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DevOps began somewhere around 2007 to 2008. But at Puppet, we started our DevOps research back when few people had even heard the term. Since launching our first DevOps survey, we’ve learned a lot about the power of DevOps to transform organizations from the almost-40,000 people who’ve answered our survey questions (thank you!).
In this resource, we recap the essential history of DevOps through the years through our State of DevOps reports.
The latest DevOps report is the 2023 State of DevOps Report for Platform Engineering
Access any report from Puppet's State of DevOps reports archive.
The 2021 DevOps Salary Report is intended to help practitioners and hiring managers get a high-level grasp on the latest salary trends in the global DevOps industry.
Key findings from this year’s report include:
Read the free report to find out how your salary compares to your peers by region, role, gender, company revenue, and more.
Get the 2021 Salary Report
Download the report to learn:
Get the 2021 Report
This year, we also looked at how salaries vary according to a company’s level of DevOps practice or evolution. It’s no surprise that survey respondents working at companies with well-developed DevOps practices also report higher salaries. To attract the aforementioned highly skilled, adaptable people who can execute on digital innovation, many companies actively publicize their DevOps values and cultures.
Key findings from this year’s DevOps Salary Report include:
Access the 2020 Salary Report
Access the 2020 Report
On some level, we all know that integrating security into the software delivery lifecycle is important. But does it improve business outcomes? And how do successful organizations fully integrate security?
Thanks to the nearly 3,000 people who took the 2019 State of DevOps survey, we have answers.
In the 2019 State of DevOps Report, you’ll learn:
Access the 2019 Report
Thanks to Michael Stahnke of CircleCI and Andi Mann of Splunk for authoring the report with us, and to Anitian, F5 and ServiceNow for sponsoring it.
The State of DevOps Report is the longest standing, most widely referenced and largest body of DevOps research on the planet.
The 2018 report provides prescriptive guidance to help you get to the next stage in your evolution, no matter where you’re at today. We’ve analyzed responses from over 3,000 technical professionals from around the world to reveal the five stages of DevOps evolution. We already know why DevOps matters. The 2018 State of DevOps Report provides the “how” to help you get started or unstuck, and scale DevOps success across your business.
In the 2018 State of DevOps Report, you’ll learn:
Access the 2018 Report
Thanks to Andi Mann from Splunk for authoring the 2018 State of DevOps Report with us, and to AWS, Cloudability, Cognizant, CyberArk, Diaxion, Eficode and Splunk for sponsoring it.
Over the past six years and more than 27,000 State of DevOps survey responses, we’ve found clear evidence that DevOps practices yield remarkable results for IT teams and organizations.
This year we also discovered new findings about transformational leadership, automation practices, continuous delivery, lean product management, and DevOps in not-for-profits and organizations that use off-the-shelf software.
Here are a few things you’ll learn in this year’s report:
Access the 2017 Report
Thank you to the 2017 State of DevOps Report authors Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Alanna Brown and Nigel Kersten and sponsors Amazon Web Services, Atlassian, Deloitte, Electric Cloud, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Splunk, and Wavefront.
Over the last five years, we’ve surveyed more than 25,000 technical professionals worldwide to better understand how DevOps practices impact IT and organizational performance.
We’ve looked closely at lean management practices, application architecture, the role of IT managers in a DevOps transformation, diversity, deployment pain and burnout.
And we’ve confirmed that there’s a lot more to IT performance than technical practices; organizations need to invest just as much in their people as they do in their technology.
This year, we look at the role of experimentation, how to integrate security into DevOps, the ROI of DevOps and more.
High-performing organizations decisively outperform their lower-performing peers. They deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, recover 24 times faster, and have three times lower change failure rates.
High performers have better employee loyalty, as measured by employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).
High-performing organizations spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework. They are able to spend 29 percent more time on new work, such as new features or code.
Taking an experimental approach to product development can improve performance.
Undertaking a technology transformation initiative can produce sizeable returns for any organization.Using key metrics, we’ve provided formulas to help you quantify potential cost savings.
Access the 2016 Report
Embrace DevOps, or get left behind.
