One of the most popular and profitable fields is Software or Information Technology. IT has developed exponentially over the years. Advances in every field are registered with the help of Software and Information Technology related products. The software developers and their teams are the pillars of this success. Software development technologies and their practices are developing day by day. It is based on development and operations. These two were initially separate in the traditional software development approaches. It might have caused various issues in the development time and delivery of the software product. For this, new and advanced technologies have been developed. One such technology is DevOps which helps in providing benefits in software development. The speed of development and delivery to customers are highly focused here, which enables the reputation and values of the team and organization. With all these, an organization can compete with competitors in the market. This “DevOps Best Practices” article explains what you should follow to optimize your development process.
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What is DevOps?
From the term DevOps, it can be understood that it is the acronym of Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops). Software development needs a better organizational culture and process to build better and faster software. To make better software, DevOps helps unite the process, people, and technology together to work. The DevOps increases the speed and reliability of the software development and operations, which provides efficient values. The software product development can be collaborated and coordinated among development, IT operations, security, and quality engineering with DevOps. Once when DevOps culture and practices are followed, the customer needs and organizational goals will be fulfilled easily. Several other benefits could be attained while following the DevOps culture in the organization.
DevOps used a cross-functional approach for application building and shipping with the agile software development model. With the collaborating environment between development and operations, DevOps improves decision-making and improves the flow and value of delivery. DevOps application lifecycle involves Planning, Development, Delivery, and Operations.
Why Do We Need DevOps?
Apart from it being a trend, DevOps has been used by most software professionals for development. For the better functioning of the organizations, DevOps is highly helpful. The old and traditional models like the Waterfall model lack speed of development and delivery. The main reason here is that there is no connection between the teams in an organization. When DevOps comes into action, the work becomes faster by combining development and operations. As a result, the development cycles become shorter, with which the teams can compete with their competitors effectively. Also, any defects in the code could be easily viewed and rectified with DevOps, which reduces the failure of the software development. Even if a product fails, with ideas of development and operational teams, the recovery time is shorter. Thus, we could improve competencies in an organization team with the DevOps implementation in the organization.
DevOps Best Practices
Transforming to DevOps helps in attaining several benefits. DevOps will not be a completely newer one but with additional techniques to enhance the processes. The following are some of the practices to be followed while transforming to DevOps.
- Implement Agile Project Management
- Collaborating teams
- Effective Leadership
- Continuous Integration (CI)
- Continuous Delivery (CD)
- Continuous Testing
- Using effective tools
- Performance monitoring
- Focus on Customer Satisfaction
- Move to microservices
How to Implement DevOps Best Practices
Implement Agile Project Management
The agile approach is one of the most important practices to be followed while working with DevOps. Agile Project Management is an iterative development approach that makes software development with high quality and faster delivery rates. Agile is successful in software development because it values customer feedback and focuses on fulfilling their needs. The communication between the customer and the project team will help the teams easily work towards the required features and functions in the software. In addition, the larger and complex can be split into smaller components, making this easier to work and deliver.
By combining Agile Project Management with DevOps, the software can be divided into smaller pieces and developed. A developed feature or functionality can be verified with the customer and get feedback. Thus, any changes that are required could be easily made. You are not required to wait for the entire software product to be complete. The features or functions could be released and verified with the customers, reducing last-minute troubles.
The teams working on a software product should share their knowledge to improve and work efficiently towards success. Knowledge sharing also helps in effective communication between the team members. In particular, the team members in software development, operations, and quality should be collaborated to complete a successful product. By collaborating culture among the teams, the speed of project development is increased along with immediate bug fixes. While moving towards the DevOps culture, the team members’ must completely change mindsets to work together. There should be a set of common goals for the entire project team, and everyone should be running towards the same. In addition, this motive will be helpful for teams to narrow down the path toward success and ensure the goal is achieved speedily.
Working collaborate in teams also produces equal responsibilities for the team members on development and operations. The specific roles and responsibilities will not be available in this case, and hence everyone has the responsibility to achieve the goal. A shared repository should be available where the teams can share and distribute their tasks and other facilities. A community portal or any communicative medium will be helpful for the team members to raise their queries and get immediate answers from their mates.
