Do buzzwords have more meaning than we give them credit for?

DevSecOps, IDaaS, Kubernetes, IoT, Digital Transformation, Waterfall… The list of trending words that rise and fall in popularity is ever-changing in DevOps. Considering how quickly tech evolves in the modern age, it’s inevitable that this is going to be the case. Even DevOps itself came from the amalgamation of what was ‘popular’ at the time. But look at the beautiful love child that Development and Operations created!

The popularity of these ‘buzzwords’ has always divided professionals. Whilst some people see them as trending topics, others see them as having much more potential. But it’s not just the words themselves that can bring confusion. Often, putting these words into practice can be just as problematic.

Understanding context

Daniel Ives, Head of Learning (Cloud) at QA Ltd suggests that whilst people are being told to implement certain “buzzwords” there isn’t always a full understanding behind why these things are popular in the first place and people also aren’t realising the advantage that using these trends can have.

“I’ve been talking to people about DevOps for 20 years or so, but it’s only recently that it’s been given a buzzword.”

“I talk to a lot of people who are being told they need to “be Agile”. That they need to “do DevOps” and / or “use the Cloud”. A lot of them are often confused about the “why” and the “what”, Says Ives.

He continues: “I often draw a series of overlapping circles as a Venn diagram. The circles are labelled “Agile”, “DevOps” and “Cloud”. Organisations can be “doing” zero or more of these things, but when they’re doing all three I call it the sweet spot. Agile is what we should be doing. DevOps is how we should be doing it and the Cloud is where we should be doing it.”

“Smorgasbord of buzzwords”

Ives also gives the advice: “If you’re “being Agile”, how are you verifying that the latest sprint is actually going to add value to the business? If you’re “doing DevOps”, how are you gating your latest commit’s promotion to production? If you’re “using the Cloud”, how do you know you’re not about to waste money on on-demand resources?”

“The truly successful “Industry 4.0” organisation is one that has invested the time and energy to understand the smorgasbord of buzzwords and technologies.”

With all this in mind, perhaps it’s important to consider how to use the trend, rather than if it will stay.