Over the past four years, the Puppet Labs State of DevOps Report has shed more light on DevOps, IT performance and organizational performance than any other research of its kind — based on responses from over 20,000 tech professionals worldwide.
Findings from the 2015 State of DevOps Report:
Access the 2015 Report
The third annual DevOps survey by Puppet Labs, IT Revolution Press and ThoughtWorks garnered more than 9,200 responses from technical professionals around the world, making this the largest and most comprehensive DevOps survey to date.
Access the 2014 Report
Access the 2013 Report
by Nigel Kersten
2021 marked the 10-year anniversary of our industry-defining State of DevOps research. You’d think after 10 years that there wouldn’t be much more to say about DevOps, but practices and technologies continue to evolve, the best keep getting better, and we keep unearthing new topics to research.
We’ve been lucky to collaborate with some of the best thinkers in the DevOps space. When we started this project in 2011, there were no vendors doing independent, vendor-agnostic research of this magnitude. Alanna Brown deserves all of the credit for the idea of creating a survey and report to investigate the state and actual impact of this burgeoning movement, and this space wouldn’t be the same without her advocacy and insight. Apart from myself, she also enlisted the incredibly prolific and erudite James Turnbull, a critical contributor to the early days of Puppet.
In 2012, we reached out to Gene Kim who had been a supporter and friend of Puppet since the early days. We knew he was about to publish his groundbreaking novel on IT and DevOps, The Phoenix Project, and couldn’t think of a better person to collaborate with. Gene brought in Jez Humble, the guy who literally wrote the book on Continuous Delivery in 2010 (2010!). Over 4,000 technical professionals completed our 2012 survey — an unheard of response rate for any IT survey at the time. We launched our first State of DevOps report together in 2013 and the appetite for the data blew us away.
In 2013 we had a chance encounter at LISA (Large Installation System Administration Conference) with an academic researcher who specialized in IT impacts. Dr. Nicole Forsgren joined our scrappy little team and took the research to another level. We produced the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 State of DevOps reports together.
By that time, Nicole, Jez and Gene had formed DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) and wrote Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations based on these reports and other research. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to modernize their technical environment.
We broke new ground once again in the 2018 State of DevOps Report, bringing on Michael Stahnke and Andi Mann from Splunk as authors, with a focus on providing pragmatic and prescriptive guidance for organizations seeking to evolve their DevOps practice. We developed the DevOps evolution model that shows the sequencing of key practices across five stages as a common adoption pattern for scaling DevOps across an organization. The model is far from perfect, and there’s a lot that isn’t included in it, but it matches our experience working with large enterprises working out how to modernize their large and complex IT environments.
In 2019, we examined how organizations are integrating security into the software delivery lifecycle and in 2020, we focused on two themes: applying DevOps practices to change management and adopting a platform approach to software delivery.
DevOps is a living thing — a set of practices and cultural values that continues to develop and evolve as people try new things and learn. Our annual survey probes different aspects of DevOps, and the results allow us to provide insights and recommendations for people who want to change how their organizations work.
Over the years, it’s become clear through our research that certain things about DevOps are as true today as they were in the early days of the movement. DevOps still gives organizations a serious competitive advantage. Automation, collaboration and sharing are as important as ever. And the organizations doing DevOps well don’t have to make a trade-off between moving fast and keeping things stable and secure.
One of the best things about data is learning things you didn’t expect. Here are a few of the findings that surprised us over the years.
High-performing teams are able to release software much more frequently than low performers, due to automation and more collaborative, less bureaucratic ways of working.
At the same time, high performers enjoy greater system stability. They treat infrastructure as code and design it as part of their software development process.
Organizations that started earlier are the most advanced. They’ve had time to iterate, learn, refine, take on new technologies and techniques, and continue to learn and advance.
It should be obvious that everything listed above gives organizations a competitive edge. But it’s also clear when you look at the organizations that were early adopters of DevOps practices and principles — Google, Netflix, Amazon and others that continue to adapt, change and succeed over the years. In many cases, these companies dominate their industries.
The ability to share knowledge between teams, learn from each other and continuously improve is key to succeeding with DevOps — and to succeeding in business.
