DevOps is no longer a cute buzzword shrouded in mystery. In fact, it’s established enough that you can even start planning your DevOps career path.
It is now a rapidly rising trend that is changing the way development and operations teams work together to deliver their organization’s software services and products faster and more efficiently.
The DevOps Approach
Simply put, DevOps is the merging of development and operations into one unified approach. Historically, these two teams have worked independently from each other. For example, it’s the operations team’s responsibility to set up the systems used by developers. But potential problems can arise if an operations professional doesn’t fully understand how software is developed and used, as he/she runs the risk of implementing systems that could curtail their organization’s development team’s efforts. Conversely, potential issues can arise if a developer doesn’t fully understand the systems needed to adequately run the developed software. Here’s a quick rundown on DevOps basics by CBT Nuggets trainer Shawn Powers.
The beauty of a DevOps approach is that it enables developers and IT professionals to work alongside each other to ensure that the most practical and efficient systems are in place, enabling development to thrive while protecting infrastructure investments.
Or think of it this way: When developers understand what infrastructure is used to run their software, they write better software; when operations pros understand the software that’s being run on their hardware, they make more sensible infrastructure decisions.
How DevOps Benefits Your Organization
Any organization can benefit from a DevOps approach, but companies that use either private or public cloud services may find more advantages to having a DevOps team. You might be wondering what the different roles are within a DevOps team. Because DevOps is still a fairly new discipline, there aren’t clearly defined roles… yet.
Here are several examples of higher-level tasks that DevOps team members could be asked to perform:
- Software development pipeline management
- Infrastructure management & security
- Database management
- Network infrastructure
- Internal tool management
- Best practices implementation
The bottom line is that as far as DevOp roles are concerned, it depends on an organization’s needs. What CBT Nuggets requires of its DevOps team could differ from your company’s needs. Here are a few real-world examples of Agile in the Real World.
But, what exactly should you expect from a DevOps team, beyond its seriously cool and mysterious name?
Increased Speed. Traditionally, developers would request products or services from their IT team. Then the IT team would order the equipment and have to set it up, whether it was a server or virtual machine. Depending on the size of the request, the process could take months. With a DevOps approach, it can take minutes.
Refined Agility. DevOps is about adapting and adjusting on the fly to meet the needs of teams. For example, using cloud-based services enables companies to use and pay only for what they need. This allows companies to quickly “spin up” virtual hardware and networks for development, QA, and production — and to just as quickly spin them back down when finished. This can save companies money, time, and manpower. It might be as simple as getting Agile with JIRA.
Collaborative Forces. Perhaps the key element of a successful DevOps team is one of collaborative effort. The DevOps approach gives team members plenty of opportunities to work with others toward a common goal. That’s why a lot of DevOps folks are open and direct. It’s all about getting things done in a timely manner and on point. You can even couple DevOps with ITIL (yes, crazy, we know).
Do-it-all Pros. Many DevOps team members are “jacks-of-all-trades.” It makes sense, right? Because DevOps is the blending of two very different disciplines, DevOps team members need to know a little bit of this and a little bit of that to thrive. As a result, they also should be some of the most up-to-date people in the organization when it comes to the latest technologies and best practices. If they are set in their ways and resist change, it’s time to reassign them.
Streamline Masters. One of the main benefits of a DevOps approach is that it fosters an environment that thrives on automation, which in turn should greatly improve efficiency and reduce the number of nitty-gritty tasks that need to be done. So, DevOps team members should be enthusiastic about streamlining repetitive tasks through automation.
Tasks that might fall through the cracks or don’t get enough attention often fall to DevOps teams to resolve. Having a DevOps mindset ensures that such tasks are thoroughly addressed. And when it all comes together, the processes that exist between development and operations (such as configuration management, deployment, and continuous integration) are automated successfully, everyone’s job gets easier.
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