For the last few years DevOps has played an increasingly important role in the technology world. But what are doing companies, of any size, to adopt DevOps in their software development processes?
Let’s start by understanding what DevOps means and what the goal is. As the name suggests, Dev comes from development, and Ops from operations (IT). You may find several definitions on the Internet, but essentially it is the relationship between development and IT operations, that emphasizes automation and collaboration.
What this translates to is optimizing the delivery process in order to put ideas into the market in a much faster model, removing bottlenecks, and adding value where it makes sense.
DevOps will never work alone. It is just one more link in the value chain, like marketing, development, and quality assurance (QA).
Don’t confuse DevOps with Agile. One of the Agile principles is to deliver pieces of software in an incremental way. But, deliver to whom? These pieces of software are typically not deployed to production as they are developed. They are piled up, and after a period of time (say two or three months) they are pushed to the customer by the IT operations group. That means that customers don’t receive value for a long time (although much sooner than with traditional waterfall methods). Also, what happens if there is trouble with the deployments and they need to be rolled back?
You should view DevOps as a complement of the Agile development process. One that focuses on automation and collaboration, and making sure the pieces of software are ready for deployment.
Ask yourself these questions: What is the successful deployment rate of my products? How long does it take for the business requirements or products to get to market?
You may be surprised to know what others have done so far. Take a look at the change rates for companies like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. Amazon for instance deploys a change every 11.6 seconds with a success rate of 99%. Your company doesn’t need to be as big as Amazon, because DevOps fits companies of any size – including startups where their success depends on getting new features to production, and to market, as fast as possible.
When is the right time to adopt DevOps? The sooner, the better. The longer you wait, the more effort you will need to re-adapt DevOps in the workflow.
In conclusion, the sooner you get your ideas and products into your customer’s hands, the sooner they can help you generate money. And at the end of the day, this is what every company is looking for.
More to come in upcoming posts!