What is DevOps?


DevOps has been making waves in organisations across the world, both big and small, since its inception in 2009. Now, in 2016 it is a driving force in creating the change that IT practices must achieve to stay competitive.

What is DevOps?

DevOps aims at breaking the silos that isolate people in different roles, creating barriers within the software delivery process. It helps to create visibility across both Development and Operations (Dev & Op) teams on the status of the application, the state of the builds, the status of tests and the state of the environments where the application will be deployed or is running. And the result, faster and more reliable software releases.

At its core we have a solid and defiant mass of cultural change. The surrounding mantel consists of rapid and continuous communication and feedback, combined with the technical implementation and know-how. In theory, this comes together to form a bridge across IT teams, aiding communication and collaboration.

The success of DevOps is measured by rapid feedback mechanisms between developers, testers, management and infrastructure. Fast delivery to different IT teams and the end user; and open integration, visibility and communication across every facet of development, testing, delivery and leadership. Often the means of achieving this success will involve incrementally adding automation and breaking cultural barriers between how different groups like to operate.

Why should you invest in DevOps?

At QA Consulting, we have identified a four key benefits of taking the plunge and getting your company fully invested in a DevOps practice.

Time savings 

Even the most basic automation brings value to the business, as through reliable and repeatable automation you can quickly turn around new business requirements and react in a very fluid working environment.

Cost savings 

Automation can cut certain resources. For example, one of our customers switched to a virtually fully automated deploy process. The results that followed enabled them to save £376,000 a year, reduced the implementation team from eight to three, and deployment times from 3 hours to 15 minutes.

Maintenance Savings

Long running projects tend to accumulate technical debt. This is typically some sort of manual work around or part of the process which is particularly painful or sloppy to repeat. DevOps tends to drill into these pain points, pull the relevant people together and take action. In essence projects should take far less time to complete as technical debt is a thing of the past.

Empowered Engineers

People in DevOps have to pass on their skills within the technology stack. This helps create ‘T-shaped’ people. People who have their own specialisations, but enough proficiency with the surrounding mechanisms that if the team lead is away for a few days it is still 'business as usual'.

To summarise, we can simply break DevOps down into three points, people, process and technology. Firstly, it is about working with the people involved (there are no lone wolves in the team). Secondly, analysing what they do and how they do it. And third and finally, using the technology to continuously improve it. Implementing DevOps into your organisation is a continuous uphill march, but the rewards are worth it. 

Bottom line is that if you don't invest your competitors will, and then you will be on the back foot wishing you had been there first.

Still struggling to get your head around DevOps? A great source of information surrounding DevOps is Puppet’s own ‘State of DevOps report’, you can access the report here.

Join us next time when we delve into the State of DevOps report and highlighting some key areas that you can’t afford to miss.

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