4 Commonly Misunderstood DevOps Terms

How do you define DevOps? Chances are, your definition varies from your coworkers, boss, and even industry experts. While most of the tech community may agree on an underlying meaning (the process of creating a collaborative culture based on communication and information to connect IT and development teams), the specifics of the widespread IT practice leave many confused.


DevOps, despite its fundamental nature to streamline technology and business processes, is complex. Transitioning to a more collaborative, silo-free environment requires new processes, new methods, and occasionally, new teams. It’s no wonder that some DevOps buzzwords can leave even the most tech-savvy befuddled.


Read on to learn the real meaning behind some of the most commonly misunderstood DevOps terms:

Behavior-driven development (BDD)

Not to be confused with its close cousin black box testing, behavior-driven development (BDD) is a software development practice that outlines and designs an application by describing how it should look and feel to an external user or developer.


Continuous deployment

The question is not to be or not to be; instead, it is to continuously develop or deploy? While closely related in language, continuous deployment allows any commit, passed through the automated testing phase, to be automatically released into production deployment. This practice is characteristic of DevOps as it infuses the development and production cycles into a single, streamlined process.



Relatively new to the enterprise technology landscape, microservices is an application architecture method where an application is created as a suite of modular services. Each unit supports a defined business goal, using a simple interface to communicate with other modules. Its container nature allows applications to become self-contained, allowing DevOps teams to smoothly operate containers in enterprise IT.


Test-driven development (TDD)

Test-driven development (TDD) sounds simple enough, right? The process of conducting multiple unit tests on the source code, adjusting after the conclusion of each test, guarantees the unit is operating according to specifications. The constant testing of a small unit of code is often confused with the more generally-accepted practices of software testing.


DevOps strives for simplicity, but some terms can leave even the technology elite mystified. What commonly misunderstood terms have you heard? Share with us in the comments below!

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