Kubernetes is the future of DevOps... or is it?

December 11, 2021
I love Kubernetes, but claiming it's the future of DevOps is a category error.

Today I read an opinion that “Kubernetes is the future of DevOps.”

If you’re a long-time reader, you may be able to guess that I would take issue with such a claim. Let me explain why.

  1. DevOps is not about tooling

    Many (perhaps most) companies that use Kubernetes are not doing DevOps. They work in silos. They have slow throughput. They might even use GitFlow 😱!

    So using Kubernetes (or any other tool) is not sufficient to support a claim of DevOps.

  2. DevOps is a culture.

    DevOps is all about cooperation. If your Devs and your Ops (and other groups) are not cooperating, you’re not doing DevOps.

So where does that leave Kubernetes?

I love Kubernetes. I think it’s a great tool. And I do think it’s influence will be growing in the future. But it really has nothing at all to do with DevOps.

Kubernetes is to DevOps as canvas is to art. Nobody would claim that “This new canvas technology is the future of art!”

Maybe some new canvas technology will take over the world, and all who paint on canvas will use that new technology. But there are still countless other artists not painting on canvas, or not painting at all, for whom that technology is irrelevant. Further, even if that new canvas technology never existed, painters would still paint on canvas.

Likewise, many will do DevOps successfully without Kubernetes. And even if Kubernetes never existed, DevOps would continue to grow and succeed.

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