I usually come across stuff on the web and just post it to my twitter account, but i was browsing the other day and came across a fantastic article by Ben Rockwood (@Benr) which he gave a title of “Devops: The Re-emergance of Systems Engineering as a Discipline”, Let’s quote some words of wisdom from this article:
The people that I met that seems to “get” the devops culture are devs. But not that kind… You see, they profess years in administration or ops, but they more excited by JSON and AMQP than they are by the next release of their favorite OS or chip architecture. These people no longer see computers as autonomous entities, rather they see the protocols to link them. They are more excited by NoSQL databases that can house metrics than they are in the commands and interfaces they can get them from. Spending time learning every little feature of an OS isn’t exciting, but optimizing inter-system communication is.
That’s interestingly true !, When NoSQL was trending, i saw it on the UNIX/Sysadmins blogs more than on the developers blogs, some of us just like to follow the new/alternative to the software models we have been using in operations because we already experienced the bottle necks of performance for the old systems and kept inventing workarounds to get those systems up and running in production efficiently.
What I’m driving at is that the most interesting artifact of the “devops” movement is that its bringing a new generation of Systems Engineers out of the closet. They are devs in an ops world. Not dev for dev sake… not ops for ops sake… but rather dev for the sake of ops.
Take a look at the new tools in our market:
Configuration Management -> created by Sysadmins turned Developers for the sake of managing the configuration of a large amount of systems
Servers Orchestration/ Command & Control -> Also created by Ops sick of SSHing into each server and doing the same thing over and over again, therefor they created frameworks for orchestrating their servers.
Examples here are simply endless ! ….
But making a culture change like this in a job that most of it is based around routine processes (Monitoring, Provisioning, Deploying the same stuff over and over again) is not that easy, Especially for people who entered the Systems world seeking a “stable” job, those guys must think again about their jobs, one day they may be in an “Evolve or Die” situation:
As the good news of “devops” spreads it first enlightens, then brings excitement, then dread. If your one of those “specialists”, you can easily feel that your now out-dated. Consider that there is now pride within the devops elite that CIO’s are now talking about having a “devops strategy”. Some even suggest a (I’m paraphrasing) “evolve or die” scenario for operations teams. If your a sysadmin who uses Borne or Korn shell instead of Ruby, look out! I don’t think that’s fair, nor do I think its true for all. Instead, it all makes more sense when you see it as three camps instead of two, with a the culture over the three… that is, applications developers (traditional “dev”), system administrators (traditional “ops”), with a new role in the middle of Systems Engineers that helps glue the camps together. Some of your Systems Engineers will emerge from the dev side, some from the ops side, always having hidden their secret urges to do both. And, as with any emergent role, many will aspire to it but simply not be cut out for it.
And that’s all folks ! :), I see this as a real enlightenment for the Systems Engineer, Our jobs are almost being redefined right now.
You can read the whole article that Ben wrote on his blog: Devops: The Re-emergance of Systems Engineering as a Discipline