Automation eliminates errors, facilitates collaboration and frees everyone’s time to contribute value at a higher level. It also builds on itself: As an organization automates more, it gets better at it, and looks for opportunities to automate across the entire enterprise, not just in engineering.
Organizations that lag in automation are getting left behind by competitors, and by customers who expect their needs to be met quickly — and correctly.
Executives are usually too far away from the actual work of technology teams (and other teams) to feel and understand the pain of doing things manually, or of working with old architectures and tools in a fast-changing world.
Their distance is often exacerbated by a low-trust culture where people are afraid to bring bad news or complaints to the boss.
In 2015, we discovered that while high performers reported deploying about as frequently as in 2014, they reported significantly better systems stability. This indicates that DevOps practices and culture support continuous improvement and make for highly adaptive, resilient organizations.
Our research shows that continuous delivery can be equally well applied to any type of system — whether a system of engagement or a system of record, packaged or custom, legacy or greenfield. The only thing that matters is architecting correctly for continuous delivery.
DevOps initiatives launched solely by C-level executives, or that are largely the work of practitioners, are less likely to succeed. Successful DevOps initiatives eventually win full buy-in from both executives and practitioners. This shouldn’t be surprising: Collaboration and cooperation are fundamental values of DevOps.
Our first indication of this came in 2017, when we discovered that medium-performing organizations were actually doing more manual work than lower performers. We weren’t surprised that medium performers did more manual work than high performers, but coupled with our first observation, it was something to remark on.
In 2019 we learned that frustration is highest in organizations that are at the middle stages of integrating security into the software development cycle. This finding solidified our understanding that in any evolution, the beginning is promising, there’s competence and satisfaction in the latter stages, but the middle can be really painful. That’s because once an organization has been through the early changes, it must dig deeply to uproot and revise old practices and processes that stand in the way of further progress.
We were surprised a few years ago to see many companies creating specialized DevOps teams and DevOps roles. We wondered if these new teams would simply become another silo. Because the tendency to identify DevOps as a role and specialty has continued and increased, we surmise that the term functions as a shorthand that gives organizations permission — and funding — to move forward with DevOps.
By Caitlyn O'Connell
For the second year in a row, we have published a pandemic-era DevOps Salary Report. It’s no surprise that the pandemic catapulted every type of company into a digital transformation frenzy. We have done our best to distinguish between temporary shifts and long-term trends dictated by a newly hyper-digital world.
In 2021, we are grappling not only with the reality of the pandemic, but with the Great Resignation – at least in the U.S. One of our key findings in the report is the rise in DevOps salaries worldwide, which may reflect efforts to attract and retain talent in a competitive job market as 48 million people voluntarily left their jobs.
However, we were surprised to note that the U.S.’s stronghold on high compensation rates may be changing, as other countries catch up and the level of U.S. salaries slowly creeps downward. We will be keeping our eye on this in years to come in order to assess whether this is indeed a long-term trend or simply a side effect of the global workforce’s unprecedented situation.
We were also intrigued to note that the gender pay gap appears to be closing among the higher income brackets, with more women in DevOps entering the highest income brackets across roles, industries, and regions. We are optimistic that this trend will continue, and that we will see the gender pay gap narrow further.
It’s our hope that equipping DevOps practitioners and managers with the data in this report will empower you to move up the rungs of the DevOps salary ladder. In the report, we share many more fascinating insights, including:
You’ll discover how your location impacts your salary, and whether the DevOps practices at your company matter to your paycheck.
Check out the research and find out where your salary ranks compared to your peers.
Get the Salary Report
By Alanna Brown
Every year, we try to bring a new perspective to the DevOps conversation based on what we’re observing in the field, backed by data and statistical analysis. For the past two years, we sought to understand what it takes to scale DevOps practices across an organization.
We’ve analyzed numerous technical practices, from the obvious suspects — like infrastructure automation and CI/CD — to practices that involve teams adjacent to dev and ops, such as security. As we’ve learned from the past decade of DevOps, technical practices are important, but practices that are isolated to a few teams simply aren’t enough to help organizations achieve widespread DevOps success.
