Ronny Lam


DevOps, Agile, Continuous Delivery... What’s in a Name?

Like the writer of the linked blog, I am also a strong proponent of DevOps. But I am the first to agree that DevOps, the name describes the implementation, not the desired outcome. I feel the same about Agile. My meaning is that the term Agile means nothing. I can describe an Agile implementation that does not deliver anything. So also here, we need a term that describes the outcome more than the activity itself.

Even the most basic and central DevOps tenet, dissolving cultural silos between development and operations, speaks to Continuous Delivery. What is the negative impact of dev/ops silos? They degrade quality, slow down progress, and generate waste. In other words, they increase delivery time and cost, while decreasing value.

The writer proposes to use the term Continuous Delivery, but to me that says the same as Agile. The reason we, at NetYCE, break down the mentioned silos is that it improves quality, speed of delivery. speed of troubleshooting, and time to market. Continuous Delivery describes a lot of that, but I miss the quality aspect. The outcome, or better said goals, may differ for different teams. For some that may be speed of delivery and for others that may be quality. Therefore DevOps may even be the better name.

To me, and that may be specific for the networking world, there is a different aspect to the term DevOps. In our practice we see that the Development people are most of the time very busy with delivery, of specials, and or that they are firefighting. Something the Ops people do anyway. With the implementation of NetYCE the process changes in such a way that the Dev people can do more dev and the Ops people more ops, while working together on the same platform. This means that they are not mixing activities, more splitting them, but we allow (or force) them to work more closely together.

And therefore, let’s bend the term again, DevOps, whatever it may be, is not a goal on it’s self, but the outcome, different per team or organisation is. Anyway, DevOps rules. ;-)