Infoworld has an interesting article titled 7 signs you’re doing devops wrong which makes excellent points.
And an intereresting interview with Alan Zeichick about DevOps was posted on slashdot recently (text transcript available).
Devops is the supposedly new concept of having sysadmins and developers work in the same team. I find the discussions amusing sometimes, having often worked in small companies where there was never a separate “sysadmin” (aka “IT Operations”) team; nevertheless the concept is a good one. System administration is a valuable skill, and one that is not the same as software development; network security, scalability, monitoring/alerting, repeatable deployments, low downtime during deployment, licencing, and many other important items are things that many developers are not sufficiently aware of.
The old approach of first developing software then “tossing it over the wall” to a sysadmin team doesn’t work well - software often needs to be designed properly to support scalability/security etc. And on the other hand, I’ve often encountered situations where the deployment phase of well-implemented software (ie that part done by the admin team) has been painfully bureacratic, or simply screwed up. The truly new concept of “cloud-based” systems makes the overlap between development and deployment even more blurred.
IMO, the “devops” supporters are right in concluding that those with skills in system administration and those in software development need to work more closely together, with some or all members of both teams “overlapping”. Both skillsets (dev and ops) are important, and separate.
Unfortunately, as Alan Zeichick points out, achieving that can be difficult.