We've all been hearing a lot of chatter in the media, in tech-geek circles and everywhere else you go in your daily life about Bitcoin. There was a really interesting OpEd piece in the NY Times yesterday from Marc Andreessen entitled Why Bitcoin Matters that essentially anoints Bitcoin as the greatest invention since the wheel. If you still are not clear as to what Bitcoin is, I would highly suggest watching this video that does an effective job of describing it. So if Bitcoin is the greatest invention of all time, why is it so hard for everyone to understand it, why does it have different definitions depending on who is talking, and why in the hell don't I own any?!
This got me to thinking.... which is a more polarizing concept: Bitcoin or DevOps? Both have quite a few similarities if you step back and consider it:
- Both Bitcoin and DevOps say exactly what they say they are. Bitcoin is a digital ("bit") currency ("coin") for the internet age and DevOps is the marriage of application development ("dev") and IT operations ("ops") for the internet age. No need to get fancy.
- Both Bitcoin and DevOps are decentralized. No one owns or controls the Bitcoin network. It has a peer-to-peer structure, with hundreds of computers all over the Internet working together to process Bitcoin transactions. The same could be said of DevOps in an esoteric sense. The father of DevOps, Patrick Debois, may have sparked the conversation a few years back, but this is a movement that is organic and owned by anyone who wants to change the world.
- Both are confusing. Bitcoin is based on 'imaginary currency' worth $824 USD/1 bitcoin as of 2/23/14. WTF!? And don't even get me started on DevOps - is it a movement, a philosophy, a toolset, a breath mint? I'm confusing myself just thinking about it. <wink>
- Both have massive potential. Bitcoin has the potential for new innovations once thought impossible, plus can be a powerful force to bring a much larger number of people around the world into the modern economic system. DevOps has the potential to help businesses move faster than they ever have before to enable responsiveness to changing market conditions while transforming the cultural aspects of running a modern IT enterprise.
What do you think? If you had to vote, which is the more polarizing concept? And do you have any other similarities or differences that you'd care to share? Comments welcomed!