The history of the DevOps movement is rooted in the evolution of the technology industry and the challenges it faced in managing complex systems. In the early days, developers were also operators, handling the hardware and software aspects of computing systems. However, as technology advanced, specialization emerged, leading to the formation of separate roles for developers and operators.
During World War II, women like Jean Bartik were among the first programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first programmable computer system. They had to figure out how to program the machine by reviewing its hardware and logic diagrams, which highlighted the importance of programming in making these systems work.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy's challenge to land a man on the moon and return safely to Earth brought the need for software engineering to the forefront. Margaret Hamilton played a key role in writing the onboard flight software for NASA's Apollo missions. Her work led to the coining of the term "software engineering" and the introduction of practices like priority displays and quality assurance in software development.
The 1960s also saw the emergence of problems related to software engineering, prompting discussions at the NATO Science Committee. Key issues included defining and measuring success, building complex systems, meeting deadlines, and putting economic pressures on manufacturers.
IBM's introduction of the System/360 in 1964 marked a shift towards standardized and interchangeable hardware and software, reducing costs and allowing job flexibility for individuals who learned the system's software and hardware.
The 1970s saw the emergence of Usenet, an early distributed discussion platform, enabling knowledge sharing across universities and corporations. However, companies kept their processes as closely guarded secrets, hindering collaboration and leading to increasing complexity and specialization of roles.
The 2000s saw the rise of open-source software, cloud services, and web technologies, leading to increased modularity and interoperability. Companies like Amazon introduced proprietary services like Amazon EC2 and S3, revolutionizing the way computing resources were utilized.
The Agile Manifesto, formulated in 2001, emphasized the importance of adaptiveness and response to change in software development. Later, the principles of Agile development were extended to system administration and operations, leading to the concept of "Agile Infrastructure" or "DevOps."
The DevOps movement gained momentum with the organization of the first devopsdays conference in Belgium in 2009. Since then, DevOps has spread globally, with numerous local conferences, meetups, and online discussions.
Today, DevOps is recognized as a transformative approach to software development and operations, promoting collaboration, continuous integration, and delivery. Companies that adopt DevOps practices are shown to outperform those that don't, achieving faster deployments, fewer failures, quicker recovery from failures, and happier employees.