless, DevOps does not come without its own form of “boring” processes, including test plans or code audits. Agile may eliminate waste but that doesn’t include the tedious yet necessary aspects.

Myth #7: If you can’t code, you have no chance in DevOps – Fact

This is only fact because the automation side of DevOps is all Infrastructure as Code (IaC). This typically requires some sort of software development skill such as modularization, automated testing, and Continuous Integration (CI) as IaC. Regardless of scale, automating anything will require, at the very least, software development skills.

Myth #8: Managers Disappear – Myth

Rather than disappear, managers take a different role with DevOps. In fact, they are still a necessity to the team. Managers are tasked with the responsibility of keeping the entire DevOps team on track. Classic management tasks may seem to disappear but only because the role is changing to be more focused on empowerment.

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