How WordPress Mirrors DevOps

When WordPress was first released back in 2003, it was considered blogging software, something you ditch Blogger for so that you can design your own header graphic or self-host a blog on your own domain name without having to be a code whiz. At least that’s why I first started using it back in 2004.

But code whizzes and others apparently liked its solid, flexible underpinnings because pretty soon news agencies like The New York Times and CNN started hosting their blogs on WordPress (full list here). Meanwhile, companies like Spotify and celebrities like Kobe Bryant (disclosure: I’m a huge Lakers fan) are using WordPress as a full-blown CMS.

Even Zenoss uses WordPress for its blog, as does DevOps pioneer Puppet Labs. And in our recent conversation, Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies likened WordPress’s adoption by so many different organizations to the way DevOps increasingly lets developers take ownership of their applications:

With WordPress, you don’t have to ask operations to deploy new content. You’re going to have the content teams directly edit the content on the website and directly manage it there. But you still have an operations team that builds the server that it runs on and manages the firewall, [so that] it all works for the content team.

According to Kanies, this setup lets content and development teams take ownership of the operational aspects of “what they care about most in the world:”

“The operations team are building infrastructures to the point where the applications team can do its work,” Kanies continued. “This separation to me is a really great alignment because it means everybody knows their business.”

And similar to WordPress’s evolution from simple blogging platform to full-blown CMS, Kanies sees this type of alignment taking five-to-ten years to make its way through the market.

Then everyone will agree your applications team needs to be able to own their applications, and the operations team needs to own the platform on which those applications run through.

Next: The importance of automation in the DevOps scheme of things…



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