I don't think a blanket
correct answer to this question exists.
Some argue that such questions
are simply not a good fit for Q&A sites. That'd be a blanket statement. The very existence of Software Recommendations proves they can be a good fit for a Q&A site and, more importantly, even by StackExchange standards.
Ok, so what makes a software recommendation question on-topic or off-topic on a particular SE site?
- on SO all such questions are off topic
- on Software Recommendations there are pretty clear guidelines for both questions and answers
- on DevOps - still TBD presently
And even if the context of the recommendation question is very specific and well defined, making it a good fit for Software Recommendations it still doesn't necessarily mean it should be off-topic here. If it's DevOps related it should IMHO be on-topic on DevOps - after all one of the reasons for DevOps is to be a one-stop shop for all DevOps-related Q&As, see Isn't duplicate of server fault? And maybe http://meta.devops.stackexchange.com/questions/3/should-we-start-moving-on-topic-questions-from-so-and-serverfault-to-here
Looking at it from a different prospective: to have some decent odds of getting quality and timely DevOps-related software/tool recommendations a lot of DevOps experts would have to also be fairly active on Software Recommendations. Meaning less time spent on the DevOps site itself :)
Finally, the most important category of software recommendations questions I'd like to see on-topic on this site are the not-so-well-defined context ones which wouldn't make it on Software Recommendations or some other SE site:
- DevOps related
- maybe with connections to other posts covering in one way or the other the specific aspect for which the request for the recommendation is made
- even if not particularly tied to a specific application context (OS/language/framework/etc) - they can still be valuable for reference from wider scope questions (culture/guidelines/process/etc) which I believe we'll see on this site
Also I think we shouldn't necessarily expect a
correct answer from these questions. Or non-opinionated answers. Just like on Software Recommendations the answers will be opinionated and it's perfectly OK to not have an accepted one.
Assuming in the end software recommendations won't get banned on this site additional meta questions would take care of the actual guidelines of declaring them on/of-topic.