You Are Ready for Continuous Delivery, Take the Leap
You are standing in the wings of the stage, it’s opening night, the curtain has just been raised, you hear the “James: Knocks on door” sound effects, and all of your hard work merges into a single step as you open the fake stage door.
This is how most companies feel before they endeavor to take on Continuous Delivery. It can be a scary thing. All of the white papers, webinars and case studies in the world can only take you as far as that fake stage door. You have to open it and take the leap. But it’s exciting, it’s new, it’s the reason many of us got into the technology industry in the first place: it’s change. Today I want to talk about what you are already doing right now that will make your leap into Continuous Delivery more exciting than it is scary.
Do you want to know the real life definition of DevOps? Working together. And I bet 9 out of 10 of you are already working together. Whether it be having a co-worker to bounce ideas off or grabbing a beer after work to talk about the newest feature release, it’s all working together. It is also the first step to achieving Continuous Delivery, and which means you are pretty close to accomplishing that goal already.
Let’s take a step back and explore what we are actually talking about here. Versioning control. This is the bedrock of Continuous Delivery and it is accomplished by working together. What do we mean by working together? Software teams across the enterprise pushing their code to the same place in real time. By doing this, you break down the walls of isolation (Silos) between teams, encouraging collaboration and you now have the ability to switch versions of your application at the drop of a dime.
Testing Your Code
It is highly likely that your dev teams are already testing their code before it is released to production. Great Job! Step two in being ready for Continuous Delivery is about testing the code you and your friends put into the repository. Most people call this Continuous Integration, but like DevOps, it is just a vocabulary word for working together, and making sure everything works together.
Again, let’s explore this concept a little more. If your teams are working together and are all uploading code into the repository in real time, you also want to make sure the code is of high quality. Ensure code quality by testing the code before adding it to the repository, as well as testing it on an integration machine after it has been uploaded. By creating these tests to ensure quality, you are essentially practicing Continuous Integration.
Make Work More Convenient
What a world we live in today. Our alarm clocks wake us up, coffee is a button away, our cars switch gears for us on the way to work, and the doors open by themselves as we enter the building. The convenience of the world is solely based on the idea of automation. Why should we do the same monotonous task over and over — day after day when we can instead automate the function and spend our time in more productive ways?
The practice of automating small repeated tasks is nothing new to the world, and you should start bringing that mindset into your work place. Automation is not only key to Continuous Delivery, but also to the future success of every enterprise out there. Good news is, if you are already working together, and testing your work, you’ve probably figured out a way to automate some of those tests. Congratulations! You have accomplished Automation.
The experts will tell you to automate everything, but that is a good way to become overwhelmed very quickly. By starting your automation journey with smaller pieces of the process, like Unit Testing, you give yourself a place to expand from. By automating simple scripts, your teams become more consistent in their processes, and the ops part of DevOps is provided with the audit information they need. If you can get into the mindset of making your life easier on a regular basis through automation, you will have set yourself up for Continuous Delivery without even knowing it.
We are in the technology industry because we are doers and changers. DevOps, Continuous Integration, Automation, these are all vocabulary words that in the end mean working together, checking your work and making your life easier for yourself. Continuous Delivery has many moving parts, some of which we haven’t touched on yet, but you are already most of the way there. You are ready for Continuous Delivery. Now open the door and embrace it.
Interested in learning more about Continuous Delivery? Download our e-book The IT Manager’s Guide to Continuous Delivery for a high-level overview.