Business success is all about speed: The fast eat the slow. The IT department in each Organization strives to build new capabilities with high expectation and results. On-boarding DevOps has resulted in World class quality by managing software agility, technology disruption, and demand. DevOps aims to bring change and improve the relationship between development and operations in IT.
DevOps is a Lean-Agile discipline that extends software development life cycle to address such inefficiencies. It advocates better communication and collaboration between these two business units. See DevOps in Action for more information.
DevOps principle address a cultural change in the way things work during the code promotion environment, deployment, and production stages. This cultural change is not a new concept. It is just about the rapid development.
The DevOps process takes place with the aim to modernize, automate, and connect the entire software development process covering right from the development till the operations-infrastructure stage. The intention is to ease out the process of building quality software products by staying efficient, outage free, stable, and reliable.
Impediments in the Journey – On-boarding DevOps
In recent years, the IT Industry has made remarkable progress with achievements in technology innovations. But, the quality of the applications serving the industry still needs improvement. Many IT projects run inefficiently, slip implementation deadlines, causing outages during and after implementation being cost ineffective.
Many impediments in the journey are due to lack of involvement of potential resources/departments in the delivery process. Starting from the account management, business analyst, technical architects, web designers, developers, testers, quality analyst (QA), release engineer, infrastructure engineers, and deployment engineers.
All business ends up with an hand-off. The hand-off adds business value in the form feedback from the customer that comes as a learning for business partners and vendors to improve the product/business. Today, most business delivery uses Agile methodology from design till code to production process.
Payoff from On-boarding DevOps
DevOps helps to build smooth transition between the Development and the Operations to have better collaboration and communication. This eliminates the friction and builds the trust between the development and the operations.
Not having IT-DevOps
All software development starts with a requirement or enhancement/bug fix that ends up into production. The new feature enhancements or new requirements are utilized by end customers and returns in the form of customer feedback. The feedback helps to improve business.
DevOps tries to improve the way software hand-off works. DevOps tries to reduce the rework involved during the different stages of the software delivery and the overhead that might occur. All, this effort results in faster delivery of code on frequent basis while maintaining and improving quality of product delivered to the end customer.
We can discuss how rework occurs with an example, Imagine when a build is ready to be tested by the QA. The QA team takes three days to provision the test environment, deploy and get the build tested. During the testing time, the developer has to wait three days to hear from the QA about the test results. The test results lead to some bug fixes. The developer has to rework after three days on the same code to fix bug. The developer reworks on the same code again to fix the bug.
Coming to the discussion of overhead, this can occur when the developer writes instructions for the QA about how to deploy the code in the QA environment or spend hours to deploy the code to the development environment, then it is an overhead.
Is it Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment
The idea of continuous delivery and continuous deployment is not staying in silos. But, to have shared idea. If you break things while moving fast, then fix it quickly. The delivery of software into production quickly without errors to deliver business value is supported by continuous deployment. The key idea by doing things faster and fixing things quickly is shorter time to market.
Time to market
Time to market means delivery of finished software products to the end users with in a shorter time. This results in rapid feedback or updates about the software products. This idea of continuous delivery allow software industries to address the in-competencies between different teams such as development, QA, and operations. This reduces the cycle time and address wasteful practices in the end-to-end development process.
What builds DevOps adoption
The following adoption builds an effective DevOps solution:
- Have reliable process that repeats
DevOps team focus on bringing together the development, QA and deployment teams that work in silos. Though, these teams already have expressed the objective of repeatable process, they result in three different processes to get their code into the correct environments such as development, staging, user acceptance test (UAT), and production. With an effective adoption of continuous delivery by bringing the teams together will result in a continuous process.
- Maximize Automation
Automation helps to simplify things, removes human errors, and makes development, testing, and deployment faster. The constant criticism about production outbreaks are due to poor code quality and not as a result of deployment or configuration.
By automation, an effective continuous integration can be built into the system. If the code breaks a build or if a new code fails, the feedback is notified immediately to the developer, so that proper action is taken before the broken code affects the other code.
Mature organizations, automate the CI build process by build tools to have continuous build in a single day, which paves the way for a continuous delivery (CD). The adoption that these organizations have made after many challenges is having addressed the components of CD across QA and Operations.
- Have a foolproof Version Control System
The Version control system(VCS) plays a strategic role to reduce the time to recover. When a failure is identified, it is easy to roll back to the last working state. Big organizations to mid-size-business (MSB) groups must take advantage of having an effective VCS to have control by proper maintenance and governance of source code.
To address the continuous build model, all changes are merged to the trunk daily and made common to have a executable build, which is versioned in the VCS. The adoption that successful organizations have taken is versioning all project and source codes from one end of the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to the other.
- Practice brings Perfection
To err is human, lengthy process having more steps are prone to failure or confusion. We must practice to follow a systematic approach for different stages during the development process such as acceptance test, deployment, and production. It means that we must not follow special practices or approach during different stages, instead adopt a standard process across all stages.
By doing this, we confirm that our practice becomes mature, standard and free from errors. The adoption taken here is to practice things continuously till they get easier, this demands combination of reward and criticism that has to be tackled.
- Collaboration and Effective Communication
Collaboration and effective communication lay the objective of taking the software into production in shorter cycles after breaking the silos and integrating teams. If development is continuous, deployment increases. If continuous development is integrated all the way to release by well-planned automation, then successful software to production rate increases.