DevOps is a term that is used to generally describe the act of simplifying work processes within an organisation. But there’s actually more to it than simply “rearranging” things in the process. Here, we’ll take a look at how it all started and its significance in present day.

The Birth of DevOps

In 2008, the meeting of two minds took place at an adhoc event that was open for anyone who would like to talk about the topic of Agile Infrastructure. Patrick Debois and Andrew Shafer were attending the same conference in that same year, and it was Andrew Shafer who posted the invitation to the adhoc. Come the time of the event, there was only one person in attendance alongside him: Patrick Debois. That event was what paved the way for the development of a concept that aims to change the way that Dev and Ops work together to achieve a shared goal.

For Patrick Debois, it all started when he was working in one of his assignments, where he felt extremely frustrated over the slowness of the back and forth process, and how navigating the path to project completion was hugely affected by the intangible, yet prominent partition between the two main sides: Dev and Operations. This was a constraint that heavily affected the speed of his project, that when he was at a conference in Belgium in the same year, he quickly signed up for the ad hoc that was posted by Andrew Shafer. Their collaborative effort came to fruition a year later and DevOps became the official term for this concept and was started as an approach to improve the way Dev, IT, and Ops interact and create a smoother workflow.

Devopsdays to DevOps

DevOps continuously evolved and developed into a management approach that posses the capability to transform the work dynamics of entire organisations, in incredibly effective ways, so much so that those who’ve seen it work for them never want to go back to how things were being done before.

A year after the Belgium Conference, two Flickr employees, John Allspaw and Paul Hammond gave a presentation that showed how a typical software deployment scenario, involving IT and Dev, unfolds; it was a case role playing, complete with real life show stoppers like finger-pointing and the whole blame game. Through this presentation, they were able to show the work intricacies that these two teams tread on a regular basis, and that the only way to improve the situation is to create a common ground where both teams can meet eye to eye and ensure that their work activities are always in sync.

Patrick Debois was unable to attend this presentation personally, so he streamed it instead. And back in 2009, streaming was the new coolest thing in the world of tech but this was something we expected Patrick Debois and the folks at Flickr would be comfortable with at the time. After much encouragement from his followers on social media, Patrick Debois kick-started his own conference called Devopsdays. This move gave DevOps the impetus and momentum it needed to become known by more leaders who would later on bring the DevOps approach into their organisation and reap the benefits of doing so.

Today, DevOps is known as the catalyst that resolved the constraints that divided the Dev and Operations teams and promoted more interaction between these two sides, creating a more agile and continuous workflow that allows both sides to communicate more effectively and work together more efficiently.