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4 min read

The future of DevOps: new trends, challenges and controversies

Team of people building a DevOps infinity sign

At a recent panel discussion as part of The DevOps Exchange event, experts from Adaptavist and GitLab joined industry professionals to share their thoughts on the future of DevOps.

In this fascinating discussion, Jason Spriggs, Consulting Team Lead for Adaptavist, and Christoph Leygraf, Channel Solutions Architect from our partner Gitlab, join the panel to address the burning DevOps-related questions of the moment and share their views on emerging trends and challenges.

We've got you covered if you missed the panel or want to recap what you learned. Here, we summarise the key points from the event.

DevOps has become bigger, broader and more complex.

To kick off discussions, the panel warmed up with a lively conversation about the evolution of DevOps. What has changed in DevOps since its inception in 2009? How do we view DevOps today? After all, a lot can change in 14 years, and DevOps is no exception.

"With DevOps, the journey is the destination. It's not about focusing on being DevOps or DevSecOps. It's important to have a common goal in the team and to work in that direction together and with other teams." – Christoph Leygraf, Channel Solutions Architect, GitLab.

DevOps started as a way to bridge the gap between development and operations. As you might expect, when you apply a community effect to a concept, it has evolved significantly into much more than its original version. For one thing, we now have DevSecOps – a development that brought security into focus.

Today, DevOps is often explained as a mindset which has brought about a new way of working. After selecting a platform like GitLab, many organisations adopt a 'train and learn as you go' attitude. Many companies pick up DevOps by choosing a tool like GitLab; then, they decide to learn about DevOps afterwards. They need to adapt, so learn about DevOps and use tools accordingly.

Is the meaning of DevOps too broad?

But have we watered down DevOps – has its meaning become too broad to carry substance?

"SRE, platform engineering and DevSecOps are implementation strategies of DevOps, but at the core of it, I don't think DevOps has faded. It's become more prevalent and widely used to the point where it applies even to non-technical people. [Making] DevOps stronger." – Jason Spriggs, Consulting Team Lead, Adaptavist

Today, our challenges lay with shifting perceptions around culture, tackling blocked mindsets and creating solution-oriented environments. DevOps speaks to these challenges and is at least part of the reason it came about in the first place. However, it takes time to encourage people to think of DevOps as a collaborative effort. That's why DevOps evangelists and influencers are necessary to help with tools, processes, techniques and challenges and to educate the rest of the team on why change is essential.

Are leaders losing interest in DevOps?

DevOps is a powerful force when harnessed correctly within an organisation, but it can be a catch-all phrase and a vague and abstract concept these days. So, is interest from leaders beginning to wane?

"There's still a strong interest in DevOps; it's an accepted mindset. From a GitLab perspective, we are constantly growing, and there is a high demand. But today, conversations are dominated by AI, the consequences of change and how to help customers change." – Christoph Leygraf, Channel Solutions Architect, GitLab.

The consensus is that leaders are not growing bored of DevOps. Interest is still strong, especially from people outside of the dev and ops teams. Although DevOps is attracting a wider audience and commanding the attention of non-tech people. And new AI features are helping with this mission.

"With recent AI revelations, people have realised that typical development practices apply to more than those we traditionally describe as 'developers'. It means more people are coming from a development vantage. They recognise that some DevOps practices have implications for people who are not used to writing code." – Jason Spriggs, Consulting Team Lead, Adaptavist.

The role of vendors in DevOps

Vendors have raised awareness of DevOps and moved it forward. They have put their value into DevOps buzzwords, which has triggered interest. And once someone hears a buzzword, they can seek more information and dig deeper. Another important point to address is the impact of vendor lock-in.

"The biggest issue with any sort of ecosystem is vendor lock-in. Once an organisation has become locked into using a vendor, it's important to make the principles ingrained into their processes and use the available resources. There are many ways that you can implement DevOps or any number of available technologies. Still, it's important to understand your own decisions and try to critique and modify them." – Jason Spriggs, Consulting Team Lead, Adaptavist.

How do you market yourself in the evolving world of DevOps?

Along with the evolution of DevOps and its shift to a broader meaning, other buzzwords have swept in. Whether you believe this is natural evolution or hype, how do you cut through labels and buzzwords to market yourself to recruiters?

The shifting sands of DevOps buzzwords mean it isn't easy to pinpoint which ones you should use in your CV or LinkedIn bio. It's also worth considering the other side of recruitment – recruiters themselves often struggle to know what they're looking for.

"The key is being able to tell a story – where and why you started and why you evolved in a particular direction. Focus on the journey, and you will find your niche, and then make yourself adaptable and able to move with change." – Christoph Leygraf, Channel Solutions Architect, GitLab.

Part and parcel of being in technology in 2023 is being adaptable to learn new technologies, but chasing buzzwords is a fruitless task. It's more important to demonstrate your ability to learn than what you've learned historically. As is the ability to bring your strengths and show how you add value to a potential future employer's culture. Additionally, it's vital that you can demonstrate your willingness to share knowledge. Essentially, your soft skills differentiate you as a person and will help you stand out from other people with the same or more experience.

DevOps transformation with GitLab

As a Select GitLab partner and Professional Services partner, Adaptavist's mission is to deliver end-to-end DevOps services and solutions to help you build and implement continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) systems, including DevOps implementation.

Our expert consulting and managed services can enable you to accelerate your DevOps journey and maximise the benefits of your IT investment. Our services range from maturity assessments, implementation, and strategic guidance to data migration and integration, coaching and training and DevOps as a Service.

Learn more about our partnership with GitLab.

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About the authors

Vanessa Whiteley

Vanessa Whiteley

Solutions Campaign Marketing Manager