Welcome to DevOps Is Common Sense – a renaming and consolidation of all the DevOps content I’ve written over the past eight years (some of it before the term “DevOps” even existed!) and the new home for my musings on DevOps, DevSecOps, DevSecQAOps and many, many more acronyms that the IT Industry is obsessed by.

This post is about me. How I got here, why I’m still doing it and why I believe that DevOps is common sense.  If you’re looking for technical content, this is not the post you are looking for.

In 2010 I attended the UK Unix User Group and saw Patrick Debois and Julian Simpson deliver a talk called “Hudson hit my Puppet with a cucumber”.  Like many people in the room, I came for the title and stayed for the content.

This talk made sense. It was using tools to do things that their developers had probably never intended them to do.  It was inspiring, yet it was not a new concept to me.

I had previously realised that you could use the Nagios monitoring framework to query a database of call durations or time-to-pick-up in a call centre and alert management if the average went over or fell below a given threshold with the same system that alerted management to the state of their IT infrastructure, including rules for issue escalations.

I knew that you could use virtualisation to test your code against a replica of production and it would yield far better results than “well, it worked on my machine” followed by three days of debugging.

I understood that automation was far preferable to configuring things by hand (after all, I’d been using configuration management since 2008) and here were two of the best speakers I had seen delivering a funny, technical and informative talk that reassured me I was on the right path but also gave me massive ideas of where to go next.

I owe my current career to that talk and I am truly grateful to both of the speakers.

Since seeing Patrick and Julian talk about this, I’ve gone on to develop software to rapidly spin up VMs and test puppet configuration, written my own Configuration Management DataBase tool and gone on to work for one of the largest OpenStack Service Providers in the world.

Everywhere I’ve worked, I have seen people with different interpretations of what “DevOps” means:

“DevOps is Developers doing Operations”
“DevOps is Developers deploying to PaaS such as Heroku or gondor.io”
“DevOps means you are doing Agile Development”
“DevOps is Systems Administrators bowing down before the might of the Development Team”

OK, I might have made that last one up, but it is certainly the sentiment I’ve encountered at some places I’ve seen DevOps implemented!

To me, DevOps is Common Sense.  It involves Development and Operations Teams (and security, and QA and all the other teams that you get in a large organisation) talking to each other to ensure that when a product is shipped or a web application is deployed it works first time, every time.

DevOps is about using tooling to help you in your work.

DevOps is about keeping it simple, automating as much as possible and working together as a single unit regardless of your skill set to ensure that your organisation makes money.

DevOps is about sharing best practice and getting rid of “Not Invented Here” syndrome.

DevOps is about helping people out.

You can’t solve technical problems just by saying “oh, by the way, we’re doing DevOps now”.

DevOps is a culture, not a package you can install with apt-get and watch all your systems magically align themselves.  DevOps is hard work, however after all the above has been said, it is still Common Sense.

I’ve had my share of problems along the way as I’ve tried to implement DevOps or work in DevOps-based teams and this blog (as well as many other more important things!) has suffered as a result, however I have a number of new projects in progress and I hope to start providing more regular updates on what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and why you might want to do things differently in the coming months.

So there we have it. Rambling, slightly technical, mainly about me and what I’m doing or have done in the past (no change from the style of the old content!) but DevOps is Common Sense, many of use have been doing it for years and long may we continue to do so.