7 Culture Hacks for DevOps Initiation
If you are bringing DevOps to your company or team, here are seven things you need to do to make DevOps work for you.
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Every company is a software company now, and every company will become a DevOps company soon.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin
It is our quick response to quickly changing technology trends that generates excitement and drives business growth. DevOps helps grow your business performance exponentially by delivering the expected features faster to the market. DevOps was born out of a long history of software development, and it’s a well-thought approach.
DevOps has delivered success to many well-known companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Google. Amazon has been able to speed up their software development lifecycle by automating their releases. If your ultimate goal is faster releases, higher quality services, and increased customer satisfaction, then applying DevOps principles is the way.
The primary intent of DevOps is simple: Ship software updates frequently, reliably, and with better quality. DevOps is a mental model transformation of the entire organization for better organizational agility.
Note: You can learn more about the real business case scenarios and examples from the DevOps experts around the world in the upcoming SwampUP event by JFrog.
Here are seven ways to accelerate your DevOps transformation.
1. Getting Ready for The Change and Embracing the Cloud-Native Approach
We already know change is the only constant. This change can be scary at times, but not changing according to technology trends is the worst thing you could do. As we all know, DevOps aims at solving one of the IT’s most significant problems: bridging the gap between Dev and Ops people, and this is the need of the hour and has to be addressed as soon as possible. This can be done only through consistent and small incremental changes. The management should make sure to preach the advantages and benefits of DevOps before proposing the culture change, and this has to be driven by the IT architects and managers of the individual team.
Many people see cloud-native is just another buzz word. It’s a complete methodology. Whether it’s a startup or an enterprise, they should want to use a cloud-native architecture to innovate more rapidly.
Cloud-nativity takes advantage of many modern techniques: it combines the methodologies of Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery with the architecture and technologies of microservices, cloud, containers, and serverless. A cloud-native strategy gives more speed, power, performance, and margins to businesses. More than just containerization and microservices design, you must adopt new cloud-native approaches like minimum viable product (MVP) development, multivariate testing, rapid iteration, and working closely across organizational boundaries in a DevOps model. Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Tesla, and Qualcomm are some of the giants who started this approach initially and are really successful with this approach.
“Nothing is stronger than habit.” — Ovid
2. Accepting Failures and Learning Fast
As DevOps is mostly related to doing things fast and learning fast, there will be many instances of failure initially and it might seem hard at times, but with proper guidelines and an approach, the adverse situations can be handled. The organization and the teams need to understand that the approach of DevOps is to eliminate the confusions between the teams but to reach a final stage, there will be a lot of chaos initially.
However, just like the “fail and adjust sooner” methodology of Agile, DevOps failures are a step in the right direction. They’re the first step toward learning from failures and turning your DevOps practices into one that will lead you towards even greater success, sooner rather than later.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
3. Learning to Be Continuous Everywhere and At Any Time
The meaning of "continuous everywhere" is to apply the practices of continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment, and continuous improvement. These things add more value to the learning curve of the company and help in making the process more Agile and Lean.
The end goal is simple, to be continuous everywhere. JFrog defines this concept as "Creating Liquid Software," a world in which at any time, our systems’ software is being updated. Effectively, the software will become liquid in that products and services will be connected to “software pipes” that constantly stream updates into our systems and devices, liquid software continuously and automatically updating our systems with no human intervention.
“Practice the philosophy of continuous improvement. Get a little bit better every single day.” — Brian Tracy
4. Focusing on Automation
DevOps is mostly about automation, and if possible zero-touch automation. The IT managers and DevOps leads have to be involved in selecting the best tools and DevOps processes that help achieve DevOps at scale. After choosing the tools, it's time to define the policies and steps to use each tool, when and why. Tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, JFrog, AWS, Slack, Chef, and others are here to help you to build out your automation capabilities. Automating the repetitive developer tasks and some daily activities will give developers the extra time to work on the things that matter to the business. Automation also helps companies to fail fast, build fast, deliver fast, which helps improve overall performance.
But this culture of automation should come from the top management, and most of the company that maintains and follows legacy practices might find it a bit difficult initially to kickoff this culture in the entire organization. But they all have to; like some DevOps experts say, by 2020 every company will be a DevOps company.
“The most powerful tool we have as developers is automation.” — Scott Hanselman
5. Having a Feedback Loop for Better Communication
The mismatch between Dev and Ops can be conquered through a feedback loop that can help identify the bottlenecks and eliminate them. Feedback loop helps teams rectify the errors and keep a close eye on the patterns that disturb the continuous software delivery. A proper feedback loop process allows teams to outperform by removing the bottlenecks that cause the problem and thereby increasing the overall productivity.
Many simple processes validate the feedback loop when it comes to software development — Daily Scrum, code reviews, unit tests, monitoring performance continuously in the production, etc. Generally, you want as short a feedback loop as possible so that you can adapt your process quickly.
“We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — A. Einstein
6. Building the Trust Between the Teams
Trust is a prerequisite for any business to succeed with DevOps. Business performance directly depends on the team collaboration and trust between the teams inside an organization. As DevOps practices flow downwards from the upper management, trust is to be given high importance since that is the grease that helps teams work collectively.
Building trust between the teams has been the primary aim of DevOps. In DevOps, Dev and Ops will now act as support teams for each other rather than acting separately from each other. The team bottlenecks and friction will be reduced with the implementation of DevOps and so trust should be an essential entity. Engineering heads and VPs have been using the tactic of maximizing daily interactions between development and operations teams to build trust.
“The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led — is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” — Brian Tracy
“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” — Stephen R. Covey
7. Having Patience
One critical thing many people over calculate and get disappointed in is they think DevOps is an overnight approach, but in reality, that is not the case. Patience is the key thing here; it takes several months to embed the culture and for the paradigm shift to happen. It is not an easy job for an old company that is maintaining all the legacy practices; they need to think carefully and execute the DevOps initiative. Many big companies took time to consider DevOps and they all are enjoying the benefits now. One example is Netflix. Netflix’s journey to the cloud began in 2008 moved to DevOps. As a company that has to handle massive amounts of traffic, Netflix points to the scalability advantages of the cloud as one of the key drivers for their decision to migrate. Patience and keeping a constant track on the improvement is all you need when you start, slow and steady wins the race.
“Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and a lot of patience.” -Robert Greene
DevOps-focused automation can impart significant competitive advantages to businesses. We all know that DevOps is here to stay and it is a necessity today for any software-powered organization. Doing DevOps the right way starts with the right approach, having a growth mindset, and figuring out the critical processes that you can automate easily. DevOps is just going to be even more exciting in the coming years.
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