This year marks the 10-year anniversary of our industry-defining State of DevOps research. You’d think after 10 years that there wouldn’t be much more to say about DevOps, but practices and technologies continue to evolve, the best keep getting better, and we keep unearthing new topics to research.
A brief history of the State of DevOps Report
We’ve been lucky to collaborate with some of the best thinkers in the DevOps space. When we started this project in 2011, there were no vendors doing independent, vendor-agnostic research of this magnitude. Alanna Brown deserves all of the credit for the idea of creating a survey and report to investigate the state and actual impact of this burgeoning movement, and this space wouldn’t be the same without her advocacy and insight. Apart from myself, she also enlisted the incredibly prolific and erudite James Turnbull, a critical contributor to the early days of Puppet.
In 2012, we reached out to Gene Kim who had been a supporter and friend of Puppet since the early days. We knew he was about to publish his groundbreaking novel on IT and DevOps, The Phoenix Project, and couldn’t think of a better person to collaborate with. Gene brought in Jez Humble, the guy who literally wrote the book on Continuous Delivery in 2010 (2010!). Over 4,000 technical professionals completed our 2012 survey — an unheard of response rate for any IT survey at the time. We launched our first State of DevOps report together in 2013 and the appetite for the data blew us away.
In 2013 we had a chance encounter at LISA (Large Installation System Administration Conference) with an academic researcher who specialized in IT impacts. Dr. Nicole Forsgren joined our scrappy little team and took the research to another level. We produced the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 State of DevOps reports together. By that time, Nicole, Jez and Gene had formed DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) and wrote Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations based on these reports and other research. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to modernize their technical environment.
We broke new ground once again in the 2018 State of DevOps Report, bringing on Michael Stahnke and Andi Mann from Splunk as authors, with a focus on providing pragmatic and prescriptive guidance for organizations seeking to evolve their DevOps practice. We developed the DevOps evolution model that shows the sequencing of key practices across five stages as a common adoption pattern for scaling DevOps across an organization. The model is far from perfect, and there’s a lot that isn’t included in it, but it matches our experience working with large enterprises working out how to modernize their large and complex IT environments.
In 2019, we examined how organizations are integrating security into the software delivery lifecycle and in 2020, we focused on two themes: applying DevOps practices to change management and adopting a platform approach to software delivery.
What do we want to know in 2021
So what is there to say about DevOps in 2021? It turns out, a lot! Just when we think we’ve got this whole thing figured out, we realize there’s a whole swath of organizations out there that are still struggling to move beyond thinking that DevOps is equivalent to CI/CD. DevOps is not merely “developer operations.”
We already have a good understanding of the technical practices that correlate with DevOps success, but we also know that technical practices alone are not sufficient. In our 2021 survey, we’ll be going deep on cultural practices — and by “culture” we mean how teams and work are organized, interaction modes between teams, what feedback loops exist, if teams are able to self-service the things they need to get their work done, and more.
We hope you take the survey and share it with your colleagues so we can continue to build on this amazing body of research. This year, we’ve widened the pool of collaborators and will be working with old friends, as well as some new voices in this space. Stay tuned!
Take the survey and be a part of DevOps history
We hope you can spare 15 minutes to take the survey. This year, we will donate $5 for every survey completion to one of three charitable organizations of your choosing: National Coalition for Homelessness, World Central Kitchen and UNICEF COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.