Agile development practices have inspired a number of supporting initiatives like DevOps. Much like its agile parent, DevOps testing aims to break down barriers that were inherently created with traditional workflows and separated team members. By combining two major stakeholders into a team, they may find it easier to get approval on changes, deploy quickly and ensure that defect management is effectively handled. However, this type of environment has a number of considerations to make and can be a challenge to achieve for many businesses. Let's take a look at a few missteps of a DevOps team that you should avoid:
1. Unrealistic Expectations
It's often easier to say that a group will be moving to DevOps and agile, but much harder to actually follow through and do it. Organizations must have a deep understanding of their underlying architecture and what it will take to make it DevOps-ready. Agile companies like Google and Netflix are serving as examples for those pursuing DevOps, but these adopters have unrealistic expectations about their current capabilities, DevOps.com contributor Ericka Chickowski stated. Most everyday businesses have legacy applications and hardware that simply cannot be independently managed. To fix this, teams must restructure some of their applications and create a balance between their legacy systems and their new DevOps efforts.
2. Unprepared for Frequent Releases
Another critical misstep in a DevOps team is just assuming that your codebase can seamlessly transition over for frequent releases. More often than not, a codebase that worked for a legacy workflow will not be optimal or fully functional for an agile or DevOps environment. CM Crossroads contributor Jonathan Thorpe noted that during the transition, files in the codebase need to have major changes and can cause merging problems. This type of issue will lead to time delays and simply aren't conducive to the frequent release requirements of agile practices.
In order to fix this problem, Thorpe says that teams will need to refactor their codebase before moving to DevOps. This step will be critical for putting themselves on the right foot from the very beginning. Inputting unit tests can help reduce overall risks and ensure that teams are able to effectively support a DevOps environment.
3. Not Considering the People of DevOps
Adopting any type of strategy or initiative without considering the input or perspective of the people actually supporting it is possibly the biggest misstep that a DevOps team can make. Developer.com contributor Necco Ceresani noted that there are several mistakes that businesses often make during DevOps transitions, many of them concerning team members that would be involved with this initiative.
Some organizations don't get approval from all parties, or create a transition plan. These two failures alone put DevOps members at odds with their overall goals and can make integration much more difficult. Management should ask for feedback from development, operations and testing professionals, providing a much clearer picture of what qa tools and policies are required to make DevOps work. It will also be important to establish a migration strategy to ensure that everything goes smoothly and to keep everyone on the same page.
"As trite as it sounds, it is true: People are the backbone of your DevOps implementation," Ceresani wrote. "People literally make all the difference, especially in terms of how well they interact with each other, share knowledge, and understand and agree with the common goals of DevOps."
4. Lack of Strategy Testing and Review
If you took notes from the last point, you're creating a strategy for transitioning to and supporting DevOps; however, your job doesn't end here. It will be integral to regularly test and review the DevOps plan. As TechTarget contributor John Treadway noted, a DevOps system should be continuously and deeply tested to ensure there are no faults, especially in automated tests. With test management tools, DevOps teams can keep test cases organized, prioritize when they're executed and handle any failures that may occur. In this way, test management can yield a lot of information about how the DevOps team is performing and what progress is being made across projects. The DevOps strategy can then be modified to make teams more effective and produce better quality software.
Organizations have a number of missteps to avoid when establishing a DevOps team. By understanding these potential mistakes, groups will be able to prepare themselves and effectively overcome these challenges.