At the Cloud and Infrastructure Optimisation session at IBM Pulse 2013 this morning Jay Snyder, director of platform engineering at Aetna, gave as good a definition of DevOps as I have heard.
What does DevOps mean? Jay said:
“it’s a way to make the developer experience better. How can we help developers to build better apps? it’s about putting more power in the hands of the developer via automation.
We built something we call Developer Cloud. We virtualised the client… and put in the cloud. Then we took the runtime and put it there too – so we got consistency of development across QA/dev/test and production.
Developers get a fully functional environment in minutes.
1. how to make the developer experience better
2. how do we give our business execs choice? if they want to work with 3rd party app providers, with us providing value ads in terms of management… the same cloud infrastructure applies.
One of the keys was breaking down silos. Typically the Unix guy does his thing, The web guy does his thing. the database guy does his thing…. instead Wo we said you’re all cloud engineers.”
It’s great to hear a traditional IT organisation at a company like Aetna gets it. Its very refreshing to hear an IT executive talk about better serving developers, rather than just taking a top down operations approach.
To better understand this phenomenon, you should check out New Kingmakers, a book by my founding partner.
It’s also worth noting Aetna used an IBM stack to deliver this internal PaaS like infrastructure.