Last week, Mike Loukides took a stab at defining DevOps over at O’Reilly. Until recently, I thought DevOps was just another buzzword, but I’ve changed my tune. The growing complexity of application infrastructure is the key factor in the transition of ops people into developers of another kind. Here’s Loukides:

Operations doesn’t go away, it becomes part of the development. And rather than envision some sort of uber developer, who understands big data, web performance optimization, application middleware, and fault tolerance in a massively distributed environment, we need operations specialists on the development teams. The infrastructure doesn’t go away — it moves into the code; and the people responsible for the infrastructure, the system administrators and corporate IT groups, evolve so that they can write the code that maintains the infrastructure. Rather than being isolated, they need to cooperate and collaborate with the developers who create the applications. This is the movement informally known as “DevOps.”

If you’re a Web developer or especially if you’re working on the operations side of the industry, understanding this trend and its implications is key to the future of your career. Even if this isn’t how things work at your current company, it probably will be at your next. Loukides’ article is a good place to start.