New Easy DevOps column on

DevOps for the people

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I'm a big believer in stories, less of a believer in rhetorical questions. It's taken me a while, but I've learned to avoid the question, "What is DevOps?"

Engaging in that question directly is a surefire way to convince everyone in the room that no one understands what DevOps is. Instead, I've learned to answer that question with more questions:

  • Are you a developer, a sysadmin, or a suit?
  • What are the differences between your developer workstations and your production environments?
  • How long does it typically take to move a change from a develop's laptop into production?
  • Are there any inefficiencies in your IT organization that particularly frustrate you?
  • Have you ever tried Ansible/Jenkins/Vagrant/Docker/Trello/$DEVOPS_TOOL? What did you think of it?
  • Where do open source tools fit in your organization?

These conversations help get to the core ideas of DevOps without trapping people in circular discussions. Most importantly, they elicit good stories, and good stories are where some of the best lessons come from.

That's why, in this new column on called Easy DevOps, we will share a lot of these kinds of stories. We will share stories about DevOps as practiced—as in, "practice makes perfect"—in the real world. Stories about tools, processes, culture, successes and glorious failures, and even inglorious failures.


This article is part of the Easy DevOps column coordinated by Greg Dekoenigsberg. Share your stories and advice that helps to make DevOps practical—along with the tools, processes, culture, successes and glorious/inglorious failures from your experience by contacting us at

About the author

Greg DeKoenigsberg - Greg DeKoenigsberg is the Vice President of Community for Ansible, where he leads the company's relationship with the broader open source community. Greg brings to Ansible over a decade of open source product and community leadership, with the majority of this time spent building and leading communities for open source leader Red Hat. While at Red Hat, Greg served in various community leadership roles, including senior community architect, leader of the Fedora project, chair of the first Fedora...