Building. Evolving. Operating.
DevOps is the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support. DevOps is also characterized by operations staff making use many of the same techniques as developers for their systems work. Those techniques can range from using source control to testing to participating in an Agile development process. DevOps doesn’t differentiate between different sysadmin sub-disciplines – “Ops” is a blanket term for systems engineers, system administrators, operations staff, release engineers, DBAs, network engineers, security professionals, and various other sub-disciplines and job titles. “Dev” is used as shorthand for developers in particular, but really in practice it is even wider and means “all the people involved in developing the product,” which can include Product, QA, and other kinds of disciplines.
DevOps has strong affinities with Agile and Lean approaches. The old view of operations tended towards the “Dev” side being the “makers” and the “Ops” side being the “people that deal with the creation after its birth” – the realization of the harm that has been done in the industry of those two being treated as siloed concerns is the core driver behind DevOps. In this way, DevOps can be interpreted as an outgrowth of Agile – agile software development prescribes close collaboration of customers, product management, developers, and (sometimes) QA to fill in the gaps and rapidly iterate towards a better product.