Back in 2009, the concept of DevOps emerged as a solution to the challenges faced during development, operations and finally deployment of a build. DevOps was originated to bridge the communication gaps between the development, QA and operations teams as well.
As Wikipedia explains the definition for DevOps; “DevOps is a set of practices intended to reduce the time between committing a change to a system and the change being placed into normal production, while ensuring high quality.”
The idea of DevOps is to have a collaborative relationship with the developers, Operation and QA engineers. There must be cooperation within these teams, they must teach each other their tools and share their responsibilities and work as a team implementing DevOps.
However, the sad reality is there is a huge gap between idea and practice. When put into practice many companies failed to implement DevOps this way.
The changes brought by DevOps to the software industry
Since the implementation of DevOps; the software industry has been through a sea of change. The futile attempt just to collaborate the teams ended into teams working in the same silos which became slightly better over time. While working on a project the development and QA teams would shove their responsibilities as soon a code or an application would successfully pass the test. Then it would be the operation’s responsibility to deploy it successfully into production and continue its maintenance.
This did not help in implementing DevOps as the concept is much more than just collaboration within teams.
The core values of DevOps
DevOps is a concept; it is a culture practiced by the engineering teams (development and operations) to bring more coordination into their existing workflow and be more productive. However, to practice DevOps culture successfully some core values of DevOps must be incorporated, they are:
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) – The server environment must be considered as code. They are the declarative manifests that have several uses. It is used and reused to provision infrastructure for building code, testing and maintenance in production.
- Continuous Integration (CI) – The continuous feedback for incorporating more features or change for development from the stakeholders and end-users and its implementation in the next iteration helps in the implementation of DevOps successfully.
- Continuous Delivery (CD) – This is by far the best output after incorporating DevOps. DevOps automate the delivery of code which is pushed into deployment through pipelines as soon as they pass the tests successfully, without manual intervention leaving no downtime.
The composition of a real-life DevOps team
In the real-life DevOps team, the DevOps engineer has an important role to play. Instead of following the prototype where the developer is responsible for building and running the code; then passing it to the operations team. They must follow the ‘shift left’ policy where a batch of code is tested after it is sent to the repository before building a new version of an application. The DevOps engineer must plan how the application will run long before it is built. The scripts of the CI/CD pipelines are written accordingly ensuring faster time to market, less downtime and better user experience.
Hence without a DevOps engineer, a DevOps team is incomplete.
The roles in the DevOps team
The roles of every individual are defined in a DevOps team defining responsibilities to team members are as follows:
- Product owner – This is the person who understands the product, the infrastructure to build the application and the changes that can add value to the end-user’s experience. They are the bridge between the customer and the production team, they can be from the customer side or from the side of the outsourced DevOps team.
- Team lead– This position calls for the most experienced member in the team who can assign roles as per the required skillsets for each project to the best-suited member across teams.
- Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) - This DevOps expert ensures the stability of performance and continuous availability of the high loaded applications across a large-scale system.
- DevOps system administrator – This is one of the most important roles in a DevOps team, here the administrator oversees the designated tasks, so they are done within the assigned time for each team member.
This is the basic composition of a real-life DevOps team where roles are shared, the task is monitored, and responsibilities are taken to make sure the production is deployed faster with minimum downtime making for wonderful user experience. The world of DevOps has a lot to offer provided it is implemented and incorporated as per the rules.