DevOps Dilemma: Too much ops?

How does a DevOp balance the need to preserve programmer skills with the operational needs of the business?

For the last several months I have been working on the expansion of data center infrastructure. It has posed some interesting challenges not least of which were the design, deployment and testing of a fault-tolerant network backbone and the implementation of least privilege on service user accounts.

The major projects of this level of challenge seemed to have dried up and a great amount of the work revolves around change management of granting access and configuration issues around QA and dev access to the environment. It is no longer a mix of development and operations, but much more just operations and capacity planning which involve no programming. Worse still, when I suggest a scripted solution to a problem I am faced with the predictable answer of seeking COTS solutions. If you can use COTS solutions to solve your problems, then you need an analyst or an operator, but not a DevOp.

Could this be an important consideration for employers and job-seekers for DevOps? An employer seeking DevOps should probably make very certain that the job has a continual development aspect or they are seriously risking losing the person and getting a bad reputation for bait and switch. The job-seeker has to remain skeptical of DevOps offerings and ask very direct question in interviews about the ongoing need for development in the role.

My current dilemma is that I know the business needs someone to do what I am doing, They also need someone who will do it as diligently as I have been. However, I personally and professionally need to be programming to get the most value out of my job. It is demoralizing to work in a role that you haven't been trained for, that you aren't interested in and that is in constant conflict with other teams due to resource constraints.

I can see the appeal of operations, but it's not for me. The longer I persist in a role without programming, the more I feel my choice is change teams or change employers. I sincerely hope I can change teams since I really like the company I work for and the people I work with.