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What Is This DevOps Thing Anyway?

In the midst of the current wave of the DevOps craze, it can be easy to lose sight of what DevOps means and why we do it. This article goes 'back to basics' for a reminder of what it means.

· DevOps Zone

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Over the past several years the DevOps movement has really begun to take shape. It’s a movement of IT leaders that want change—they want to be able to constantly deliver awesome software to their customers and do it with confidence.

To remain competitive, you’ve got to constantly provide great software. That means simultaneously responding more quickly to business needs while also providing stable, secure, and predictable services. That can be tough in a state of ongoing, relentless change.

Let’s face it—what we’ve been doing just plain sucks. I’m not going to focus on the pain you’ve experienced, but what I do want to say is that DevOps helps you solve both today’s problems and prepare to face tomorrow’s problems. It’s about continual learning and improvement rather than an end state.

"Doing the DevOps" Solves All the Problems

Actually, you can’t just say "We’re going to do DevOps now,” and expect everyone to drop everything and jump on board. Have you ever had a higher up tell you to implement the latest buzzword without fully understanding what it would entail? Or have you been the one telling your staff to implement the latest buzzword?

DevOps is a bit more than “doing the DevOps.” It requires some really big changes across the organization. Changes that impact culture, processes, and people.

  • Culture: At the organizational level, the desired outcomes are really to create a culture of high trust with high-performing, cross-functional teams that are all aligned around the common business goals.
  • Process: What that means is that a lot of processes have to change, moving from a more manual and siloed way of working to adopting automation and learning how to collaborate with each other. These practice changes can lead to shorter cycle times, higher productivity, and greater visibility. Really! We have research to prove this.
  • People: We also don’t want to forget the human cost of all this. There is a very competitive market for tech talent and the best talent isn’t going to stick around burnt out and unable to expand their skills. How do you retain the best people so they don’t take their skills to your competition?

Why DevOps Matters

We hear stories from our customers all the time about how DevOps is transforming not just their business, but also their lives. Our State of DevOps Report has become a much-anticipated event. We’ve surveyed more than 25,000 people over the past five years, making this the most comprehensive study of DevOps available today. It confirms that IT performance provides real business value.

  • High-performing IT organizations deploy 200 times more frequently than low performers, with 2,555 times faster lead time.
  • They have 24 times faster recovery times and three times lower change failure rates.
  • High-performing IT teams spend 50 percent less time remediating security issues.
  • And they spend 22 percent less time on unplanned work and rework.

Check out a sneak peek at our 2016 State of DevOps Report infographic or check out the full report. It’s jam-packed with ideas and inspiration for launching DevOps in your own workplace.

Laying the Foundation for DevOps

DevOps isn’t easy, and every company’s journey is different. If this sounds like the kind of thing you already do, or like the kind of thing you want to do, there are plenty of resources available to help. We’re here to help. Maybe you’re looking to transform your organization, break down traditional work silos and build cross-functional processes, or maybe you’re just curious as to what the buzz is all about.

Either way, we now offer an Introduction to DevOps course to help your team get started on your DevOps transformation. In this course you start by learning core DevOps principles and methodologies, then we discuss how you can successfully transform your organization’s culture, breaking down those silos. You also learn cross-functional processes and the tools and methodologies that support them.

Contrary to what some vendors tell you, there’s no single, one-size-fits-all DevOps tool. Rather, the most effective results come from standardizing on a toolchain that maps directly to best practices such as version control, peer review, and continuous delivery. In this course, we’ll discuss how the right tools can be a huge help in establishing the early successes that convince teams to embrace change rather than fear it.

Finally, since automation is the foundation for many DevOps practices—helping you move faster without sacrificing stability or security, we’ve bundled Puppet Fundamentals to our Introduction to DevOps course so you can take advantage of automation with Puppet Enterprise and proven DevOps practices, which are all built on the foundation of infrastructure as code, to drive your team and your deployments forward.

In Summary

In my view, becoming a DevOps practitioner requires a certain state of mind. You’ve got to have an attitude which says, “I’m going to make a difference. I’m going to understand that in the business of delivering great software, we’re all in it together.” If you’re a sysadmin, spend time with developers. If you’re a developer, go make friends with your sysadmins. Try to understand what skills each team brings and how they work—see how you can help. With DevOps, sysadmins, DBAs, network folks, developers, QA, are all the same team.

Download “The DevOps Journey - From Waterfall to Continuous Delivery” to learn learn about the importance of integrating automated testing into the DevOps workflow, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.


Published at DZone with permission of Stephanie Stouck, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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