Completing the circle with DevOps?

In my previous post I reviewed the book -“The Phoenix Project”. See It describes the many good features of the DevOps movement. This movement has now become a full-fledged industry. I see a lot of commercials explaining why I should use this or that DevOps site. “Running your own tool chain has so many hidden costs that it really cannot compete.”

It seems that more and more steps are needed in order to do the perfect release(s). And the argument becomes “leave it to the pro’s and focus on what you do best!”

I think back on the “old days” where Borland first, then Microsoft – took all the processes – compiling object files (C and assembly language), linking, locating etc – and put them into creating a single “exe” file on the PC. It was all done in a nice GUI like Visual Studio. As time went by, Microsoft added debugger, intellisense, code-coverage…and the list goes on. At some point in time, the Open Source movement gained traction with 100% configurable, commandline-based tools. We “got out of the Microsoft trap” and became masters in our own house. Some enjoyed the new freedom, while others longed back to a simpler life.

And now we are moving more and more of the development process to cloud sites where (other) professionals are maintaining the long tool-chain for us. To get a better overview we have nice UIs with graphs, and simple control via button-clicks.

Does it ring a bell?

Is command-line tools after all an exhausting exercise? Do we need some vendor to aggregate the stuff in nice UIs? Or are we piling up too many steps and thus losing our overview unless we get help?

I do appreciate the benefits of the cloud, the help on the tool-chain etc. – but I also feel that we are becoming less masters in our own houses again. DO we need and understand all these steps – and what happened to the open-source stuff? Is it reduced to free wheels & cogs in corporate machines? Or is it still the important boxes – in-between the corporate UI glue – that assures us that we can move to another vendor if we want to?