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Simon Foster
Simon Foster

Posted on • Originally published at on

What is the difference between Development and Operations?

I want to learn Development and eventually move into a development role. But what is the difference between development and what I already do?

Put simply Development or programming is the creation of new programs, websites or databases.

IT Operations or System Administration is the administration of existing servers, websites or databases.

I have been doing System Administration since I started my job back in 2006. What you do as part of this role can be very simple like setting up new users or computers to something very complex like upgrading the version of Exchange that the company uses for its emails.

As part of my role I have done a lot of tasks that could be described as development. I have created databases and built new database structures like tables, views and stored procedures. I have also assisted the development department with testing, setting up visual studio, building websites and databases from code.

Can I describe myself as a developer? I would say yes, I have done plenty of work that is development work.

Can I get a job as a developer? Possibly but it would depend on the role. I have many of the skills that developers use, but I have limited knowledge in many areas. What I need to do is concentrate my efforts onto the development work I do and delegate as much administration work as I can so my knowledge can increase.

A Buzz word in IT at the moment is DevOps. I have lost count of the number of times .NetRocks or RunAsRadio have mentioned it.

DevOps is the integration of IT Development and Operations, it emphasises the need for the two departments to work closely together to achieve common goals. In big companies the two departments can pull against each other if you are not careful, but in my case as I do both roles, it would be very difficult for the development side of myself to blame the operations side of myself for a problem.

This I think puts me in a good position, I just need to learn more development and I will make a valuable addition to someone’s development team.

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