DevOps is a complementary methodology to agile software development. It showcases the combination of IT development and business operations. Some refer to DevOps as a culture, because it is not a specific concept, but more a collaboration between the IT and operational department. DevOps reinforce the working relationship between programmers and business people, in order to achieve the common objective.
Rather than seeing developers and operations as two silo departments responsible for their specific tasks, the DevOps methodology enhances the collaboration between the two groups. The DevOps environment promotes cross-functionality, shared responsibilities, and trust. Furthermore, it establishes communication and cohesion between the development and IT operations. Therefore, it enforces participation of the development and operational teams throughout the entire development life-cycle.
What is DevOps:
“Dev” stands for developers, but also for all the people involved in product development, like Product Owners, QA, system analysts etc. “Ops” stands for staff that deals with the product after its production, operational staff, like: network engineers, security professionals, system admins… DevOps is not a team, but an entire organization.
There is a distinction between the core roles in the two departments. Developers often lack understanding of business processes. Also, only a few operations experts have engineering skills to explore and transfer their ideas. The DevOps culture requires technical awareness, as a skill in demand in the years to come.
Devs & Ops:
Nowadays, the two departments go beyond the traditional organizational structure. The business model changes dramatically and there is a great “need for speed”. DevOps is actually an extended version of Agile development. It goes beyond the “code” – to the entire production/delivery service. Given that, it eliminates the boundaries between operational staff and development teams. It enhances cross-functional activities and promotes communication between the two departments. The main focus is to think about “what the customers’ needs”.
DevOps practice automated organizations and make them move faster. The goal is to perform very frequent, but small, incremental updates, so that the development process is less risky. Moreover, correcting errors and bugs goes faster. On the whole, the product is closer to customer needs, through the entire development process. These small pieces are steps that bring the product towards the overall goal.
The focus of the DevOps culture is to put the focus on creating of a fast and stable workflow. This culture enforces deploying features quickly, detecting and correcting software problems in continuum, as they occur.
DevOps isn’t based on stringent methodologies and processes. On the contrary, it is based on professional principles that help business units collaborate inside the enterprise. DevOps break down the traditional silos. The guiding principles of DevOps include culture, measurement, automation and sharing.
DevOps will be in great demand in the years to come. These professionals need a wide range of skills in order to be successful in the IT environment. Here are some universal set of skills successful DevOps possess:
Automation & Continuous Integration skills
DevOps frequently work with automation and integration tools in order to keep the pace with continuous application delivery. Here are some some useful tools for that matter: GitHub, GitLab, Jenkins, Bamboo, Codeship, Docker etc.
DevOps have great hardware and software skills, so they know how to build, deploy and operate software. They understand databases, configuration and networking, in order to recognize system changes and updates, if needed.
DevOps need interpersonal, communication and listening skills, in order to facilitate the relationships between the operational and IT department. Furthermore, they are powerful leaders, who talk with arguments and know how to negotiate.
Successful DevOps understand complex problems and resolve them with their problem solving skills. They recognize bugs and monitor results constantly, so they can bring data-driven decisions and support them with numbers.
Here are some benefits the DevOps culture brings to the agile business organization:
- Shorter development life-cycle: DevOps promote speed and agility in software development. That results with fast development and shorter life-cycles.
- Early error detection. Since DevOps enforce iterative development, error are noticed early. No major changes occur and there is constant monitoring of the process.
- Enhanced communication. Iterative development requires communication and constant collaboration between the two departments.
- Improved performance. Goals are clearly defined and incremental steps towards achieving it.
- Reduced human error. Business processes are automated, which reduces human error.
- Increased customer satisfaction. All the agility mentioned before, results with greater customer satisfaction.
Related article: Leverage the power of IT to achieve your business objectives