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A Brief History of Devops [with Infographic]

08th Sep, 2023
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    A Brief History of Devops [with Infographic]

    The origins of the DevOps trace back to when the term, “DevOps” was first coined by Patrick Debois in 2009 which is regarded as the DevOps origin year. Debois is now regarded as one of the pioneering figures of DevOps and has gained significance over the years as one of its gurus with more and more organizations integrating DevOps into their operating systems. To answer the looming question of when DevOps started, let us first look at how the term was formulated. The evolution of DevOps occurred because of the combination of the words “development” and “operations,”. This, therefore essentially provides a fundamental point for comprehending what exactly people mean when they refer to “DevOps.” One important thing you need to know about the DevOps methodology is that it isn’t a technology, process or established definitive. 

    DevOps is often referred to as a cultural viewpoint. Most importantly, the true meaning of DevOps has widened to become an umbrella term referring to the culture, processes, and mindset used for optimizing and shortening the life cycle of software development with the help of fast feedback loops for offering features, updates and fixes at a frequent pace. To know more about the DevOps culture and find the answer to the question ‘when did DevOps start?’, you can check out some of the Best DevOps Courses online to help you acquire a comprehensive idea about what it is, how it functions and how it is implemented.  

    The DevOps history is quite an interesting one considering how it was first implemented into the workflow systems of organizations at large. In this article, we will discuss in detail when DevOps started, and the detailed history and evolution of DevOps. 

    How It was Before DevOps?

    Before we go into the detailed DevOps history, let us take a prime example of a platform that deploys daily; Netflix. As modern consumers of entertainment, we can never imagine a world where Netflix only deploys once a month or every few months. This was the sad state of affairs for developers back in the day when they followed the old waterfall methodology. 

    As per the brief history of DevOps, the deployment of software, it was first developed and thoroughly tested for months prior to their release in the market. Up till the date of release, the QA would be hustling to test everything and return defects, while devs would be hustling in bug fixing and sending them faster to the QA so that they could run them through tests. The night prior to the release, the QA and Ops would often ask management to postpone the release date due to the software not being production-ready.  

    The business stakeholders were a completely different story on the other hand. They would push them to stick to the predestined plan. The software would further be deployed but would go through either of the tow:- 

    • It would either be rolled back in the following 12 hours after everyone would exhaust their options trying to make everything work 
    • It would reach the stage of production and for the following weeks, the Ops team would perform rolling restarts, hotfixes, and everything possible to reduce the impact.  

    However, this would only be a temporary solution because the team would be able to stabilize the software only till the time for the next release. This ended up being a cyclic process of inefficient software.  

    History of DevOps

    Now, let us delve into the interesting history of DevOps. Patrick Debois is often referred to as the father of DevOps. Debois wanted to learn IT from all possible perspectives. Here is a detailed DevOps history timeline about the DevOps background and how this framework came to be in a yearly order:- 

    1. 2007: It all started in 2007 when he started working on a robust data center migration where he was responsible for testing. He experienced many frustrations during the course of this project, starting from the continuous switching back and forth from the development side of the problem and the bevy of operations that waited on the other side. He realized that a large chunk of the effort and time was spent (or rather wasted) in navigating the project from development to operations. However, it wasn’t possible to bridge the significantly wide gap between the two worlds.  
    2. 2008: It was in 2008 at an Agile conference conducted in Toronto, Canada, when a man named Andrew Shafer attempted to arrange a meetup session that was called “Agile Infrastructure.” Patrick was seemingly the only person who had attended this session. Andrew, after receiving a huge amount of negative feedback regarding this said that even he did not show up to his own session. However, Patrick was quite excited finally come across a like-minded person. He hunted Shafer down at the conference and talked to him in the hallway. They later went on to form a discussion group for various people who wanted to post their ideas that would help bring a relevant solution to the wide gap between development and operations. 
    3. 2009: During the initial stages, not a lot came forth with their ideas with this perspective. However, things started looking up in the June of 2009, Paul Hammond and John Allspaw conducted a lecture entitled “10+ Deploys a Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr.” Patrick ended up watching the streaming video of that presentation when he was home in Belgium. Its views highly resonated with him making him realize that this was exactly the solution he had been looking for. Motivated by this lecture, he arranged a gathering of system administrators and developers to sit together and discuss the most ideal ways to begin bridging the gap between these two heterogeneous fields. This event was named DevOpsDays, and was held during the final week of October 2009. 
    4. 2010: With the significant amount of attention that this event gathered from experts in both fields, there are lively debates held over Twitter where users used the hashtag #DevOps. This was all that was needed for smaller tech enterprises to make an effort in amalgamating the DevOps practices and the tools built to help new teams that are forming. By this time, DevOps managed to acquire a grassroots following where members began extensively pushing their respective ideas. 
    5. 2011: It was in March 2011 when Cameron Haight of Gartner offered his predictions for DevOps to take a course in the following few years. With his positive outlook, many other members and users came and began implementing DevOps with wide ideas. Soon enough, enterprises regardless of how small or big scale they are started adopting DevOps. DevOps is one of the most internal frameworks in the workspace and were beginning to adopt these new practices. With DevOps earning more and more fame, it is a thing similar to Agile. 
    6. 2015: DevOps incorporated into SAFe SAFe is rapidly gaining traction in the enterprise arena, where DevOps is adopted and scaled across. 
    7. 2016: DevOps is the new norm for high-performing companies “Clearly, what was state of-the-art three years ago is just not good enough for today’s business environment.” 
    8. 2018: State of DevOps report defines 5- stage approach From level 0 to 5, a descriptive, pragmatic approach is introduced to guide teams and mature DevOps initiatives, a report sponsored by Deloitte 
    9. 2019: Enterprises embed more IT functions in their teams next to ‘Dev’ and ‘Ops’ “organizations are embedding security (DevSecOps), privacy, policy, data (DataOps) and controls into their DevOps culture and processes.” 

