What is DevOps?

What is DevOps? We’ll explore the definition of DevOps, how it can help businesses improve operations and best practices to adopt in your teams. Learn more.

DevOps has become a key industry buzzword with many organisations moving towards a DevOps environment, but what is DevOps exactly? We’ll explore the definition of DevOps, how it can help businesses improve their operations and much more, covering:

  • What is DevOps?
  • DevOps working methodologies
  • DevOps practices
  • Benefits of DevOps
  • What are the most common DevOps tools?

What is DevOps?

The term DevOps is a clipped command of ‘Software Development and Information Technology Operations’. It refers to the collaboration and communication between software developers and information technology professionals, with the aim of creating a culture and environment where building, testing and releasing software can happen rapidly and reliably. DevOps is a combination of cultural changes, practices and services that allow an organisation to deliver at speed.

The collaboration between development, testing and operation means that there is not just one DevOps tool, but instead a multifaceted toolchain. Under a DevOps model, development and operations are merged and teams work across the entire life-cycle of the project. DevOps practitioners develop a range of skills rather than individual functions; this combined with practices to automate processes allows them to work independently rather than waiting on additional specialists, increasing their overall speed.

Adopting a DevOps model requires changes in cultural philosophy as well as practices. At its simplest, DevOps joins traditionally siloed teams and increases ownership taken by team members of their services.

When successfully adopted, DevOps creates a continuous loop where teams plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operate and monitor.

DevOps working methodologies

DevOps has strong affinities with Agile and Lean approaches. Agile is an iterative approach to software development, in which software is built incrementally from the start of the project, instead of delivering it all at once at the end. The project is broken down into small sections called user stories, prioritised and then continuously delivered in two week-long iterations. The Lean process aims to maximise customer value while minimising waste. DevOps can be seen as an outgrowth of Agile - extending Agile principles beyond the boundaries of the code to the full delivery service.

DevOps best practices

  • Ensure continuous integration and delivery: Continuous integration involves developers centralising code changes in a repository to create an automated system, which fixes bugs and improves software quality on a continuous basis.
  • Use microservices architecture: Microservices architecture involves using a collection of small services to build a single application. This means they can be built by smaller teams and enable you to isolate faults and fix them more efficiently.
  • Automate your processes: Using infrastructure as code, where code manages technical infrastructure, instead of manual processes.
  • Adopt agile project management: DevOps uses an agile approach, delivering tasks in smaller increments.
  • Monitor on a regular basis: It is important to monitor and log infrastructure performance on an ongoing basis, and create real-time alerts to ensure you are proactive in your approach to ensure your services are available at all times.
  • Collaborative culture: DevOps revolves around collaboration and communication using online chat applications and project management tools.
  • Prioritise customer satisfaction: DevOps involves continuous feedback and a collaborative culture to ensure all team members have the information they need to provide the best possible service to the end-user.

Benefits of DevOps

  1. Speed up development times
  2. Stabilise the work environment
  3. Continuous product delivery
  4. Improve product quality
  5. Introduce automation to the development process and make more room for innovation
  6. Efficient problem-solving
  7. Boost productivity
  8. Reduce production costs
  9. