Remember the days of quarterly product releases and updates? Thanks to DevOps, those days are gone and companies are able to release software continuously and consistently. With the help of automation and a turnaround of business culture, the development and deployment process has been changed for the better, allowing for increased speed and value.
There is sometimes a disconnect between what DevOps should be and what it is in practice. In some cases, DevOps is used only late in the development process or once a company begins encountering issues with a release. In other cases, companies struggle when trying to implement DevOps with their legacy infrastructure.
These problems can be avoided, however. Successful DevOps often comes down to three principals:
- Don’t Wait to Automate
Instituting automation and testing from the beginning is, first and foremost, the key to success. Often times, young companies and startups will rush to release their product and put together anything that works, without building in automation. While this can be an effective way to get software to market, it can be disastrous moving forward.
If a product finds success and is ready to be scaled, a poor foundation of code automation can stall the process long enough to lose the customers that made it successful to begin with! Companies that fail to uphold this principle often spend thousands of man-hours and countless amounts of money to fix and rewrite a bad code base.
Test-driven development is another practice that not enough companies follow from the beginning. Testing is not fun, but failing to do so from the start is a good way to ensure issues and problems down the line. Spend extra time in the beginning to ensure a happy ending.
- Stack ‘Em Up
The use of DevOps stack is automating processes that were once manual. A stack refers to a layering of different automation tools to simplify each stage of the development process by using purpose-built tools.
Tasks that once took days can now be run by simple AI. Developers are now free from responsibilities like writing and controlling initial source code, automating testing to streamline continuous integration, storing and managing binary code, taking data into production and accelerating continuous deployment.
With the right tools, software can be changed as quickly as developers can code it.
A DevOps company that does not have a CIO or VP of engineering is like a train without a conductor. Transitioning to DevOps is an intensive process that requires someone who is not afraid to make organizational changes that shake up an organization.
DevOps is a cultural transition and a good CIO is equipped with the knowledge of what developers and operations teams need to work together. This involves removing hierarchies of the past and decentralizing IT to empower developers to create highly effective teams.
While some legacy companies may choose to implement this all at once, it is possible to apply it piece-by-piece. Startups, of course, have the luxury of being small enough, and nimble enough, to transition from the start.
If DevOps is being done wrong, it will be obvious, but when DevOps is done right, it will be even more obvious. All it takes is discipline and willingness to do things thoroughly and correctly.