    Aside from giving you a comprehensive idea about the DevOps pipeline history, the Best DevOps Training course will give you the best managing skills you need to successfully become a DevOps master.  

    Problems DevOps Tried to Solve

    The primary aim of DevOps according to the DevOps library history is to maximize the efficiency, predictability, maintainability and security of operational processes. DevOps was primarily introduced to fix the inefficiencies of the Waterfall method such as:- 

    • lower failure rate of newly released software 
    • faster mean time for recovery if a new release crashes or gets disabled in the current system. 
    • shorter lead time in between fixes. 
    • Frequency of deployment 

    With the heavily optimized methodologies imposed upon teams in organizations, with the introduction of DevOps, many robust tech giants like Intel, PayPal, and Facebook, to name a few, highly benefited from this framework. DevOps integration has also targeted product delivery, quality and continuous testing, feature development, and maintaining the already released software to improve security and reliability to offer better cycles of development and deployment. This is why it runs in parallel with the principles set by the Agile software development movement. Organizations that adopted DevOps have reported several significant benefits, like:- 

    •  much shorter time to market software products 
    • optimized customer satisfaction 
    • higher product quality 
    • Better workflow efficiency and productivity  
    • Enhanced ability to build a good product via rapid experimentation 

    DevOps Today

    The software industry has seen a constant improvement in recent years with the highest performers tripling in proportion compromising nearly 20% of every team. From enhanced software speed and availability to stability, every aspect is used for streamlining organizational performance. This is inclusive of customer satisfaction, profitability, and productivity. The highest performers will most likely meet or exceed their expected goals in relation to organizational performance. The use of cloud systems and infrastructure widely all over the world has played a very important role in making sure that software delivery performance and availability are always at an all-time high. You can learn in detail about DevOps if you take up a good DevOps Fundamentals Training course. It will help you implement a necessary framework in your business if you have one or work together in tandem with a team adhering to the principles set forth by this cultural framework.  


    From the story about the DevOps origin, it can be concluded that it is seen more like a journey rather than a destination. It is ever-evolving and is still in the evolution process. From this point, it can only get better if not worse. As of now, the importance of automation in DevOps is huge, and it is the automation tools that have supported this particular goal of reaching a high level of efficiency. No matter which team you join, having a keen knowledge of DevOps should be a mandate before joining any organization. If you want to get started with DevOps training from the very scratch, you can sign up for KnowledgeHut’s Best DevOps Courses. This course seeks to offer you comprehensive knowledge about DevOps and how you can use it to optimize workflow in organizations.  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

    1What is the history of DevOps?

    DevOps came into being when its pioneering founder Patrick Duboi first coined the term by conjoining two works, ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’ in order to make an attempt to bridge the wide gap between them. 

    2Who founded DevOps?

    DevOps was first founded by Patrick Dubois who is regarded as the father of DevOps. There were other people whose lectures and ideologies of people like Cameron Haight, Andrew Shafer, Paul Hammond and the like. 

    3When had DevOps started?

    DevOps first began in the year 2009, when Patrick Dubois had a tough time switching back and forth between development and operations, yet none of their respective workflows were optimized.  

    4Who is the father of DevOps?

    Patrick Dubois is regarded as the father and founder of DevOps. 

    5Which tool is used for DevOps?

    Some of the most popularly used DevOps tools have been listed below:- 

    • Jenkins 

    • Docker 

    • Puppet 

    • Apache Maven 

    • Gradle 


    Mayank Modi

    Blog Author

    Mayank Modi is a Red Hat Certified Architect with expertise in DevOps and Hybrid Cloud solutions. With a passion for technology and a keen interest in Linux/Unix systems, CISCO, and Network Security, Mayank has established himself as a skilled professional in the industry. As a DevOps and Corporate trainer, he has been instrumental in providing training and guidance to individuals and organizations. With over eight years of experience, Mayank is dedicated to achieving success both personally and professionally, making significant contributions to the field of technology.

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