Quick Guide to all the “Ops”

You probably heard about Ops, DevOps, maybe even about GitOps! This short article is a “jargon buster” explaining what all these different terms mean and which ones you should pay attention to.

Ops

This is a shorthand for IT Operations. That means running software, providing support and administrating networks and servers. Basically most of the important day-to-day IT business that is not testing or development.

An interesting, but the wrong trend these days is to simply re-name your Operations team as DevOps team, pat each other on the back and think that you are following best practices… If only life was that easy!

DevOps

I will use the same definition that I gave in my “Journey to DevOps Whitepaper”:

“The name DevOps comes from the amalgamation of Development and Operations. In essence, it’s a software development methodology best defined by the “DevOps Mindset” which guides its implementation and
management style, and the “DevOps Culture” it creates.”

The point here is that DevOps is a software development methodology and a culture, not a single team. The “Three Ways of DevOps” are:

  • Flow: Progressing work fast
  • Feedback: Getting feedback on the work as soon as possible
  • Continual Experimentation and Learning: self-explanatory

If you want to learn more about DevOps principles, I really recommend you checking my whitepaper, or reading the “Journey to DevOps” blog post I wrote on the Scott Logic website.

SecOps

I personally would consider SecOps a part of DevOps with the focus on security. It makes sense to talk about it separately if you want to focus exclusively on how well security is integrated into your DevOps culture.

It is also all about the three pillars – flow, feedback and continual learning, but applied to the work of security specialists.

TestOps

Guess what? It is DevOps once again but with a focus on testing. Think about automated testing and quality is on everybody’s mind. I consider testing so fundamental to DevOps and software delivery, that I don’t really see the need for the distinction, but I am sure that some marketing departments do!

GitOps

This means infrastructure as code, but using Git to store that code. I think it is a great idea, I may not like the name very much (riding on the “Ops” hype), but there is some merit to it. Weave works have a great explanation for the practice here.

Summary

DevOps is a true revolution when it comes to delivering software. Because of the tremendous and positive impact it had, everyone wants to somehow associate with the term. There is nothing wrong with this, but please make sure to focus on the DevOps culture, not on coming up with even fancier names, while not changing how you work!

PS: If I missed any of the Ops, let me know! It is fun to see what more people are coming up with!

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2 thoughts on “Quick Guide to all the “Ops””

  1. I’ve read your paper “An Organization’s Journey to a DevOps Mindset and Culture” and I have the same problem that I had when I tried (and failed!) to understand term “Agile”. I can see the idea behind Dev Ops, but I have no idea how that works in a real life. Can you suggest me any source that would show me such an example?

    1. Hey,

      https://blog.scottlogic.com/2018/03/13/organizations-journey-to-devops-culture.html is my experience in implementing DevOps in real life in an organisation. For other written sources- “Phoenix Project” is a fictional story about implementing DevOps and “DevOps Handbook” contains a number of real-life examples including Etsy (super DevOps oriented) and Target. Have a look at this list https://techbeacon.com/devops/10-companies-killing-it-devops and then you can read more about specific companies on separate blogs. Thanks for reading my blog!

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