Best of 2021 – Why DevOps Will Cease to Exist

As we head into 2021, we at DevOps.com wanted to highlight the most popular articles of the year. Here is the 12th issue in our Best of 2021 series.

Nowadays I feel there is no need to explain why DevOps exists as a methodology, as it is widely understood and accepted.

But the reason DevOps engineers exist is not to ensure the success of their namesake methodology, nor, if we’re being honest, the practice is developing into a viable role for future advancement. Instead, it is on the verge of becoming obsolete.

Surprisingly enough, in many cases, having a DevOps engineer can help you achieve the goals of the DevOps methodology rather than getting close to them.

How does one become an engineer in DevOps?

I recently found DevOps courses at high-tech academies.

Before it’s an actual field of study, I’m pretty sure no one’s first step into the software development world is in a DevOps role.

I personally started as a NOC engineer and later became a Linux Administrator – developed my passion for cloud and automation. Just years later, I dived into my first DevOps position. Others have taken longer trips, starting with help desk support roles that manage enterprise computers, printers, and networks.

The thing is, the starting point for people choosing a software development career starts from exactly there: software development.

Usually, they either go to college or university or learn development online or via a boot camp, where they are taught Linux, networking, virtualization, high availability, and scalability. Of course, some exceptional senior developers become infrastructure experts, but personally, I would call these people Architects and not DevOps Architects. This is probably why almost every organization needs someone who will take on these responsibilities as a DevOps engineer.

end signs

The number of cloud solutions is steadily increasing every year, with cloud services becoming the dominant way of consuming business services. Gartner estimated a 40% increase. in cloud services business revenue from 2020 to 2022.

“Software as a Service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment and is expected to grow to $104.7 billion in 2020 (see table below). The ongoing shift from on-premise licensing software to subscription-based SaaS models,” According to the company.

Worldwide Public Cloud Services Revenue Forecast (in millions of US$)

New PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS products are launched every year to make the development and maintenance of other applications a breeze.

Hell, some SaaS products go so far as to make them superfluous, with platforms like WIX, Shopify, and Auth0 resulting in fewer developers being required to develop these types of apps. Moreover, there are already products that run almost entirely on serverless services. The term Storageless has recently been coined and is starting to appear here and there.

At the same time, the number of developers is increasing every year. According to Statista, between 2018 and 2019, the number of developers has grown by nearly a million. Therefore, while the number of developers is increasing, a large part of their responsibilities are being automated.

This gradually frees up more time for developers to deal with DevOps challenges, which are automatically triggered by services like Coralogix, Datadog, JFrog, CircleCI, Gitlab, and many more.

Some companies like Monday.comI have already acknowledged that it is not best to have a separate team or one person responsible for all operations and maintenance of applications and it is better to have developers responsible for their suite of applications from start to finish.

Although I opened by saying that there is no need to explain why DevOps exists as a methodology, what is sometimes forgotten is that DevOps evolved as a way to break down barriers between development and operations. But many organizations don’t realize the irony of having a separate team responsible for all operations and maintenance – it just defeats the purpose.

Hopefully, as this trend grows, universities and coding courses will recognize these issues as core challenges in software development and include these topics and principles in their curricula.

The future as I see it

This may be security thinking on my part, but I think at some point in the future we will reach a point where all developers will be required to understand and practice DevOps. A developer who understands how much it costs to run their app, how Kubernetes ensures it’s always available and flexible, and how to build more scalable and more secure application packages will simply be better at their job and more valuable to their company. The reverse is also true; A DevOps engineer will be able to build better CI/CD pipelines, better monitoring solutions and cloud architectures if they take an active role in development and already know the application suite, pains, and needs of their team.

Even if I’m wrong – and I hope I am – I would argue that if you’re a DevOps engineer or a technology leader of any kind, promoting the idea that DevOps is part of every developer’s job is in your best interests.

Developers who understand how to support their own environments, run internal services on private networks and understand the solutions available to them will simply be better at their work, enabling companies to allow automated processes to do their work and focus talent where it is most needed to make the most of our skills. Fortunately, reaching this standard of excellence is getting easier every day; And (Dare I say it?) Perhaps, in the near future, DevOps will become less of a role and more of a service waiting for the ultimate automation that cannot be prevented.

Reading this, you might think that I am a self-hating DevOps engineer who would like to become a developer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Development is my field, and I believe it is filled with talented people that I am proud to call colleagues and friends. However, in the end, we must be realistic. Now that the “operations” part of the job is mostly automated, we should focus our skills on the “development” part.

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