This year we decided to examine the structural issues that are holding organizations back, as well as new approaches to achieving DevOps agility that allow you to maintain careful governance. One major structural change we're seeing more often is the shift to internal platform teams. Unlike DevOps teams or product teams, which are responsible for the end-to-end delivery of their product, internal platform teams are responsible for providing a platform that provides the infrastructure, environments, deployment pipelines and other internal services that enable internal customers — usually application development teams — to build, deploy and run their applications.
The platform model can make application teams more efficient by allowing them to focus on their core competency of building and delivering products. It can improve governance and cost efficiency by providing a standardized toolset that is well understood and proven to work for the majority of use cases. It can provide a balance between standardization and team autonomy.
We found that use of internal platforms is higher than we thought. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they had at least one self-service internal platform. Of those who had internal platforms, 60 percent had between two and four. Almost a third of those with internal platforms had 26 to 50 percent of their developers using a platform.
We found a strong relationship between DevOps evolution and the use of internal platforms. Highly evolved firms are almost twice as likely as mid-level organizations to report high usage of internal platforms, and are six times more likely to report high usage than low-level organizations. Are you trying to justify an internal platform team and want to understand the ROI benefits? Be sure to check out the case study written by my co-author, Michael Stahnke, VP of Platform at CircleCI, on how they measure the ROI of their platform. You’ll find it in the chapter on internal platforms in this year’s State of DevOps Report.
If your company is not yet moving towards a platform approach, and it looks like too large a leap to make right now, don’t despair. You can still speed software delivery significantly by addressing change management process in your company. Our analysis revealed four different approaches to change management based on approval processes (orthodox versus adaptive), automated testing and deployment, and advanced risk mitigation techniques. The four approaches are:
Each of these approaches have different levels of change management effectiveness and performance outcomes. We found that change management effectiveness increases as organizations evolve their DevOps practices. Highly evolved firms are nearly three times as likely to have highly effective change management as firms at a low level of DevOps evolution.
The most effective change management is achieved by firms that emphasize:
Based on our survey data and analysis, we show you what does and doesn’t work, and how you can employ DevOps principles to transform change management into an effective and enabling process. These are the main things you’ll find in our State of DevOps Report this year. But there’s more — some new information on security integration, and interesting stories and examples from leaders in software delivery and systems thinking.
Jump to 2020 report >>
Go behind the scenes of the State of DevOps Report. Nigel Kersten and Michael Stahnke dive deep into the data that drives the narrative of the report and take us on a journey dissecting numerous conversations with IT DevOps practitioners and decision makers alike in this episode.
When we started the State of DevOps Report, the landscape looked very different than it does today. The organizations we were working with were struggling with deployments, the functional boundary where Dev and Ops painfully collide. The pressure to deploy faster and more frequently was a big driver behind DevOps.
As more organizations started adopting DevOps and practices became codified and broadly shared, we saw the low performers start to catch up with the high performers when it came to deployment frequency; a good sign that this was a solved problem. But of course, deploying faster and more frequently doesn’t necessarily mean you’re deploying better. And on the flip side, many organizations we work with today actually can deploy much faster and more frequently than the business allows.
Last year, we broke new ground with our report by focusing on the DevOps journey itself. We wanted to answer two burning questions that we kept getting asked over and over again: “How do we get started with DevOps?” and “How do we expand our pockets of success?” From those core questions — and a lot of statistical analysis — emerged the DevOps Evolutionary model (or simply, the DevOps Model, as it’s more commonly known). The model deepened our understanding of how organizations adopt and scale DevOps practices. From there, we set out to provide prescriptive and pragmatic guidance, based on the real-world experience of our authors (both in the trenches and from working directly with IT organizations), to help organizations evolve on their journey.
In the 2018 State of DevOps Report, our analysis revealed five stages of DevOps evolution and the critical practices at each stage that help you achieve success and progress to the next phase of your journey. The first two stages of that journey are normalizing the technology stack and standardizing and reducing variability. Normalization is about getting your arms around the chaos and understanding what you have so you can eliminate the one-offs that create management complexity. Standardization is about placing bets on the technologies you’ll use in the future.
