What is DevOps? and Everything you Need to Get started with it
DevOps as a trend started around 2007–08 when the theory that developers and operations employees should work together. When the developer and the operations team worked in silos many problems evolved due to lack of communication and conflicting KRAs. To solve these issues, many companies started using combined teams of Developers and Operations.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is essentially a management philosophy that encourages faster development of software/app. DevOps achieves this by facilitation a better collaboration between different teams in a software firm. Collaboration between various teams helps in releasing the software early, managing tasks better, and helps the teams in solving critical issues quickly.
Usually, there are three teams in any IT project,
1- The development team
2- The QA team and
3- The operations team.
It is observed that often the goals off the three teams are conflicting with each other. It invariably has a crippling effect on the end product.
The concept of DevOps took shape to solve this issue. Before DevOps, all three teams often worked in silos. No one from either team knew each other, and the coordination between them was virtually non-existent. The Developer team will prepare a module/code and then send it to the QA team. The QA team would then identify the bugs and send it back to the development team. The blame game would start, and there would be arguments amongst the two teams. Finally, after much deliberation, the module/code once approved by the earlier teams goes to the operations team, that has their own set of problems to handle.
Thus the cycle of development gets stretched unnecessarily due to friction between the three teams. It affects the quality of the product as well as the time to market of the product.
How DevOps helps in resolving challenges?
In DevOps, we establish cross-functional teams that help in solving the problems mentioned above. As a varied set of team members are working with each other, they start understanding the concerns of the other department. It helps in nipping issues in the bud and thus speeds up the process. In addition to this, DevOps can be vital to develop better products with MVP.
What are the benefits of DevOps?
With DevOps, you can expect great operational support, smooth IT processes, better cohesion between teams and cross skilling of employees. There are many other benefits of DevOps, let’s have a detailed look.
DevOps helps in shortening the time to market of the product, which helps in improving the ROI and reduce the development costs.
DevOps enables better communication between various teams, leading to better transparency in the system.
Early error detection
DevOps allow the IT firm to ensure the early detection of errors. When a cross-departmental team works on the project, you get a whole perspective of the project. It ensures that mistakes can be detected at initial stages, instead of waiting for teams to transfer codes to each other.
The modern-day development cycle requires the continuous release of the software/app. DevOps helps in achieving this objective as teams are working in close collaboration in this setup.
Better employee engagement
DevOps increases the engagement level of the employees. It ensures that employees are happier, ultimately increases their productivity.
What are the different Phases of DevOps Lifecycle?
Any understanding of DevOps is incomplete without understanding the various phases involved in the process. It’s a feedback loop which improves the overall quality and speed of the software/app development process.
Planning and coding
In this phase, we plan the objectives that the application intends to solve. The features that shall be included in the app/software should be discussed in detail in the planning phase.
Once the planning is over, we move on towards the coding part. Any programming language can be used to write the code, which is maintained by source code management tools.
Integration and testing
In this stage, continuous testing of the software/app is carried out. Automated testing tools help in this process. These computerized testing tools allow the testers to test multiple code bases simultaneously and continuously.
In the continuous integration phase, the developers update the changes in the code in a standard directory, shared with the testers. The QA team then tests the code continuously, providing regular feedback to the developers.
Conducting continuous integration ensures that the code is always updated, hence helping to reduce un-necessary errors and delays.
The next phase is continuous delivery. In this phase, we ensure that the code is always ready for release. The idea is to release the code continuously. Automated testing plays a significant role in ensuring the success of continuous delivery.
Monitoring and feedback
Continuous monitoring and feedback of the systems will ensure the efficient functioning of the system. All the team members should be notified about a flaw instantly. It will help in eliminating the defect at the point of inception, and the situation won’t spiral out of control.
The Important DevOps Tools
For implementing a successful DevOps strategy, you will need many good DevOps tools. Having some basic knowledge about various DevOps tools will aid you in implementing the DevOps strategy correctly. We have listed our some of the most important DevOps tools below for your convenience.
Source Code Repository
In a source code repository, the code which is altered and updated by the developers is kept. The source code repository helps in ensuring that various developers working on the same project do not overwrite the other person’s code.
Available source code repositories are Git, Cloudforce, Bitbucket, and TFS.
A build server helps in compiling the code stored in the source code repository in an executable codebase. The build server ensures that the continuous integrating process in DevOps goes on smoothly. Build servers can also help in Continuous Deployment by notifying the customers when a build succeeds and passes all the required tests. Jenkins, Artifactory, and SonarQube are the tools that are used in a build server.
Configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef help you in defining the configuration of a server of an environment. Thus the configuration management tools help you in preparing the server for the deployment of the code. Previously the system admins had to ensure that each server was ready for deployment. But after the rise of DevOps, the process is much simplified for the operations team. The operations team members can now define their infrastructure requirements in code.
Tools such as AWS and Microsoft Azure allow the developers to configure a server with little human intervention.
Testing automation tools enable the DevOps team to conduct automated testing, which is essential for ensuring the success of DevOps. Automated testing tools help the developers in providing that by the time the code is ready, it is already tested and ready to be deployed. The most popular tools for automation testing are Selenium and Water.
Some of the common misconceptions about DevOps
Until now, we have discussed what DevOps is, but in this section, we would like to dispell some common myths associated with DevOps.
The operations guys are worried that in DevOps, the developers will take over their jobs, which is not valid. DevOps has its roots in Agile methodology, which encourages co-operation between the development and the operations teams. This does not mean that one team encroaches upon the territory of the other.
DevOps is not concerned only with implementing a specific set of tools. Although tools do play an essential role in ensuring the success of DevOps, just having powerful tools at your disposal without paying heed to the process won’t work.
DevOps is not just about the developers and operations people, but it is an all-encompassing philosophy that includes all the people in an IT firm-(if possible set for Tweet). Everybody participating in the delivery of software or service is a part of DevOps.
Another thing to be kept in mind while implementing DevOps is that cosmetic changes like just changing the job title of a developer to “DevOps engineer” won’t work. You should always focus on achieving the changes on a system level.
What is the difference between DevOps and Agile?
Many people confuse DevOps with Agile, understand that DevOps is a progression of Agile. Agile is concerned with delivering the required functions every two weeks or so. DevOps is concerned with improving the overall efficiency of the system by enhancing collaboration between all the team members.
To Wrap it up
DevOps is changing the way we build apps and softwares. With teams coming together, the process is much faster and much more accurate. Breaking organizational silos, the DevOps teams are opening up new dimensions of co-operation and bridging the gaps between teams.