The long-term vision and goals of a team and organization are set, and the leader should work toward that direction to achieve that with the team members. The leaders are the ones who are continuously encouraging and motivating team members to achieve the team goals. New questions are asked to improve their knowledge. Innovation and creativity should also be the priority task expected by the team leaders among the team members. For this purpose, getting regular feedback and ideas will be highly effective. The team leader should always monitor the teams and their activities so that he can provide any assistance required immediately.
A leader is a positive person who inspires others to work hard to find new business opportunities. The personal feeling of the teammates should be asked about, and be supportive of solving their issues. The individual interests of the team members should be analyzed and worked as per their requirements of them. Moreover, improving communication among the team will help share ideas and knowledge with the team. Having such a mentality as the team leader in DevOps culture will effectively deal with the development and operations of any software product.
Continuous Integration (CI)
CI is the core DevOps practice that should follow to integrate the code changes from the different contributors in the repository. The development team can frequently make the code changes with the continuous integration process. With the help of automated tools, one can verify the correctness of the code at a faster pace. The source code version is the primary one with which the other codes are modified as per the requirement. The errors and the quality issues in the smaller codes can be easily tracked and rectified with this code integration.
Automated tests here would help test the integrated codes and can easily find out the bugs in them. The incremental builds are made in a quicker time without the need to rely on time. The scaling up of the resources can be done as per the complexity of the project handling. It also ensures security and safety by testing the integration of the entire product that has been developed. Some of the other benefits that could attain with CI are avoidance of errors, mistakes, overlapping of codes. Since the deployment is automated with this, teams can now focus only on the business process’s quality and security.
Continuous Delivery (CD)
Continuous delivery is the concept that starts after Continuous Integration. When continuous gets into production, continuous delivery is working out. The ability to do changes in features, functions, configuration, and other requirements in the product is made effectively with Continuous Delivery. Implementing continuous delivery will cause the software deployment easier with reduced risks. Even the large and complex projects’ continuous delivery could be highly helpful. All the deliverables from the delivery pipeline will be pushed automatically into the deployment pipeline.
The deployment process that is taking late can be reduced by continuous delivery. The security validations are identified in every code release and hence could avoid vulnerabilities and security breaches in the deployment. The releases will have fewer risks and can be provided on demand. Some of the other benefits that could achieve with this continuous delivery are faster time to market, high-quality code, reliability, and reduction in the costs for the deployment. Since the releases are becoming painful for software development and operations teams, they become happier and free to do their next tasks.
Testing the code before deployment is essential in any software product. The different customer configurations and their variations should be tested so that any user can use the product. The tests should be conducted before integration and after integration. It ensures that both the code and product will not have any errors. Based on the size of the product and the time availability, the test resources can be scaled automatically. In the DevOps culture, most tests are automated, which could reduce time and cost.
The need for continuous testing in DevOps is that the development and delivery are continuous, and hence they have to be tested before and after integration. These continuous testing will showcase the quality, and any issues insecurity of the product, so the debugging could be made immediately. In every phase of the product development, deployment and integration should make the appropriate tests to avoid the issues causing the product to fail. It thus avoids the risks and reduces the complexity of testing at the final stage of the software development.
Using Effective Tools
The successful practice of the DevOps culture lies in the automation of the tasks. Since automation is preferred in DevOps, the tasks are becoming easier for developers and the operations engineer in product development. A DevOps tool is one where you can build, test and deploy the software. It also assists you in tracking the performance and will alert you in the case of any mistakes in the overall process. The tools will automate the tasks, manage the complex environments, and effectively manage the tasks. Several tools are available in the market like Jira, Slack, Jenkins, Docker, Nagios, etc. These tools have features and functions, but everything will focus on DevOps culture. The teams should be able to get collaborated with the tool you choose. Also, it should provide better visibility and control over the progress being monitored.
Monitoring is an essential component in any work progress. Monitoring is to ensure proper working and identify issues arising in the development. The right metrics of the software are to be measured. Some of the metrics to be monitored are time, costs, and the software product’s quality. When you completely monitor these things, it will be easier to recover from any arising issues. The organization’s profit is calculated by analyzing the performance metrics. In addition, the cost of the development is reduced by effectively monitoring these metrics. The analysis could help plan things accordingly, either in the case of resources or costs. The tradeoff for increasing the performance is made with the help of proper monitoring of the development and operations in every stage.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction is the most important practice to be followed under DevOps. Meeting the customer’s expectations is always a top priority, even when working with the Waterfall model of software development. As things are modernized, customers expect faster delivery and additional features and functions. With DevOps, releases of the product phases are in a faster manner with high quality. In addition, as DevOps uses the agile model, changes or additions to customer requirements are made immediately.