Nigel and I have been meeting with and conducting DevOps Workshops with very large, very complicated enterprises and the majority of them are stuck somewhere in between Stage 1 and Stage 2. Standardization is always a sticky topic because everyone recognizes the value of standardization, but often, no one person in the organization really has the power to enforce the standards. And then there are always those pesky dev teams that want to use their own special stack. We advise starting small with the tools and platforms within your direct purview before attempting to standardize your entire software delivery toolchain across hundreds of teams.
To help you do that, we’re offering a new resource to help rationalize and standardize your toolkit. It’s a simple spreadsheet that lists key capabilities so you can see where there are overlaps between the tools you’re using today.
You can access the spreadsheet and then either make a copy of the Google sheet (File < Make a copy) or download it into a Microsoft Excel file (File > Download as). Then it’s all yours to fill in the tools you use, mark what their capabilities are, and note the overlaps where there may be opportunity for standardization.
A lot of our customers have found this to be useful so we wanted to make it available to everyone. This one happens to focus on infrastructure automation, but we plan to build out more resources in the future and would love to hear your ideas on what would be most useful. Feel free to email us with your ideas!
Jump to 2018 report >>
Every year, we look at IT performance to see how high-performing organizations compare to the rest of our sample population. This year, we found that high performers are accelerating away from the pack in terms of throughput. They deploy 200 times more frequently, which means deploying multiple times per day on demand, versus just a few times per year. High performers also have 2,555 times faster lead times, which means they can deploy a change in less than one hour compared to once every few months. We found that the high performers also continue to maintain high levels of stability — they have a three times lower change failure rate and recover from failures 24 times faster.
Throughput and stability matter, because when you’re able to deploy more frequently, you can experiment more and deliver value to customers faster. Instead of having one or two chances per year to get it right, you have multiple opportunities to validate your ideas, gather customer feedback, learn, and improve. By speeding up your delivery, you can increase your rate of learning.
Speed without stability causes other problems, though: Websites and other services break, disappointing customers, suppliers and fellow employees. However, as we’ve shown year after year, moving faster doesn’t have to come at the expense of stability, reliability, security, or quality. In fact, DevOps practices — for example, version control for all production artifacts, deployment automation, and automated testing — actually predict IT performance, which in turn predicts organizational performance.
By segmenting survey responses according to whether respondents' organizations are high, medium or low performers, we've been able to compare these groups across different dimensions to see whether their attitudes, behaviors, and practices are substantially different from each other. For example, we wondered if high performers had higher employee engagement, and learned that yes, they were 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organization to a friend as a great place to work, compared to low performers. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team, and those who do feel their teams are winning tend to be more engaged and loyal. Other studies have shown that employee engagement correlates with better business outcomes, such as higher customer engagement, revenue growth, and stock market performance.
A big focus of this year’s report was looking at the entire product development lifecycle, starting with the initial product or feature idea, and extending all the way to the customer, where that idea can deliver value. We found that when product teams take a lean-manufacturing approach to product design and delivery — decomposing features into small batches, making the flow of work visible throughout the delivery process, and using customer feedback to inform product design — both IT performance and organizational culture improve.
Another key idea that DevOps borrows from the lean movement is “shifting left,” or identifying and fixing defects early on, rather than inspecting quality at the end. By shifting quality to the left, you’re able to detect problems earlier when it’s much cheaper and easier to fix them. This in turn leads to less unplanned work and rework later on. We found that high performers spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework than low performers, and as a result, they’re able to spend 29 percent more of their time on new, value-adding work. That's a great investment of team time.
Quality isn’t the only thing shifting left. DevSecOps, rugged DevOps, or whatever you want to call it, is all about integrating security early and often throughout the software development lifecycle. That means treating security concerns as a design constraint, getting continuous feedback from the security team, and building security requirements into the automated testing suite. We found that high performers spend 50 percent less time remediating security issues than low performers, because they integrate security testing and controls into the daily work of development, QA, and operations.
Jump to 2016 report >>
The Puppet team is proud to bring you insights on the ever-changing history of DevOps each year. But the best way to succeed with DevOps is to get started with Puppet Enterprise.