All these years there have been some gaps in the software development lifecycle. Code delivery was inconsistent, there were too many complexities involved and there was no accountability when the code was applied in varied environments. As a result, the code that reached testers was not the same that was used in production instances. Manual handling of the code introduced complexities and inconsistencies, and some times even errors.
Enter DevOps. When DevOps became a reality it took care of problems related to developers creating code without the abilities to understand the operations and development aspects at play.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a set of processes, and more importantly practices, that bring development and operations teams together in the software development lifecycle. Organizations are able to create and improve products at a faster pace than they can with traditional software development approaches. In a DevOps environment, the entire team bears the onus of delivering quality code and applications that are stable and have new features. Instead of simply creating code and turning it over to the operations team for production, responsibilities are balanced to ensure that both teams have visibility into application performance.
What does a DevOps developer do?
The DevOps engineer won’t just begin an automated build. He will become a part of the entire development lifecycle and will ensure that the code reaches its destination with the right design intact. DevOps engineers also focus on automation and avoid manual processes as much as possible. The most important role of a DevOps engineer is to ensure continuous integration/ continuous delivery during the development lifecycle, which allows for the same version of a code to be delivered to any environment. This eliminated the need for one set of code to go for testing while another is sent to production environment.
Typically a DevOps engineer has a solid understanding of application frameworks and design required to automate and build the chain of events involved in building and deploying instances of the application.
With a single team composed of cross-functional members all working in collaboration, business that incorporate DevOps organizations get more done. There are several benefits.
Shorter Development Cycles
When development and operations teams work in silos, there is no clarity on whether the application is ready for deployment, which results in unnecessarily long operations cycles. DevOps allows them to work in tandem so that applications can be produced and deployed far more quickly, and reach market ahead of competition.
With integrated operations and development team, applications can be developed and deployed much more rapidly, allowing you to innovate faster than your competition. DevOps engineers can take advantage of real-time performance data to see the impact of application changes faster and also fix any software issues in less time because they only need to check the latest code changes for errors.
Reduced Deployment Failures
A key reason behind deployment failures is defects that occur during programming. In a DevOps environment the development cycles are shorter which means more frequent code releases that helps in easier detection of code defects. Development teams can reduce the number of deployment failures using agile methodologies which require collaboration and modular programming.
DevOps has often been described as a culture because it improves overall software development practices. Teams work in collaboration and the focus is on performance rather than individual goals, and on getting the product to market or into production. When the teams trust each other, they can experiment and innovate more. With the development process becoming seamless, no one team is waiting on the other for deliverables to be completed.
The industry is implementing DevOps quite fast. Organizations are eager to take advantage of faster application delivery, enhanced innovation, more stable operating environments, and performance-focused employee teams. However, remember that adopting DevOps is not a simple process. But when done right the investment will pay dividends far beyond the initial effort. A DevOps culture could be just the shift you need to gain a competitive advantage.