What is DevOps and Why does it Matter?

Tom Hart
July 15, 2020

At fjorge, we are constantly evolving and adapting along with technology. One area we are focusing on right now is DevOps. Our Director of Managed Services, Keeley Caverno, is working with a self-selected team of senior developers to identify where a DevOps mindset can improve our current processes. 

We’re openly sharing our early DevOps effort because:

  1. We aim to contribute to the evolving, multi-faceted DevOps community
  2. We see value in DevOps inspired approaches for our partners and clients
  3. We recognize people and process as more important than any ‘technology silver bullet’ in solving business problems (source)

Here is what we have learned, and can share with our partner/client network, so far:

What is DevOps?

Although there is little consensus on the official definition of DevOps, one way to answer ‘what is DevOps?’  is by viewing where DevOps came from. In short, the history of DevOps is a movement of development engineers (production) and operations engineers (maintenance/SysAdmin) that aims to improve the quality of programming and collaboration between development and deployment operations. 

Common Focuses of DevOps:

-Coding Standards
-Testing
-Version Control
-Stability & Reliability of services and infrastructure
-System Architecture
-Performance

In many cases these efforts come together under the term DevOps, as the practice of development and operations engineers collaborating on the entire service lifecycle from design, to development, to production support.

So what are the benefits?

Proponents of DevOps highlight myriad benefits, and since they’re technologists they generally stay just shy of claiming it as a “silver bullet”. A few notable benefits are:

-Reliability- ensured via efficient monitoring and logging
-Improved Collaboration – attained by emphasizing shared ownership and accountability
-Speed – enabled by using specific architecture, for example, microservices
-Security – using policy as code to track compliance at scale
-Rapid Delivery – attained via continuous integration and continuous delivery

Why DevOps Matters

If the benefits above haven’t convinced you that DevOps matters, then lets zoom out. Software is becoming increasingly mission-critical to a majority of organizations and businesses. So the processes used for building and delivering software must continue to evolve to meet this surging demand and prioritization.

One of the main problems DevOps seeks to address is the formation of siloed teams. Often developers find themselves developing code to meet a deadline, then “throwing it over the wall” to the operations team to deploy and support the code. When that code doesn’t meet deployment standards or client structural needs, the project gets “thrown back” over the wall to the development team. This benefits no one! There can sometimes be conflicting responsibilities, diminishing feedback loops, and misunderstandings about what the other team does. Many of these issues can be mitigated or solved through the implementation of DevOps practices. 

Takeaways

DevOps relies on a culture of trust and collaboration and has the power to strengthen both development and operations. Automation will play a key role in DevOps; bridging the gap for more fluid collaboration, communications, and speed. Sharing ideas and solving problems together make up the heart of DevOps. This will also encourage teams to further adopt continuous learning and experimentation, followed by continuous delivery.

This will lead to lower failure rates in new launches, as well as a shortened lead time between fixes, and improved average time to recovery. At fjorge we’re specifically focused on this because this will directly benefit our Managed Services team, which is what we call our operations team, since they not only deploy and maintain the code, but also manage its enhancement over time. Adopting more DevOps practices throughout the project lifecycle will increase efficiency and reliability on the Managed Services team and allow that team to focus on other aspects of Managed Services such as new feature requests and performance improvements. The ability to unite our existing agile, git, continuous delivery, and automation efforts through DevOps will allow for faster innovation. Most importantly, it will produce a more efficient workflow and yield higher value to our clients.  

This is an active area of exploration at fjorge so we welcome your input. If you or anyone you know has additional knowledge/experience with DevOps, drop us a line- we would love to chat. 

More Resources

Register for Our “Where DevOps Meets Managed Services” Webinar

 

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