Alisa Zamaraeva | November 11th, 2022
In the world of modern technologies, software development is one of the fastest-evolving areas. Through the last decades, even development approaches changed and brought out new methodologies. The most popular one today is DevOps.
What kind of beast is DevOps?
Sometimes DevOps is considered as just a term for particular tools, in fact being a whole philosophy reflecting the necessity of close collaboration between the teams responsible for application delivery. The methodology is based on 3 principles:
- Tight interaction between the system administrators (operations) and the development team (which is described in the DevOps term — development + operations);
- Continuous integration (CI) — this principle implies that various teams can work on the application at the same time using a centralized data storage and updating the app code the fastest way possible — automatically;
- Continuous delivery (CD) — which means that the team can apply application changes automatically and concentrate on more important tasks (however, it doesn’t mean that CI/CD means that you release application updates ten times a day).
Some business owners have already heard of DevOps here or there and came to a conclusion that DevOps is some kind of technological stack: CI servers, development platforms, automatic deployment tools and so on. The truth is, DevOps implies using some particular tools but is not limited by them. Without the above-mentioned principles and your team sticking to them, such tools can be useless.
The same is true for people who think that implementing CI/CD pipelines is enough to implement DevOps. The key principle still lies in the area of team communication: everyone who works on an application must exchange information. Otherwise it will make no difference to the traditional development.
Another trap one can fall into is thinking that hiring a few DevOps engineers will solve all the problems. Actually, having an outsource DevOps team is a good idea — until your own developers accept the described principles and use the same instruments. You have to adjust your processes and culture first. And a good professional can help here, if you accept their advice.
Though DevOps tools don’t equal the DevOps approach, it’s necessary to adopt the corresponding stack.
DevOps implies working with the cloud infrastructure. The most popular cloud service is AWS. Besides a public cloud, AWS provides specific APIs and various web-services. Cloud infrastructure helps to make development teams’ collaboration easier and application deployment smoother. Besides, AWS offers a huge number of useful services for almost everything from data storage to CI/CD orchestration.
Kubernetes is another great tool which leverages DevOps. It helps to wrap services into containers and manages everything connected with them.
Also, DevOps uses tools for deployment automation, cloud infrastructure management (for example, Terraform), CI/CD automation software like Jenkins or TeamCity and several others. Most of them concentrate on the automation of any development or operating process that can be automated, because this is how continuous integration and delivery is achieved.
As we said before, adopting the proper tooling is only the first step for implementing DevOps into your processes.
DevOps as a development approach
In traditional development, the team is usually divided into groups: developers, QAs, system administrators (if any), management and so on. The development cycle — whatever methodology is applied — in this case is divided into consistent steps: creating a technical task, prototyping, writing code, testing, etc. But going from step to step, some information about the application (and the desired result) is lost, because no one cares about explaining to colleagues what was done and why.
No one sees the process in the whole, probably except for the project manager, and doesn’t understand its purpose. Such miscommunications may cause undesired process interruptions, restrain the development process and move the deadlines further and further.
DevOps implies tight connections and interactions between the developers and other teams. And that’s how it works: when developers, QAs, and system administrators know what’s happening in other teams, they’re able to think in advance and avoid many annoying problems. The best you can do to support the cooperation is to hire or train DevOps professionals who will think as developers and system admins at the same time.
Of course, a few DevOps engineers can’t ensure your whole development cycle automatically becomes DevOps. Every team member must adopt the corresponding instruments and remember about communication.
In Setronica, all software engineers and other professionals stick to the DevOps approach and have perfected all the corresponding tools and skills.
So, once again: why is it worth using the DevOps approach? The short answer is that DevOps allows the team to work faster and make fewer mistakes. And if you dive in deeper, you’ll see that this approach emerged in response to the developers’ and users’ needs for quite a reason. The efficiency of DevOps is proven by the following points:
- Development speed and reduced time-to-market. Short and continuous development cycles (release, deployment, testing, monitoring) enable faster product delivery time. The automation of particular processes reduces the number of man-hours you have to spend on development.
- Improved customer experience. One more advantage of short and continuous iterations is the fast user feedback which helps to improve the application quality and enlighten the user experience. The DevOps methodology also enables early error detection and quick debugging.
- Application resilience. DevOps methodology and tooling bring high application efficiency and resilience thanks to version control, testing and deployment automation, containerization and other capabilities.
- Wide applicability. DevOps facilities can be combined with any development practice you already use. It’s not a replacement for Agile or any other methodology — it’s something you can apply above your accustomed processes.
- Development process transparency, achieved thanks to the close team members’ communication, ensures the high quality of the developed system.
Thus, DevOps helps optimize business and development processes, cuts costs and saves time. With DevOps tools and way of thinking, any team can perform the maximum efficiency with minimum expenses.
In Setronica, we think that DevOps is the most profitable development approach. It’s not a silver bullet, but it proved its efficiency for many companies. That’s why we adopted the DevOps tools and practices and keep sharpening our professional skills.
Contact us to implement CI/CD pipeline, set up a robust cloud environment and adjust your system and team to DevOps principles.