DevOps

The term DevOps combines the words “development” and “operations.” In practice, it’s a union between the development and operations teams. DevOps is often thought of as a process, a culture, or a set of principles that enables organisations to deliver products quickly and continuously.

DevOps key purpose

DevOps was created in response to issues from longstanding workplace traditions of siloed teams—or completely separate teams for development, testing, and operations in relation to any single product. For example, in a company with a traditional process, an engineering team would write the product code and then hand it over to a testing team to test the product’s functionality. It would then pass it to an operations team to maintain the software long-term.

This siloed structure is only sometimes conducive to efficiency, as each team has priorities, tasks, and timelines that don’t necessarily align with the surrounding groups. The key purpose of DevOps is to create a more cohesive development cycle.

Those multiple teams are integrated into a single team with a DevOps approach. Testing might occur automatically and frequently throughout the process alongside product development, and all groups can be involved in long-term maintenance.

Additional benefits of a DevOps culture include improved team efficiency, increased release speed, and better feedback mechanisms.

DevOps principles

There are a few core principles at work in DevOps. Largely broken down, they include:

Systems thinking: Systems thinking means thinking about an entire system’s performance instead of specific teams’ performance. This mindset ensures all groups and employees feel responsible for producing good quality and discourages teams from passing defects downstream.

Culture: A thriving DevOps culture is often tied to a spirit of improved collaboration, experimentation, and continuous learning. This might mean teams make sure time is allocated to improve work, teams are rewarded for taking risks, and members can learn from others within and without their teams.

Automation: DevOps places a heavy emphasis on automating as much as possible. This can reduce time spent on repetitive and time-consuming tasks and increase deployment speed. A DevOps team could automate testing processes so developers can receive feedback early and frequently.

DevOps practices

A couple of key practices make DevOps what it is. These include:

 

  • Continuous integration (CI): Continuous integration means feedback from stakeholders and fixes are integrated into a product continually. This can mean automating processes in which fixes are integrated and creating a culture in which continuous integration happens.

 

  • Continuous delivery (CD): Continuous delivery is when changes to a product (likely your code) are integrated automatically so that the product is always in a deployable state. This means that code can be deployed in short time frames (daily, weekly, and so on).

DevOps tools

Whilst DevOps is considered a mindset first, several DevOps tools are used to automate various stages in a DevOps process. Here are a few:

  • Git: Git is a version control system. In DevOps, it’s used to keep track of code and is useful for team members to collaborate on projects and update existing ones.
  • Docker: Docker is used for containerising applications—turning an application into a single software package.
  • Jenkins: Jenkins is a tool used to build CI/CD pipelines, where developers can build, test, and deploy software.
  • Kubernetes: A container organiser, Kubernetes is used frequently in DevOps.

By Deesha

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