Developers are constantly looking for the means to build software solutions more quickly. One of the ways this has been achieved to date has been by favoring agile methodologies over the more traditional waterfall processes. Yet there is a new school of thought that, if speed is what you are looking for, then DevOps is the answer.
What is DevOps exactly? A portmanteau of Development and Operations, this is a loosely-fitting term which is used to describe a business culture in which the structure of the business and its practices combine to create the most suitable environment for speedy agile development systems, and scalability. In short, DevOps looks to utilize automation, integration, software development and the deployment of systems to create a better business model, and all that involves (with the benefits seen by the end user). This is agile as we have never seen it before. Here are just 8 ways in which you can start to operate a DevOps approach to transform your digital offering.
Get the Culture Right
What is required these days is an engineering culture, meaning knowing how to do things without this haphazard approach to moving forward without knowing how. A learning culture is required to facilitate this move, and it needs to be embraced by every individual across every department.
Maximize kill sets
Linked to this learning culture is the idea that skill sets can be constantly developed – no one is a specialist in any one thing, they must have more than one string to their bow. Developing your internal skill sets and then hiring from a perspective that skills can be developed but an open-mindedness to this culture is not so easy to foster.
Who is Responsible and Takes Ownership?
The theory goes that if you give ownership of something to someone, they respond with a more mature and efficient way of finding the solution. In contrast, if you get them to develop something which ultimately is not theirs, the same buy-in will not be achieved. This is closely related to culture, so empower and give ownership to staff. “Promote a sense of shared-responsibility so there is no blame attached, and it is a collective spirit that you have fostered, with everyone working to the same end goal,” says Stuart Figgis, a developer at Write My X and NextCoursework.
It’s About Solutions, not Tools
What are you trying to achieve, and what will get you there? Don’t focus on the tools; focus on what the correct solution is to the problem you are facing or the goal you want to achieve. Do you even need this plethora of tools at your disposal? Streamline and be clear in what you need to get you there…everything else is just unnecessary noise and distraction.
Security Must be Ingrained
Security is a key consideration and must, therefore, be relevant at every step of the development process. “Security can never be compromised because of speed: security must be part of the end objective and therefore be present in the mindset of developers every step of the way,” says Belinda Ronsten, a project manager at BritStudent and Australia2write.
Related to this point has seen the development of a new concept called DevSecOps. As the name suggests, it has security as the central theme to the Development and Operations relationship. Thinking about things from the viewpoint of the end user is important because users now have security as one of their key considerations.
It is no surprise that automation is a critical factor in DevOps. In fact, automation has become central to more efficient processes, which are an enabler of faster development solutions. At the heart of automation lies the ability of everyone within a business to be able to activate the process that they need to without requiring the feedback of others, or without a negative impact on overall operations. If you are running a scenario in which this is possible, then it is a sign that your automation tools are running as they should, and you are embracing a DevOps approach.
Beware of Bureaucracy
It is of little surprise here that bureaucracy can rain on the parade of DevOps because it simply slows everything down and clogs up the process. That is not to say that some bureaucracy is necessary and at time efficient, but look again at what you are doing and always ask “why are we doing this?”
A respectful and open-minded environment is essential to this approach. Remove binary thinking and promote interaction among all teams and departments.