Reports Of The Impending Demise Of Operations Are Greatly Exaggerated

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Our industry has spent the past 7-8 years proclaiming the need for better integration of Dev and Ops to improve flow and quality. Despite this work — or perhaps because of it — there is a new rift forming between Dev and Ops.

Once upon a time, Developers had to be convinced that they should even care about operational concerns. But now, here we are in the middle of 2018, and there is a growing segment of Devs who proclaim that Ops is a thing of the past, won’t exist in the future, and good riddance. “Ops is dead.” “Containers and Serverless make Ops unnecessary.” “Just give us a login and get out of our way.”

Of course — like everything else in our industry — the tooling, the tasks, the organizational boundaries, and even the name of Operations are changing. But these assertions about the demise of Operations as a distinct craft and professional role are unrealistic and somewhat naive….

Developers have historically held a reductionist view that deployment equals operations. This view is that deployment is the finish line and if there is a problem then just deploy it again with a different version. To be fair, in the smallest of organizations (i.e., a handful of devs working in cloud infrastructure) or the largest of organizations (siloed development team building a single component of a much larger system), this is the daily view of the developer.

However, spend some time in larger enterprises, and there is a broad range of necessary day-to-day operations activities that aren’t code deployments. It is a huge list that includes responding to alerts, investigating performance, capacity planning, responding to ad-hoc business requests, managing caches, managing CDNs, configuring DNS services, managing SSL certs, managing proxies, managing firewalls/networks, running message systems, and more.

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