The cooperation of employees from various IT fields when creating a joint project makes software development faster and more efficient. In addition, such a product is provided with the care of quality specialists (testers) at every stage. This model, following the Agile principles, has an iterative character. Deliveries of the product, already with working code, are immediately made available to the customer for review. Shorter release cycles simplify planning and risk management.
It is important to realize how important the cooperation of developers, testers, administrators, and businesses is, and also - what impact this dependency has on software development.
The teams using the DevOps philosophy focus on enhancing improvements in the application architecture through the proper selection of tools.
It is also worth mentioning that there is an increase in employee involvement in the product, and thus in the company, while creating a high-performance technological environment. It results in a different distribution of responsibilities, often going beyond the scope of employees' competence as they become involved in additional phases of the product lifecycle.
One of the key benefits is the ability to take ongoing decisions about the product, its development, and maintenance according to its life cycle. It is possible to stabilize software in case a large new functionality is being prepared, and the team considers it risky.
The main advantage, besides flexibility, is reduced development time and more efficient bug fixing through Continuous Testing. DevOps teams become more efficient due to the collaboration and productivity of team members, enabling them to achieve business goals, which can include:
- Entering the market in a shorter time,
- Flexibility in adapting to the requirements and expectations of the market,
- Maintaining the system's reliability and stability.
All this translates into a reduction in testing costs while increasing its range. DevOps allows you to minimize downtime and problems during application deployment.
The Three Ways of DevOps
There are still discrepancies in the application of DevOps philosophy in practice. The process of application deployment and development has been automated. It has not only improved the way software is developed, but also changed the business culture so that products began to come to market faster. Sometimes the DevOps methodology is introduced only at the end of the product life cycle or when the company encounters problems resulting from its release to the market. In some companies, there is a constant struggle with the implementation of DevOps to the current structure. To resolve those conflicts, the basic rules for the successful use of DevOps can be used, which are:
- Flow principles - recommendations related to the flow of work among the different stages of the software development lifecycle - from business requirements to deployment, covering processes from development to maintenance; key elements:
- Division of work using a Kanban board,
- Division of tasks into the smallest possible independent tasks,
- Reduction of software release time (from months to weeks, days and hours),
- Errors removed on an ongoing basis,
- Continuous optimization of tasks;
- Feedback principles - a constant flow of feedback, building mechanisms to solve and prevent problems from the early stages;
- Principles of continuous learning and experimentation - the team focuses on a dynamic and scientific approach to risk-taking, drawing conclusions from the successes and failures so far, which may contribute to the improvement of other people in the team.
What exactly is it? It is a model that supports managers in assessing the maturity of a company for DevOps adoption.
There are five CALMS requirements for DevOps, which include:
- Culture - shared responsibility for the executed product is built within the team;
- Automation - team members look for various ways to automate as many processes as possible to continuously deliver software;
- Lean - a philosophy of manufacturing products, based on defining and creating value for the customer, continuous improvement of the process by eliminating waste and showing respect for the team shown by the attitude of the management staff;
- Measurement - there are tools for collecting data and ensuring their monitoring;
- Sharing - communication among team members is encouraged for ongoing collaboration during application development and maintenance phases.
DevOps cultures are based on practices that address the entire application lifecycle. They streamline specific phases or combine them to improve productivity by helping teams create seamless processes.
Using methods derived from Continuous Integration ensures that automatically tested code is continuously delivered and deployed to the new application versions in the production environment. By automating the steps required for deployment, teams reduce the likelihood of problems. Implementing Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery speeds up the process of deploying new code, reducing the risk associated with uploading code with bugs to production.
Revision and change history tracking allows for easy code review and recovery at any time. These systems offer a simple way to merge code changes occurring in the same files, handle conflicts, and revert changes to previous states. This practice makes it easier to distribute tasks while coding among team members.
Infrastructure as code
What is it all about? Well, infrastructure as code contains the descriptive topology and system resource definitions. It enables teams to manage resources like code that can be versioned in version control systems and similarly reviewed and reverted. This way of using infrastructure as code allows teams to deploy system resources in a reliable, repeatable, and controlled manner.
It is a good practice to set alerts with the ability to take action and gather the information that will provide the details that help your team eliminate current problems.
DevOps puts emphasis on team collaboration and customer feedback, which can be introduced on an ongoing basis thanks to short release cycles. The Agile methodology provides customers with continuous changes and fixes. Thanks to this, they receive customer feedback at every stage of software development, which means that they can adapt to new requirements.
SysOps vs DevOps
The SysOps method encourages manual management of IT infrastructure in a company. Administrators maintain and implement technologies that do not require technical knowledge and, in addition, they have expertise in the customer's infrastructure. Their duties also include responding to incidents, whether they concern the security or the operation of the entire system.
Which method to choose?
The SysOps methodology works better in producing software with a small infrastructure that is not dynamically developed and does not need to be horizontally scaled. SysOps is good at administering several different servers. DevOps, on the other hand, is recommended for large environments where changes occur dynamically and are constantly evolving. In both cases, it is the administrators who match the appropriate methods to the manufactured product. They should pay attention to whether the infrastructure can be developed. The choice of the operating philosophy should be made based on the administrator's experience and skills, as well as customer requirements and needs.
Thanks to Agile-based DevOps and Continuous Delivery, the released product has better quality. One can respond to customer tips and also the changing market situation. Through the cooperation of specialists from various IT areas, we receive the manufactured product faster. This translates into lower project costs and its implementation in a shorter time.