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9 dark secrets of DevOps

Organizations are increasingly turning to DevOps in support of digital transformations. Here is a clear-eyed view of what you are getting into when you do.

In the beginning, there was the code and the coder who built it. Developers were responsible for everything. They crafted the logic and then pushed the buttons to keep it running on the server. That changed as teams expanded and labors differentiated, with some team members remaining with the code (devs) and others tending to the machines (ops).

These days, thanks to the cloud and the rise of microservices, software has become a constellation of dozens, even thousands of components running on separate machines. Each is technically independent but all of these machines must work together. Ensuring that they do is best accomplished with automated scripts. Enter DevOps.

The DevOps team’s main task is to provide all high-level orchestration of these multi-faceted apps. They may not deal with the deep corners of the software’s architecture, but they keep the parts running smoothly.

Still, the role remains relatively new, with responsibilities that aren’t clearly defined or assigned and skillsets that are still evolving. Some DevOps’ pros straddle job descriptions, performing a mixture of programming and operations, but many teams are finding that keeping all the servers running smoothly is enough work alone. Configuring them requires a mind-numbing attention to detail, all while the programming team is changing the code and thus how it needs to run.

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