DevOps: The Dev doesn’t mean what you think it means

In a past discussions on DevOps, I’ve said that the Dev doesn’t stand for Developers. That probably seems odd, since in many instances it’s described as Developers + Ops. DevOps is a software development methodology, hence the Dev means development. But, what does that actually mean?

Development is the business side of your product pipeline, as opposed to Ops, which is the customer side. The business side entails not just your software developers, but Product, Sales, and QA (and you could even argue Marketing). These organizations help come up with the product requirements and customers who will use the product. You need a product to develop that your customers want so that the software developers can start developing. This whole side of the business needs to work in synchrony to provide the most value. Development without a product nets you nothing, and product without customers nets you increased inventory costs.

This also affects your feedback loop between Ops and Dev. The operations side of the house needs to provide feedback not just to the software developers, but to let Product and Sales know how the customer’s needs were met and QA needs to know about quality issues that slipped through. If you only talk to the developers, your feedback loop isn’t complete and you’re not implementing DevOps properly.

Celebrating your developers and ignoring the rest of development is like exercising your arms and legs but ignoring your core.