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Agility plays an increasingly important role in many fields, and software development is no exception. However, you couldn’t call DevOps a conventional software development system. It goes way beyond that. DevOps not only changes how software variants are developed, but it also alters the entire idea of cooperation within a company. In the strictest sense, it is a company culture system that has a significant effect on productivity and efficiency in the software development sector.
An overview of DevOps
DevOps is a form of company culture that can be integrated into companies in the software and software development sector. It is a combination of approaches, practices, and tools that companies can use to both deploy software and noticeably accelerate its applicability, while also improving quality.
Interactions between development and operation
A significant feature of DevOps is that the development and operations teams work together directly, creating a better juxtaposition of their activities, which is not the case with conventional development processes. As such, potential problems for the operations team can already be taken into account by the developers, while the operations team can immediately benefit from the developers’ knowledge of new features. This becomes particularly obvious when the focus is placed on the current challenges of the market, since continuous integration and continuous delivery require very swift reaction times for the creation of new products, new versions, and current updates. This is where the DevOps concept becomes interesting, since the time between individual deployments is kept as short as possible.
DevSecOps – integrating security into DevOps
With DevOps, the focus is on the deployment of services for the IT sector, but the topics of security and IT compliance are initially not taken into account. As such, the concept of DevSecOps was created, in which the components development and operations are expanded to include a security element. The most important security elements are immediately integrated into the development process.
Automation in the development process
With DevOps, various agile development techniques from the software development and IT sectors are brought together. In order for that to be beneficial to a company, development processes must be automated. In many companies, automation includes the following areas:
- Solutions for code development, code review, and the assembly of code snippets
- Tools for deploying new builds based on current code and generation version
- Tools for the statistical and dynamic review of existing code
- Tools for documenting and approving release versions
- Tools for the management process of Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
- Tools for monitoring applications
- Tools for receiving and categorising client feedback
Tools must be carefully implemented and optimised
DevOps has been developed in a way that gives it a wide range of suitable tools for all of these areas. However, this does not mean that each tool or solution will suit every company. As such, it is vital to first evaluate your company’s particular needs, before deciding on certain tools. This also entails communication between various teams and departments, since they all need to be equally convinced of the functionality of each tool.
There is also an entire range of tools, like the frequently used continuous integration tools, that can be used practically and selectively within the DevOps framework.
The meaning of automation for the DevOps process
Due to very swift product and version cycles, it is virtually impossible for any single person to handle the resulting lines of code on their own. As such, and especially when it comes to debugging, automated systems must come into play, in order to find code or logic errors in the programming. In addition, different automated systems make the compilation, verification, and monitoring of the entire process even simpler, so that the relevant employees are able to concentrate on the errors that have been discovered. Not only does this avoid the rolling out of software that contains errors, but it also allows experts to fix more difficult errors quickly.
Without these solutions offered by automation, the processes in DevOps would only be feasible with a very high expenditure of personnel and time, which would then cancel out the entire advantage of this development structuring concept. As such, it can only be used efficiently in conjunction with the relevant automation and structuring tools.
Pros of DevOps
The DevOps system offers users, customers, and manufacturers several advantages, some of which include:
- Quicker development
- Quicker deployment of updates and development versions
- Greater security through continuous verification
- More new features thanks to faster production steps
- Greater reliability through simultaneous tests running during development
- Greater security through the integration of DevSecOps
- Greater productivity through better teamwork across team barriers
DevOps has many advantages in relation to development that not only concern customers, but which also become immediately noticeable within a company. Working across team barriers creates better collaboration and a better understanding among colleagues. It also prevents the formation of knowledge silos between different teams. This will noticeably improve the problem-solving capacities of all teams.
Cons of DevOps
If managers in a company are unable to help employees see the benefits of the system and employees continue to regard the accompanying changes in their work processes with scepticism, the risk of employees not going along with the project could increase, leading to friction within the teams or even between various team units. As such, it is essential to communicate the benefits of DevOps well, for employees not to feel restricted in their own, personal work areas.
Since the DevOps concept requires considerable restructuring in various team units, thereby modifying the work areas and tasks of many employees, switching from conventional development processes to DevOps processes could lead to some difficulties in some companies. It is especially important for company managers to keep in mind the necessity of accelerating development processes without simultaneously jeopardising the security of the end product. If this fundamental principle can be internalised, then there is virtually no other solution with such short product cycles and such a high level of control as DevOps.
Once the switch has been made, implementation should be extensively planned out and the proper tools should be configured so that every single step of the iterative development of processes can run efficiently and in a way that ensures it will pass future review. After employees and teams have had a chance to get used to the changes, the first successful results of using the system will soon become apparent. Not only can each new software offer be rolled out more quickly along with relevant updates, but the quality of the solutions can also be significantly improved, since each version can be reviewed much more precisely through automated checks and monitoring, and can also be optimised for productive deployment.
As such, software security issues and functional problems can be eliminated more quickly, without creating any new issues or problems. Integrating DevOps processes may be a long and challenging exercise, but once the transition has been made, both companies and clients will benefit from this solution.