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Tips to Build a Highly-Effective DevOps Team in 2021

Tips on building a Highly-Effective DevOps Team in 2021

In this post let us discuss how to build highly effective DevOps teams. What should be an ideal DevOps team structure?

Dev and Ops working together is a beautiful thing. But there is no easy answer to what exactly is the role of a DevOps engineer. Every team has different requirements. DevOps was designed to remove silos between Development & IT operations. So, a DevOps engineer should be able to act fast and be agile enough to shift focus at a moment’s notice. This person should be able to wear more than just one hand as more often as possible. A DevOps engineer will have to take on uncomfortable or unfamiliar tasks to move forward.

Here are five primary roles that you’ll find usually within a standard DevOps team:

1. DevOps Evangelist

An Evangelist needs to possess two leadership traits — a front runner for the organization and the leader of teams that are passionate about the process and the company as a whole. He/She must proactively create good support with all teams involved in the software development & IT operation team. An Evangelist needs to ensure that the product is highly available in the pre-production and production environments.

2. Release Manager

A release manager is a person-in-charge of every new release. he/she would have to oversee the coordination, integration & flow of development as well as testing & supporting the CI pipeline. Release managers play a huge role as discipline holders in a team.

3. DevOps Architect

A DevOps architect is responsible for analyzing, executing, and streamlining DevOps practices. He/She should have years of experience in building software using the latest tools. This role requires a leadership mindset with the ability to manage teams with an inspirational approach.

4. Software Developer/ DevOps Engineer

Developers are front-end and back-end people who are actively doing development. They work side-by-side with QA to make sure the code is delivered bug-free. These testers check whether the actual results match expectations and the final result is error-free.

5. Security Engineer

A security engineer oversees the application or environment for better security and compliance. This person works closely with the IT Ops team to plan the best approach for services. A Security Engineer is responsible for designing & maintaining infrastructure security using automation and CI/CD tools. He/She is in charge of developing defection techniques and addressing security requests.

How to Make a Highly Effective DevOps Team?

1. Attracting & Retaining The Right Talent:
This is not an easy task, finding the right people with the talent to take on tasks at both ends of the DevOps environment. Companies have to make these roles lucrative if they wish to attract such talents. Not every company can reap the benefits of DevOps overnight. It needs to grow naturally to better understand what a long-term vision looks like. Long-term change requires bold actions from employers who want to attract the best talents. Instead of having highly specialized team members, focus on having well-rounded and experienced generalists. In short, someone who is able to write a front-end component, create the API & be able to get the whole solution running. While having great developers specialized in individual programming frameworks and languages is great, a highly effective team will have people that can jump from back-end to front-end.

2. Use Smaller Team Structure
A high performing DevOps organization favors smaller teams. They make it easier to adopt the loosely coupled, microservices style of software delivery. However, this structure is not possible everywhere. But when it can be realized, the results are highly effective teams. With this approach, you would have several small-sized teams of 3 to 4 people, all working together on the same domain object. We must change our view of software and adhere to domain-driven design. This will help to divide an application into a reasonable number of teams that can operate in parallel. It sets the project up for a possible microservices implementation from the beginning.

3. Breaking The Existing Silos and Collaborations
With DevOps, the goal is to remove silos between development and IT operations. So that these teams could work together to build, test, and deploy software faster. A good DevOps team does not mean everyone does everyone’s job. Such a strategy will lead to a huge failure. There should be a balance between the teams and the use of automation tools also plays an important role.

4. The Right Selection of The Tools
Anyone on the DevOps team loves to work with new technologies & methodologies. One needs to correct an innovative and healthy toolchain to keep the team excited. It will help them to be more effective and often play a role in recruiting and retaining talent. Starting a DevOps approach is one part and providing proper tools, training and necessities is the second part. With a strong desire, good hiring, skills, training, and practice, traditional teams can break old habits. They can transform themselves into digital transformation.

5. Automate and Streamline Tasks and Workflows/ IaaS
Many companies have years of ease into a distributed workforce. But some companies do not have that luxury. Developing new methods of interacting with colleagues can be a bit difficult. The traditional way of developing these communication channels is not all that effective. The way to develop a fully functional DevOps team is not by creating more processes they have to follow but to streamline the ones they already have. The solution here is always to define good development best practices and guidelines. There should be automated checks on code commits. Static analyzers, interns, automated checks & tests that push people to comply with processes.

6. Cultivate Leadership & Autonomy
Many research shows that when people have some sense of autonomy and control in their work, there is more stress & more burnout. DevOps leader can help fight burnout by creating more autonomy in their teams & not to impose restrictions on them. The leaders should allow team members to make their own decisions, rather than making all the decisions by themselves. This will result in more anatomy. Trust will be crucial to letting these teams organize themselves & learn what is effective & what needs more effective implementation next time.

7. Developing a DevOps Culture
DevOps is a cultural shift. It takes time to set DevOps in any organization. Some of the most essential things that help to build a highly effective DevOps culture is practicing communication, collaborating and brainstorming regularly, and breaking down the silos. An ideal DevOps team should encourage continuous improvement, automate everything, and focus on customer requirements.

When organizations decide to undergo a DevOps transformation, they should focus on the people and their skills. Rather than common tools that technical individuals are already experts in. However, making the change to a DevOps approach is not that easy. Besides the proper process, you need the proper team. We suggest you follow all the points that we have discussed today to make sure your DevOps team works seamlessly together. Thank you for reading. Please drop a comment if you have any doubts or words of appreciation.


Now let us all admit that building the perfect Devops team might still be a distant reality, but this post outlines some of the guidelines that hiring managers can leverage and use to make a Devops team that delivers software better and faster, depending on the company’s needs. They should focus on the people and their skills, rather than the common tools that technical individuals are already well-versed in.

If the technical leaders and managers keep the above mentioned points in mind, then chances of your DevOps team to be a success will be higher.

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