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Richard Bown

DevOps on the Road to Redundancy

published10 days ago
1 min read

I had an interesting (i.e. edgy) discussion yesterday with an enterprise software architect yesterday about the nature of how we build software in enterprises.

A lot of the process that actually *makes* the software is automated. We loosely call this methodology "DevOps" - a portmanteau of "Development" and "Operations". It encompasses a lot of practices and a lot of tools that improve software quality and frequency of delivery and improve incident management.

That's the theory. I threw it out there that DevOps is actually anti-pattern itself and that the commoditisation of the tools and techniques has made companies complacent. All of this only underlines a new status quo which isn't a whole lot different from the previous situation. This can be seen as a straw-man argument - I'm just doing it to have it refuted easily - but I don't think we could. While it's tempting to think that software quality is improving with new systems, security, ease of use, compatibility - the actual experience we have as humans varies across systems, across companies, across the world. And security is far from a done deal.

Additionally hiring and retaining the 'best' programmers (as every software company wants to do) is in direct opposition to automated systems that build and deliver software for us. If the best are that good and there are enough of them, why do we even need DevOps? The point is that there aren't enough good programmers and there never will be. DevOps is just a step on the journey to fully automated software delivery.

So why are we doing DevOps at all if that's a step on the road to making software engineers redundant? And at what point do the users of the systems also become redundant?

- Richard

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