A brief overview on what DevOps what that means for a tech business.
If you didn’t get my “How I Met Your Mother” reference it’s alright (it doesn’t me you won’t understand my post), however DevOps is a philosophy that has been introduced in passing across several conferences, executive meetings, and local coffee shops since 2009. It’s one of those “tech buzz words” that go around. In order to understand what DevOps is, we need to know the problem it’s trying to address. Behind every great application, software, or website is a team with several moving parts. Each has their own responsibilities and set goals within different timeframes that create a product that will end up in the hands of users. So what’s the problem?
Development and Operations
Although there are many different departments behind a business, DevOps encompasses those departments that deal with the creation of the software as “Development” and the management of it as “Operations”. Both generally work in different parts of an application’s lifecycle. Development during the creation of app and Operations in post-production. As a result, the two have different goals and communicate during the exchange of a new release from Development to Operations. Development usually strives for functionality while Operations values stability for its users. The end result of the lack of communication between the two departments is what is commonly called a “wall of confusion” where both are unaware of the environment code is being tested under. Errors and bugs take longer to fix and thus create not so happy users and a dysfunctional team.
The Solution: DevOps
DevOps is a way to solve this issue by increasing collaboration between the two in a continuous cycle with each and every integration of a new feature. Both groups work in an efficient and adaptive manner which decreases the overall time it takes to deliver functional and quality services. One of the main practices in DevOps is that teams become aware the the production environment (user based) is not the same as the development environment.
“DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity.”
— Amazon Web Services
Successful applications are delivered because communication is involved at every stage of its lifecycle. Before, Development would have to wait for releases to get deployed by Operations to test for bugs (which sometimes would lead to even more problems), but with DevOps, features are always released in small and frequent doses with the help of Operations managing each of these releases as opposed to larger server-crashing ones. In order to make this process work as well, sharing a form of a source code is needed for everyone to keep track of every change and release in real time. Now that our teams are communicating, Operations is able to catch bugs quicker, and Development can fix those bugs and rerelease we slowly begin to tear down that “wall of confusion”.
Here are our key take aways about what DevOps needs:
- Automate Infrastructure: Standardizing configurations instead of manual configuration systems every time.
- Environments: Awareness of production and development environment.
- Constant Integration of Code: Ensure (successful) changes from each completion of an app’s cycle is integrated to the source code to resume the loop once more.
If you want to know more about DevOps, AWS (I promise you not sponsored) has a great breakdown DevOps! Happy collaborating!