There seems to be no one comprehensive definition for the buzzword ‘DevOps.’ Truly understanding it means looking at its history and foundational concepts. Here’s everything you need to know about DevOps and how hiring a custom web development firm or custom software companycan help you use DevOps to your advantage.
DevOps in a nutshell
DevOps is best described as an information technology ‘mindset’ that encourages collaboration, integration, automation, and communication among IT operations and software developers to improve the quality and speed of delivering software. It empowers teams by providing them autonomy not only in building but also in validating, delivering, and supporting their own apps. Teams that use DevOps focus on creating standardized development environments and automating delivery processes to improve the efficiency, predictability, maintainability, and security of their projects.
How did DevOps come to be?
The DevOps mindset is an offshoot of agile software development, which is the umbrella word for several incremental and iterative software development methods. Among the most well-known and agile methodologies are Scrum, Scaled Agile Framework®, kanban, extreme programming (XP), and lean development. These methodologies are unique from each other in terms of an approach, but they share the same vision and values of incorporating continuous feedback and iteration in the refinement and delivery of a software system. All agile methodologies involve continuous planning, testing, integration, and other kinds of continuous evolution. All of them are lighter and more adaptable compared to waterfall-style development processes, too. More importantly, agile methods focus on letting people collaborate, cooperate, and make decisions together in a quick and effective manner.
It used to be that agile teams were made up only of developers. But as these teams grew more efficient and effective at producing software solutions, it became evident that quality assurance also needed to be integrated into the team. Agile teams these days are expanding even further to include support and delivery members to improve agility from a project’s ideation to its delivery.
What problems can DevOps solve?
Before the adoption of the DevOps mindset, the development process was highly fragmented. One team was in charge of writing the code, which was then handed to a separate quality assurance team that tested it in an isolated environment. The codes were released to operations for deployment—and this deployment team was usually further segregated into different groups like database and networking. Each time a program was handed over to another team, bottlenecks were created. Different groups had different and sometimes opposing goals, leading to inefficiencies—and eventually to finger pointing when problems arose.
DevOps solves these issues and makes the development process not only smoother but also a lot more efficient. This is why the best custom web development teams now use the DevOps mindset.
The values of DevOps
It takes a combination of DevOps tools and DevOps culture to be successful. Here’s a brief explanation of these two DevOps values:
- DevOps tools – These consist of test and build systems, configuration management, application deployment, monitoring tools, version control, and many more. Different tools are required for continuous integration, deployment, and delivery. While all three of them may use the same tools, more tools eventually become necessary as a project progresses through the delivery chain.
- DevOps culture – Increased collaboration, shared responsibility, decreasing silos, improving quality, team autonomy, increasing automation, and valuing feedback all characterize DevOps culture. The goal is for development and operations to collaborate closely, share in the responsibility of maintaining systems that run and the software, and increase quality feedback as well as delivery automation.
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that DevOps will only be beneficial for IT firms and has no use in non-IT companies. This is not true. Even if you don’t do business in the technology industry, your company likely uses the software. And like most businesses, you have probably used the same software for many years without any significant updates. It may be time to customize it to make it work better. Such customizations can be done by a custom software company that uses DevOps methodologies. Talk to Custom Software Lab today.