Understanding the customer and delivering the product as per the customer’s wish is the primary focus of DevOps. It ensures the customers’ satisfaction, which is highly dependent on the quality and reliability of the product. With collaboration among the teams, sharing the customer requirements will be easier and will not deviate from the development theme. Thus, the customer-first approach followed by DevOps is highly helpful for satisfying the customers in terms of all perspectives.
Move to Microservices
Monolithic application development is the oldest kind of software development practice. With the advances in technology, Microservices architecture is the concept of building software applications in smaller pieces. The entire software application is split into smaller applications and is developed. Once after the development, they are coupled through an API. Thus, microservices architecture is where several smaller pieces of applications are combined to form the required application of any size. Moreover, projects of any size and complexity could be broken into smaller pieces and developed.
All these pieces of applications can work independently without affecting each other and hence will remove any issues in the application. The issues could be resolved as the location of the issue can be easily identified. The error in the code will not affect the entire system but only the concerned smaller piece of the application. Therefore, microservices are the best option to select to attain agile principles, continuous integration, and delivery. The advantages that can be acquired with such architecture are increased development speed, faster delivery, and reliability of the developed software.
Case Study on DevOps Best Practices
DevOps culture is not the same throughout all organizations as not one-size-fits-all. Every organization may have its own culture, which can be suitable for DevOps, or have to modify it a little. In addition, the tools and the fields that the organizations are working on will vary. The following are some case studies where these organizations used effective strategies to achieve positive results.
Turnitin is a student platform where students’ writing is improved. It is a plagiarism detection platform used in most universities where students can check what they have written. The software is developed based on ‘text-matching’ on the internet to check whether the written content is the same or not. In addition, this software application is completely based on database performance monitored with DevOps. Increasing the production speed through automation under DevOps practices has helped Turnitin to succeed in development.
One of the most successful projects that are developed with DevOps is Netflix. It is a great example of showcasing how beneficial DevOps could be and how we can make things with it. The testing and performance of the application have been working perfectly as the backend of the application is tested later only. The comprehensive software process of the software application is only made during the release process. Collaboration is the DevOps practice that is mainly focused by Netflix in their project teams to avoid silos and fences.
Etsy is a practitioner of DevOps, which is highly referenced in many places. It helps in understanding the top-down approach to the adoption of DevOps. Several techniques and benefits of DevOps culture like changes could study testing with the help of Etsy. It is transparent and opted for an open door policy where everyone can make the data visible so that teams can share knowledge easily. The idea of merging developers and operations produces the success for Etsy. Developers deploy the code they write and hence it becomes easier for them to debug and edit.
It is a translation platform used by commercial users and developers to integrate the translation part into the software product they develop. The monitoring approach and the other features of DevOps have been followed while developing this application. The larger goals of the software development practices are focused effectively with the help of the DevOps tools. Etsy also is mainly based on software applications that completely rely on databases. In conclusion, continuous monitoring and customer satisfaction are the two main practices of DevOps they followed to succeed in the projects.
An organization is working in the traditional way of software development with separate teams for development and deployment operations. There are several issues identified in the organization during the development process. Some of the identified challenges are silos, lack of monitoring, reduced customer satisfaction, and a slower delivery process. DevOps practices in the organization could solve most of the problems faced. The benefits that can be assured are knowledge sharing among teams, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous monitoring, and improved customer satisfaction. In addition, issues identified in the traditional model will be resolved by practicing DevOps principles and culture.
DevOps practices help develop the software application with higher reliability and faster speed. These best practices of DevOps can be useful for both the organizations and individuals planning or at the initial stages of the transition. The discussion made in this article is based on suggesting the implementation of DevOps in an organization. However, these practices can help achieve better solutions in software development. Thus, it is understood that several benefits are achieved as part of implementing DevOps in software application development. In addition, several other practices can be understood while practicing in real-time.
In conclusion, DevOps has grown in popularity since its inception, and there is a high demand in the industry for DevOps-certified professionals. Invensis offers DevOps certifications to take your career to greater heights, including:
- DevOps Foundation Certification
- DevOps Professional Certification
- Continuous Delivery Architecture (CDA) Certification
- DevOps Master Certification