The term “DevOps” has no doubt crossed your path at some point or another, whether you are a technical person or not. It seems as though there are a ton of DevOps engineers popping up out all over the show. But, what exactly it means?
Let’s start by breaking down the terms…
Developers are responsible for designing, coding, testing, and building software. Before the days of modern cloud computing and automation, this is typically where the responsibility of the developer ended.
Thereafter, the code artifacts were passed on to some IT operations team, which we will break down in the next section.
IT Operations are responsible for the provisioning and scaling of IT infrastructure, the rollout of software for the business or end-users, monitoring, fault tolerance, and rollbacks.
IT Operations would also take part in understanding what are the business needs and procuring the correct off-the-shelf software. If that software does not exist, it would engage with development to get it built.
Typically, though, operations would then be responsible for deployment and management of that built software.
The Disconnection Between Teams
More often than not, these two teams are separated, which makes it increasingly difficult for them to collaborate, build, and release good quality software.
Business and end-users needs are constantly changing, especially in today’s competitive world, which requires agility in the way software is built and deployed.
Because software changes need to happen fast, if this is all done manually, it opens up the possibility of manual human error. Wouldn’t it be great if we could automate this?
The most common problem that comes to mind when people talk about DevOps is beautifully summarized in the following meme.
A developer will spend hours getting some functionality to work. The problem is, everybody’s environment is different, especially when deploying to some remote server environment.
Therefore, DevOps is essentially the integration between development and IT operations. As you can see, this is a really broad field as it encompasses many different roles and responsibilities.
DevOps can not be defined simply and should rather be seen as a continuous journey of automating unnecessarily complex manual processes that the development and operations teams encounter.
By automating more of these processes, it eliminates the risk of manual human error and speeds up the delivery of software delivery to the end-user with the best possible quality.
Again, this doesn’t happen overnight. Which is why DevOps and Agile often go hand-in-hand. The same way we use methodologies based on the agile mindset to manage our software development process, we should apply the same methodologies to our developer operations automations and processes.
Let’s use a case to understand how DevOps automation works.
Common DevOps Use Case
The most common DevOps use case that can be easily implemented by any team are centered around what is called Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipelines.
Most Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and cloud providers offer their own forms of CI/CD. The best tool depends on the business and team that will be using it.
Through Continuous Integration (CI) tools, software developers’ code often gets built directly from their version control system (such as GitHub repository) every time they make a new software change, or “commit”.
Once the latest stable software has been built through CI, another process can engage with the hardware infrastructure and continuously deploy (CD) the built code by applying it directly to the deployment environment (remote server, for example).
This allows developers to deliver software changes to the end-users automatically and as quickly as possible, without leaving any room for potential manual human errors.
The video below nicely outlines what is DevOps.
DevOps is essentially the integration between Software Development teams and IT Operations teams. The goal of DevOps is to push high-quality software changes to the end-users as quickly as possible, with as few manual processes as possible.
The journey to complete DevOps automation doesn’t happen overnight. But through a simple understanding of what DevOps is and what the goals are, it is easy to justify the investment into improving the DevOps processes within your organization.
Appstrax has years of experience designing, building, testing, and deploying custom software to various environments through best-practice automation processes.