To aid in unifying their staff, procedures, and tools around a more integrated customer focus, companies can employ DevOps to emphasize the importance of following ethical work principles.
But wait, what exactly is DevOps? Simply put, it’s a shorthand for “Development” and “Operations”. This methodology seeks to bridge the gap between developers who code, build, test and release new features, and operations personnel who strive for website reliability.
Think of it this way, developers are like adventure seekers constantly seeking the next thrill, while operations are the anchors that keep everything stable. DevOps unites these two worlds to strike the perfect balance between change and stability.
What is DevOps Culture?
Generally, DevOps is an organizational mindset that encourages communication and cooperation between software engineers and IT operation professionals to enhance the software development process.
The objective of the DevOps culture, at the end of the day, is to achieve continuous deployment, which is to quickly introduce new features without damaging the quality. This process urges the teams to run through a ‘feedback loop’ in four simple steps:
- Deploy new features
- Operate them
- Receive feedback
- Deploy new changes to the features
DevOps play a vital role in the development process. They set up development, staging, production environments, continuous integration, testing, deployment, and monitoring to improve overall quality and reduce risk. At the same time, it frees up the developer’s time to focus on other core aspects of the software.
By sharing a common goal of improving every product, the company will be able to realize an increase in revenue. That said, this is only achievable within multidisciplinary teams who shoulders responsibilities for the product’s life cycle. Teams will also have to come together with the mindset of being open, honest, and transparent with each other.
How do DevOps manage their Timings?
Here comes the million-dollar question, when exactly does the developer end their work so that the operators can begin theirs? You may think the work between these two can be done simultaneously, resulting in speedy production. However, both the developers and the operators have very distinct professions.
Therefore, no matter the collaboration values of the company, there are a few distinctions that you should pay attention to:
- The launching. Immediately this resonates with heavy responsibilities. In the event of a catastrophe, the product launch can directly affect your users and your business. Will it be the developers responsibility for broken codes, or will it be the operators who just couldn’t handle changes?
- The product code quality. The developers are given toolkits by the ops to manage their code quality, but companies should never abdicate the developer’s accountability by throwing all the quality-check work to the ops.
- Environment variables. Who controls the environment variables and how do they keep them secure without interfering with the development process?
Of course, there are more confusing questions to be resolved before the company actually decides to implement a DevOps culture.
Building a DevOps Culture
There are important steps to take to fully harness the value and benefits of the DevOps culture. While the top management should support a cultural change, implementing the DevOps culture on a team and individual level is a good way to gauge how the methodology can benefit your business divisions.
Teams can easily identify their capabilities, identify bottlenecks, and deconstruct them while the problems are still manageable. But always remember, successful conversions happen gradually.
1. Redefine responsibilities
Take preventive measures to minimize workplace difficulties and enhance cultural performances. As there will always be new tasks added to the pipeline, teams should always be aware that their responsibilities are not stagnant, and they will have to go through a number of developmental stages.
This is where developing a positive mindset towards DevOps comes in handy.
- Be open and sincere about your work
- Always trust in each other
- Accept failures, study, and grow from it rather than blaming others
- Instead of having a “not my job” mentality, cultivate a shared feeling of accountability.
From an organizational standpoint, it is best to follow these steps:
- Give the DevOps teams and individuals more freedom
- Promote cross-functional collaboration
- Reduce waste and resolve bottlenecks
- Ensure continuous flow for all stages, including integration, testing, deployment, and even funding.
2. Open communication
One of the most basic issues that DevOps seeks to address is the separation of knowledge, skill, and labor within particular organizational units. The main cause of inefficiencies is probably a breakdown in communication between the developers who create the code and the server administrators who install and manage it.
If teams start to collaborate and communicate openly, unnecessary issues can be resolved easily through discussions and brainstorms.
3. Utilize capacities and make mistakes
In the working world, we are constantly reminded not to make any mistakes, no matter the gravity. If failure is not an option, individuals and teams are less likely to develop new features or fix issues efficiently.
In the DevOps culture setting, everyone is encouraged to hold a “blameless retrospective” mindset. Teams will only improve if they gather around to identify, analyze and learn from the mistakes they’ve made. They will be able to gain more knowledge to develop something better, or craft different approaches to resolve these mistakes.
4. Plan your budgets
Budget planning is another fundamental aspect while transitioning into a DevOps culture. It’s vital to evaluate the organization’s costs when transitioning and integrating because ad hoc methods waste money and reduce productivity.
5. Begin small
Instead of overhauling every area at once, implement little adjustments in your company and gradually scale them up over time. Always try to start with a small division and analyse its results before implementing a collaborative culture across the organisation.
6. Ensure consistent delivery and integration
An organization’s main objective is continual production and integration, even before adopting a cultural shift. Continuous production ensures ongoing income. While continuous integration, a component of the agile development process, enables the speedy detection and correction of errors.
Common issues while transitioning
Old infrastructure and designs
Outdated infrastructures and designs with complex feature stacks can be a hindrance to your company and users, despite being beneficial in the last decade.
Maintaining the status quo can often lead to instabilities, a lack of assistance, and high operating costs, all of which can make you lag behind the competition.
One way to avoid falling behind the market and develop continuous improvement is to adopt microservices architecture, because they instantly reinvent and modernize the entire software development lifecycle and assist businesses in identifying market trends.
