Devopathy – beware adding dogma to DevOps

Devopathy is a system of alternative DevOps practice created at the top of the DevOps hype cycle by nefarious vendors and consultants, based on their doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that an approach that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy information systems would cure similar symptoms in sick systems.

Devopathy is a pseudoscience – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific. Devopathic approaches are not effective for treating any condition; large-scale studies have found devopathy to be no more effective than a placebo, suggesting that any positive feelings that follow treatment are only due to suggestion and normal recovery.

Devopaths believed the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that they termed miasms, and that devopathic approaches addressed these. The approaches are manufactured using a process of devopathic dilution, in which a chosen good IT practice is repeatedly diluted, each time with a white paper being bashed against an elastic material (commonly a leather-bound Body of Knowledge). Dilution typically continues well past the point where no value of the original practice remains. Devopaths select devopathics by consulting reference books known as repertories, and by ignoring the totality of the system’s symptoms, traits, state, and life history.

Devopathy is not a plausible approach, as its dogmas about how systems and practitioners operate are contradicted by a wide range of research since its invention. Although some clinical trials produce positive results, multiple systematic reviews have indicated that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.

Continued devopathic practice, despite the evidence that it does not work, has been criticized as unethical because it discourages the use of effective treatments. The continued practice of devopathy, despite a lack of evidence of efficacy, has led to it being characterized within the IT community as nonsense, quackery, and a sham.

Summary:

Devopathy

Devopathy is a system of alternative DevOps practice created at the top of the DevOps hype cycle by nefarious vendors and consultants, based on their doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that an approach that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy information systems would cure similar symptoms in sick systems. Devopathy is a pseudoscience – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific. Devopathic approaches are not effective for treating any condition; large-scale studies have found devopathy to be no more effective than a placebo, suggesting that any positive feelings that follow treatment are only due to suggestion and normal recovery.

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Mark Smalley

Mark Smalley

Mark Smalley is a writer, speaker, trainer, consultant and bridge builder at Smalley.IT. Also known as The IT Paradigmologist. He helps people discover where they are and to visualize where they want to be. His main area of interest is the management of IT systems and services. Mark is a contributor to bodies of knowledge such as ASL, BiSL, BRM, COBIT, DevOps, IT4IT, ITIL, VeriSM and XLA. He has spoken at hundreds of events in more than thirty countries.