An ampersand, &, with extra everything

In the book ‘Thinking in systems’ Donella M. Meadows quotes the Sufi teaching:

You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’.

DevOps is Dev and Ops. For something to be DevOps the team must do development. The same team has to run operations. In this an invisible ‘&’ gets created between Dev and Ops. This ‘&’ has value that can not be seperated from it joining Dev and Ops.

Getting unique value from putting responsibility for Dev and Ops in the same team can be hard to grasp. It is creating a new system with improved self organisation and evolution capabilities. This evolution and self organisation might manifest as a demand for new software, development practises or an interest in cloud services. But these are only side effects of the newly created ‘&’. Don’t mistake a continues integration server for DevOps.

Some want the ‘&’ that this change brings to life to be bottled and sold on its own.

We see software marketed as DevOps. Or a service as DevOps. “Let us do your DevOps for you.”

Introducing external dependencies, and thereby removing agency for the team, damages the very ‘&’ it is confused with.

You can’t sell love, company culture, life, ‘rainforestness’ or any other ‘&’ from systems we have around us.

DevOps can only be created by letting one team have responsibility for dev, ops and everything else that is needed for software to bring value.


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