DevOps isn't a job, a team, or a tool

By Ken Mugrage

Talk Abstract

The title DevOps Engineer shouldn’t exist. DevOps is supposed to be a cultural transformation where the entire team is responsible for developing and operating software. This talk will cover the origins of the term DevOps, and encourage people to break down silos, not build new ones.

Talk Description

When the term DevOps was created it was meant to represent a team developing and operating software together. A large part of that includes what the originators called “agile infrastructure”. While automation to enable this agile infrastructure is certainly important to DevOps, it was never meant to be the entire subject.

Unfortunately, many people think DevOps and automation are synonymous. This has lead to organizations creating “DevOps Engineer” positions to create that automation, and vendors creating “DevOps Tools” to sell to those engineers. Much like Agile isn’t just standing up for your meetings, DevOps isn’t just about automating server creation.

Some topics covered:

  • The origins of DevOps, and how you can apply its true principles to every part of your organization. It’s not one person’s job, it’s everyone’s responsibility.
  • Strategies for “selling” the organizational changes required to introduce a DevOps culture
  • How to take advantage of modern API based architectures to enable team autonomy
  • How to ensure security and compliance in a cloud native world

Attendees will take away an understanding of the cultural change required to convert to a DevOps culture and how to take advantage of modern architectures to help enable it.

All without creating a “DevOps Team”.


I’m part of the global organizing team for DevOpsDays, the conference which coined the term DevOps. I’ve spent several years teaching and speaking about DevOps and continuous delivery at events globally.