What is DevOps? A Guide for Newbies

The term DevOps (development and operations) is a combination of practices, tools, and cultural philosophies that help to improve the software delivery process as a whole. Generally, DevOps promotes collaboration between development and operations, which makes it easier for the teams to develop and deploy software faster in an iterative and automated manner. Now, adopting DevOps in your company allows you to enjoy benefits, like the way you’d enjoy cloud computing benefits after implementing cloud computing in your company. 

How does DevOps address the Development and Operations challenges?

Rather than trying to release large volumes of application features at a go, most companies are aiming to release a smaller number of features to their clients through a series of roll-out iterations. Now, this comes with several benefits, like quicker feedback from clients and better software quality among other benefits. These lead to high client satisfaction. 

For software development companies to achieve these objectives, they must:

  • Reduce the failure rate for new software releases
  • Increase their deployment frequency
  • Reduce the lead time between error fixes
  • Aim to achieve a quicker mean time to recovery in case a new release crashes the program

DevOps helps software development companies to achieve the above-mentioned objectives as well as seamless delivery. Many companies today have implanted DevOps tools to achieve high-performance levels that were not possible a few years ago.

Today, companies are managing to do hundreds or thousands of deployments every day, while still delivering stability, security, and reliability—thanks to DevOps. 

Companies are using DevOps to address different challenges that come from predecessor development methodologies, like:

  • The operation and development teams working separately
  • Deployment and testing as isolated staged done after the design and development process, which required more time than the development cycles
  • Teams spend more time in designing, testing, and deployment, rather than concentrating on the core objective—developing business services
  • The deployment of manual code leading to production errors
  • Operations and development teams on isolated, asynchronous timelines, which led to additional delays

What makes DevOps better than the traditional software development process?

By comparing the traditional software development process with DevOps, you get a clearer picture that DevOps provides. The DevOps process facilitates a collaborative software development environment, which allows developers and operations teams to work together towards achieving a common goal. Now, the major milestone in the development process is the execution of CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery), which allows the DevOps team to release software within the shortest time possible, and with fewer errors. 

With that said, the notable benefits of DevOps include:

  • Faster deployment – DevOps allows faster and regular delivery of features and updates. This not only satisfies the client but also ensures that your company gains a competitive advantage. 
  • Better product quality – the collaboration between the development and operations teams, as well as regular gathering of user feedback leads to a notable improvement in the quality of the end product. 
  • Business agility – ensuring that your business stays agile helps it to stay ahead of the competitors. By adopting DevOps, businesses can easily obtain the scalability they need to stay agile. 
  • Continuous software delivery – by bringing the development and operations teams together, you make the two teams responsible for providing new features, as well as maintaining stability. This, in turn, leads to speedy and uninterrupted software delivery, unlike in the traditional software development method. 
  • Reduced production costs – the collaboration brought forth by DevOps helps reduce the costs of managing and producing software, since both the production, release of new updates, and maintenance are under one roof. 
  • Increased productivity – by eliminating silo(ing) and promoting collaboration, the DevOps process eliminates the communication bottlenecks among team members, which makes them focus on their tasks. Thus, adopting DevOps can lead to increased efficiency and productivity within your development teams. 

The DevOps principles

The DevOps process is governed by several principles, which keep on evolving from time to time. That means, most companies have created their own variations. All in all, the DevOps principles take a holistic approach, and any company can adopt them, regardless of their size. With that said, let’s look at the DevOps principles:

  • Collaboration – this is the foundation of DevOps. The process brings both the development and operations teams into one, functional team, which communicates, collaborates, and shares feedback throughout a development and deployment cycle. 
  • Automation – an important DevOps practice is to automate most of the software development lifecycle. This allows developers to focus more on writing code and developing new features. Besides, automation improves team productivity and helps to reduce human errors. With tools like the DevOps Kubernetes platform, teams can achieve continuous improvements with very short iteration periods. 
  • Continuous improvement – by adopting DevOps, companies start focusing on continuous improvement, which helps to reduce waste, costs, optimize for speed, and continuously improve the services/products offered. 
  • Customer-centric action – generally, DevOps teams rely on customer feedback to create services or products centered around their needs. For this to be possible, there must be a rapid collection of user feedback through rapid deployment and real-time monitoring. This gives DevOps teams immediate visibility on how users interact with their products or services, and then use the insight for further improvements. 

Leave a Comment