What is DevOps to you?

James Toffrey, Senior DevOps Consultant within our NRG Tech division, has been recruiting within the cloud/infrastructure space for a number of years now and for him, DevOps has always been the most challenging but often the most interesting area to recruit for.

One thing that has become abundantly clear is that DevOps can mean one thing to one organisation, and something completely different to another. It is this ambiguity that sees him delve into the question ‘What is DevOps to you?’ several times a day with different clients.

With that in mind – James has taken it upon himself to do some digging and shed some light on the mysterious world of DevOps – an attempt to provide some clarity for those looking into the myriad of IT and tech career paths available to them.

At this point…we’ll hand you over to James.

What is DevOps to you?

If you search on Google, ‘What is DevOps?’ you can scroll your way through different vendors that have put together a few words to serve their own purpose about the ‘benefits’ of their tools and offerings, not really something I want to regurgitate in this article.

I then decided to look into online forums, groups and discussion boards, and have seen a contrast in opinions ranging from a simple “it’s developers and operational coming together” to a more complex “it is a deeply rooted culture within an organisation, centred around interdepartmental collaboration to solve complex efficiency and agility issues.

Amazon defines DevOps as “the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organisation’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organisations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.” Thus leading to the reasonable assumption that DevOps is more than just two departments coming together?

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, one thing that is undeniable is that there is a clear conflict in views. I have taken the time to interview two DevOps Engineer’s from different backgrounds to try and stimulate a bit of discussion and provide at least some clarity on this complex landscape.

Why does DevOps even matter?

It is hard to deny that the digital revolution has paved the way for increased productivity and efficiency of organisations. It is the organisations that have adopted online services that have seen exponential growth and market dominance. As software is continuously being developed to make organisations operationally efficient, it is crucial that the integration and deployment of said software is also being developed to fully capitalise.

Organisations must now automate business processes to gain advantage in the environment they compete in, such as the ability to bring new features to market quicker and attain cheaper operational expenses to name a few.

The ability to monitor your business applications and how a customer is interacting with these at a granular level, allowing you to see which components are adding value is a huge advantage of operating a ‘DevOps’ culture. It is through this analysis that you’re given direction into how you should allocate time and resource, developing features that will in turn, generate more revenue, reduce costs for the business and present a case for decommissioning those which don’t.


The consequences of ignoring the DevOps revolution, for me, seem pretty obvious…

Those businesses that do not adopt and adapt will fall behind those that do, losing competitive advantage, eventually being rendered technically irrelevant.


Whether you agree, disagree, would like to discuss the world of DevOps further or you’re looking for a new opportunity in this space, don’t hesitate to contact James.

Your feedback is welcome and he would be more than happy for you to get in touch:

James Toffrey – Senior DevOps Consultant – NRG Tech

0191 260 4461 | jamestoffrey@nrgplc.com


DevOps Culture Image Credit: djangostars.com