There is a wide range of assumptions and, we have to say, myths about DevOps that we hear and read on a daily basis. Some organizations and their management teams think of DevOps solely in the sense of cooperation between the development and the operations departments, but, in fact, it is a much broader term.

In addition to the confusion generated by the term itself, there are few myths that lead to misconceptions and misunderstandings and often hurt businesses and organizations. We listed some of the most common myths about DevOps and we’ve debunked them. 

MYTH 1: DevOps requires Agile

Although DevOps and Agile are frequently related terms, they are far from being synonyms. Agile development refers to, among other things, a methodology of software delivery, incrementally applied in its creation, while DevOps refers not only to a delivery method but to an entire culture, which when adopted, results in multiple benefits for the business, including faster software delivery.

DevOps can help complement agile development, but it is not dependent on it and can support various work methodologies such as:

Waterfall - accelerating and optimizing construction processes and implementing automation.

Agile - providing greater communication between development and operations, thus increasing the quality of the final product, as we previously explained.

Hybrid approach - improving speed, quality and compliance.

To obtain optimal results, the full adoption of the DevOps philosophy is necessary.

DevOps engineer sitting at a desk with a laptop, working on a project.

MYTH 2: DevOps can't work with legacies

DevOps is often considered a modern concept, which helps future-oriented companies to innovate. Although this is true, it can also help IT organizations with a long track record and already adopted standard procedures. In fact, adopting DevOps to work with legacies generally brings great advantages. Managing legacies and launching new software to the market quickly, in order words - mixing stability and agility, is a frequently encountered problem in this new era of digital transformation. The BI-modal in the IT industry is an approach where Mode 1 refers to legacy systems focused on stability, and Mode 2 refers to Agile focused on the rapid delivery of applications. DevOps principles are often included exclusively in Mode 2 and automation and collaboration can also be used successfully in Mode 1 to increase delivery speed and ensure stability, all at the same time.

MYTH 3: DevOps is only for continuous delivery

DevOps doesn’t necessarily imply continuous delivery. The objective when adopting a DevOps culture is to increase the frequency of deliveries in an organization, from deployments of quarterly/monthly releases to daily deployments, thus improving the ability to respond to market changes. While continuous delivery depends heavily on automation and is targeted at Agile and Lean Thinking organizations, DevOps doesn’t depend on a shared culture that fosters collaboration. Gartner summarizes the difference with a report stating that: "DevOps is not a market, but a philosophy focused on the tool that supports a continuous delivery value chain."

MYTH 4: DevOps requires new tools

Many believe that the adoption of DevOps requires new tools and/or skills. In fact, this is a quite common mistake. Although the acquisition of appropriate tools can help the adoption of this new culture, organizations are not required to replace the processes and tools they use to create software. DevOps allows you to offer new capabilities more easily and put new code in production faster to respond to market changes. So, you won’t have to adopt new tools, although you could if you want to/need to.

Three men working on their laptops at a table.

MYTH 5: DevOps is a skill

The rapid growth of the DevOps movement has resulted in huge demand for qualified professionals. However, this fact is often misinterpreted and suggests that DevOps is in itself a skill, but, as you may have guessed, this is not the case. DevOps is a culture that needs to be fully adopted throughout the organization for optimal results, and that is better if its adoption is reinforced with the appropriate tools.

MYTH 6: DevOps is a software

The adoption of DevOps can be greatly facilitated by software. However, it is essential to understand that they are not the same. The DevOps methodology consists of the communication, collaboration, and automation of development and operations functions and, as described above, requires for it to be adopted by the entire organization. That is the only possible way to obtain optimal results. The software and tools that are available undoubtedly reduce the tension in the adoption of DevOps in companies, but the mere purchase of software and tools will not be enough for the business to fully exploit the potential offered by this methodology. In short, DevOps is not an individual aptitude, nor a software solution. It is not a fad either. It is a philosophy that allows companies to automate their processes and do more collaborative work to achieve a common goal and deliver the software faster. 

MYTH 7: It is exclusive to native internet companies

It is true that companies such as Netflix, Flickr, and Etsy, whose operations are based on the internet, are some of the pioneers of what is recognized as the DevOps movement. However, corporations have been applying principles similar to DevOps to deliver software for years, possibly decades and its application isn’t limited to native internet companies. 

An office setup with a man using a computer.

MYTH 8:  There is no DevOps without the cloud

DevOps responds to the possibilities offered by cloud computing and helps companies find ways to breach the obstacles that occur as a result. However, computing in the cloud is not a requirement for DevOps. Organizations can establish efficient processes to obtain and manage computing resources regardless of whether they are hosted in the cloud.