[DZone Research] The Architecture of a DevOps Team

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[DZone Research] The Architecture of a DevOps Team

We look into what our community of developers has to say about the way DevOps teams are typically composed and nourished in an organization.

· DevOps Zone ·
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This article is part of the Key Research Findings from the 2019 DZone Guide to DevOps: Implementing Cultural Change.


Despite the prominence of DevOps in the software industry, less than half of respondents (46%) told us that their organization has an officially designated DevOps team. This lack of an official DevOps team in many organizations manifests itself in the unequal distribution of code deployments. Whereas in DevOps, development and operations teams are meant to work cooperatively to create and release code, 57% of respondents reported that only development teams perform code deployments in their organization. 42% reported this as an operations function, and 32% told us that release engineers handle code deployments. Despite these trends, 54% reported management as a DevOps enabler.

The Architecture of a DevOps Team

What does a modern DevOps team look like? According to respondents, there are four major aims of a development team when adopting DevOps practices: introducing automation across the SDLC (67%), helping the organization adopt the best CD tools (65%), increasing collaboration and breaking down silos between dev and ops (62%), and developing and delivering software across the entire stack (53%). The purpose behind teams adopting DevOps, thus, has two main considerations: improving software and improving culture. Let’s first focus on the ways teams use DevOps to improve the software they produce.

How DevOps Architects Development

To begin, the majority of respondents’ organizations (57%) still rely on the development side of their DevOps pipeline to deploy code to production. This is up from 54% in our 2018 DevOps survey. 42% of respondents’organizations use operations to deploy their code, up from 39% in 2018. As the practice of DevOps continues to grow in influence, one would expect the percentage gap of deploys performed by development and operations to narrow; yet, in each of the last two years, development has performed 15% more deploys than operations among our respondents

When it comes to the actual software delivery process, survey-takers reported five major processes: code quality checks (62%); breaking up the build into stages (62%); code reviews (58%); manual checks to proceed (52%); and code coverage checks (50%). Several of these delivery processes saw significant year-over-year growth when compared to our 2018 DevOps survey. The adoption rate of code quality checks among respondents’ teams rose by 6%, as did breaking up the build into stages. Code coverage checks, however, witnessed the largest year-over-year growth, increasing by 7% among survey-takers (came in at 43% in 2018).

How DevOps Architects Culture

Given that DevOps processes are meant to increase the agility and efficiency of software development and operations teams, and thus the quality of software, one would expect a certain amount of developer autonomy to come with the adoption of DevOps. When we asked what tasks development teams have autonomy to do with limited or no manual approval from others, 76% of respondents told us making code changes. This proved the most popular answer by far. Respondents also reported a fair amount of autonomy when deploying testing environments (55%). While no other answer received more than 50% of responses, some other interesting responses included creating internal resources (41%), contributing improvements to tooling provided by other teams (35%), and deploying code changes to production (26%).

As noted earlier, 62% of respondents told us that one goal of their DevOps team is to increase collaboration and break down silos between dev and ops. This goal saw significant year-over-year growth. In our 2018 DevOps survey, 55% of respondents reported the breakdown of silos as a main goal. We also mentioned earlier that 54% of respondents view management as an enabler of DevOps principals. This, too, grew from last year, when less than half (48%) of respondents reported thusly.

Conclusion: DevOps Managers Are Becoming Enablers

It seems that DevOps is helping break down some barriers and also has increasing buy-in from management. We see these two trends greatly influencing the ways in which teams share DevOps best practices and lessons learned within their organization. 36% of respondents reported they share their DevOps findings among individuals within the immediate term, and 29% share this information across teams within the organization.

This article is part of the Key Research Findings from the 2019 DZone Guide to DevOps: Implementing Cultural Change.

devops, devops culture, devops development, devops teams, dzone research

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