Besides that, microservices also allow you to hasten R&D processes through a cloud-native environment which eases the need for manual work and cuts down unnecessary workload.
Focusing too much on tools
Yes, we say technologies are the new problem solver to most issues. However, new technologies also means more personnel training to operate, manage, and follow rules.
Before you implement DevOps into your teams, it is important to first establish the right structure and framework for them to follow. Once these are established, you can then choose the suitable tools to perform different tasks.
Remember, the most important factor in deploying DevOps is your team. If they are not taught about the steps to conduct before operations, then it may lead to confusion and demotivation.
Resistance to change
It is possible that some staff or teams are afraid of change and thus would try to avoid it. This is where the head of the company should introduce DevOps as a growth opportunity and calmly explain the benefits of shifting.
Gently emphasize how the process of shifting to such a culture requires a gradual and seamless change, and quickly address the doubts of your employees. After that, make sure to demonstrate the process and achievements so that your employees can see it in a better light. Once they do, they will be able to embrace the culture and unfamiliarity will gradually disappear.
The clash between Dev and Ops
Data and numbers are hard to gauge, and using different toolkits and metrics between the dev and the ops can also pose a problem. Teams who undergo DevOps cultural shifts should always discuss the best possible solution for a standardized metric or framework so that there won’t be miscommunications and their tasks won’t clash.
Sometimes, teams could be reluctant to abandon antiquated ideals and technologies, in addition to being technologically inadequate, could cause an overall infrastructure lag because of their incompatibilities.
Team leaders should get the right toolkits ready and provide sufficient training to the members. Ultimately, every transition team should be able to adapt to constant change and innovation.
Starting an ongoing learning process
Curiosity may be a powerful motivator for many people to begin studying. One of the key accelerators for a team to start adopting DevOps as a culture is the drive to constantly learn, adapt, and enhance one’s skills and expertise.
Teams that do not have motivation to learn, they will never grow. In order to help them get out of their comfort zone and motivate them to study, the teams will need to have access to various digital platforms that promote sharing and collaboration.
Through different events, discussion boards, pages, and platforms, companies can maintain continuous learning and the skillsets their staff acquired may be beneficial to the company. Companies should also hold a monthly meeting where team members share their learning process and knowledge together.
Benefits of DevOps culture
Following the adoption of the DevOps culture of strong collaboration, a company can enjoy the following main benefits:
A team with seamless communication and united objectives can build and produce applications much faster. This is essential because a company’s ability to advance in the modern economy depends greatly on its power to innovate more quickly than its rivals.
Especially with the help of real-time data technology, DevOps engineers can quickly learn and assess the impact of changes within certain markets.
Maintaining a stable working environment
Are you aware that the pressure placed on your team to produce new features, fixes, or upgrades might compromise the integrity of your workplace and lower output overall? By using the DevOps methodology, you may make your workplace better by building a dependable and well-balanced operational approach.
Quick deployment in a transparent environment
The elimination of siloing and promotion of collaboration allow teams to communicate without barriers with one another, which in turn enables the software developers to focus on their specific areas of expertise and to achieve cumulative rather than individual achievements.
Which also means that the teams can work in a joint environment without blaming each other for their mistakes, and different knowledge can be shared and applied for their upcoming projects. This enhances the speed for deployment and delivery.
Quick recovery time
In the DevOps culture, development teams can introduce a fixed number of features per iteration. Should there be an error occurring, then it is obvious that the latest set of features are not working well.
Teams will then be able to identify issues quickly and address them efficiently. Because only a single team manages the new features, recovery times are noticeably faster.
Furthermore, teams will have more time to generate ideas during brainstorm, which would lead to an increase in product quality. This is all thanks to its process automation.
Lesser errors, lesser production cost
Shorter development cycles paired with efficient DevOps implementation can lead to frequent code releases. With these improved modular solutions, your teams may be able to foresee difficulties with configuration, application code, and infrastructure.
The methodology allows all parties to quickly identify issues and implement new features through shared knowledge. When both maintenance and new features/ innovation are integrated under one roof, your administrative and operational costs can be reduced significantly.
Despite the many benefits of DevOps, there are also some negative points to consider. For example, developers may become too reliant on DevOps and be unable to fix certain issues if DevOps is not available. This can result in a lack of understanding of the server setup and infrastructure, leading to a loss of knowledge and experience.
To mitigate these risks, it is important for developers to have a basic understanding of the DevOps processes and tools, as well as to maintain communication and collaboration with DevOps teams.
For the longest time, developers have been working to build softwares more frequently, with less effort and fewer mistakes. The time has come to set up the systems and procedures needed to make this a reality.
Before deciding whether it the greatest fit for their operation, every firm should weigh the pros and cons of DevOps. And although it can be difficult to implement this change in culture, the rewards you may harness will definitely outweigh the difficulties.
DevOps is more of a methodology, rather than only a culture. In my opinion, DevOps is primarily a supporting role. If the DevOps person in question doesn’t have much coding experience, they may be able to set up all the servers, but they will be at a loss as to how to fulfill the needs of the clients. Generally, a developer should be familiar with the ins and outs of DevOps, but DevOps may not be aware of our work.”– HC (Web Engineer of Snappymob)