Path to Dev Ops 3: Incorporating DevOps Tools & Practices

Welcome to the third blog post of a three-part series on the subject of DevOps!

In the first post, we discussed what DevOps is. (Briefly, it’s short for “development operations” and it brings together development engineers and operations pros to improve teamwork, processes and output throughout the entire lifecycle of a service.)

Our second post covered the benefits and risks of DevOps. (Note: The benefits far outweigh the risks.)

Now, we’ll talk about incorporating DevOps tools and practices for custom software development!

The Three Elements of a Successful DevOps Implementation

Identifying the right DevOps is crucial; planning and implementation are the next steps. In this post, we’ll focus on what’s required to make this transition.

Some DevOps initiatives can take as little as a month, as the intense focus, flexibility and responsiveness can be effective in enabling immediate adoption. And when speed and time-to-market are of the utmost importance for businesses, this might be more of a “need” than a “want.”

Most importantly, your team needs to consider:

    Communication Every member of the team needs to be willing to communicate and know how to do so — both clearly, and in a timely manner. It takes a whole team, working in sync and keeping each other informed, to successfully integrate DevOps tools and practices.
  • Agility Having the right people with the right skills — and the right mindset — is crucial. Everyone has to be willing to change and learn for a transition to go smoothly.
  • Innovation Figuring out how to incorporate DevOps into your company can require creativity. Making sure you can successfully use these tools and practices may require new thinking, processes, and ways of getting work done.

Digital Transformation: Start Small and Choose Carefully

For your first venture into DevOps integration, it’s best to start small. Convincing your team to convert all of their projects into an Agile and DevOps style is unlikely to work well.

We suggest keeping these three things in mind when starting a DevOps transition:

  1. Choose a DevOps tool that can work in the immediate term. (That way, you can iterate later and make continuous improvements.)
  2. Choose your team and management carefully, taking their skills, strengths, and limitations into consideration. Having a cross-functional team is essential.
  3. Clearly define all key processes and goals — and make sure each member of the team understands their responsibilities.

Building an internal DevOps team can be valuable — by learning what other teams are working on and identifying ways to incorporate additional DevOps tools and practices. In addition, ideas like a two-day workshop can be a catalyst for bringing about innovation and culture change.

Common DevOps Roadblocks

New technology and business concepts can be game-changers, but some people will always be skeptical of change. And not every company is ready for change, or able to make transitions smoothly.

Here are some potential issues to watch out for:

  • People who are resistant to change. These kinds of integrations require an entirely new mindset.
  • A siloed environment. If everyone stays in their silo, this defeats the purpose of DevOps entirely.
  • The team doesn’t have the skills or operational readiness needed. As mentioned above, the team and management needs to be cross-functional and include the right talent and knowledge.
  • A culture that can’t deal with mistakes and failures. Being able to address problems quickly and make improvements are vital to successful transitions.

Technically Speaking

Digital transformation for enterprises and companies of all sizes can be tricky. What you really need to focus on is creating an environment where processes are automated, to keep everything “light weight.”

For example, pulling code from your repository through compilation and reporting the progress to project stakeholders keeps everyone involved and informed. (Having the IT department working with developers and vice versa.)

Including standard software engineering principles into operations — that’s one of the core concepts of DevOps. DevOps engineers need to have knowledge of both software engineering and coding best practices.

That’s how the team at Code Authority operates.

When it Works Well

Streamlining processes can be helpful on every level, with every new effort. DevOps can help migrate to the cloud, stand up new environments, and more. Plus, over time it becomes easier to integrate tools and practices on a regular basis.

When able to do this once, a team is able to do it anywhere. When developers can build containers for the operations team, it makes it easier to reach production deployment. And being able to build, ship, and run any application — anywhere — speeds up the journey to the cloud.

By enabling applications and using the flexibility of the cloud, companies can react faster to customer requests and demands — and stay relevant in the market.

Conclusion

Now that you (hopefully) understand what DevOps is, as well as its benefits and risks, you can see how important they are — and why they need a well-planned integration.

But remember, there are often mistakes and failures during this kind of transition. Learning from them should prove to be valuable in your future DevOps endeavors — leading to greater efficiency and better software.