By now you've probably gotten wind of the phenomenon known as devops. It's a curious grassroots "movement" that has the general intent, as the name implies, to bridge the gap between app dev and operations. More and more, I see devops as a sign of the times for IT.
How hot is devops? According to a friend in the space, all you need to do is walk through Silicon Valley and shout, "Devops," and 300 people will run to a meetup. There's even a devops song.
[ See "Rethinking application development in light of 'devops'" by InfoWorld's Savio Rodrigues. | For a bottom-up, realistic view of next-generation data center, plunge into InfoWorld's Private Cloud Deep Dive by contrubuting editor Matt Prigge. ]
The first thing you need to know about devops is that it's a philosophy with practical implications that apply mainly to ops; the dev side of devops was first established over a decade ago when the Agile Manifesto was written. But agile development is all about change -- faster time to market, smaller and more frequent builds, a welcoming attitude toward new requirements. All that change creates gobs of work for operations, to the point where some argue that ops' inability (or reluctance) to keep up has prevented Agile from realizing its potential.
Devops is about dev and ops coming together, with both sides learning what the other does but with the main intent of making ops as agile as Agile. It's also about putting automation tools in the hands of developers, so they can provision and reprovision their own dev, test, and deployment environments without bugging ops at all. (Some argue that the devops philosophy even applies to how business should be run, although the agile folks have already tried that one.)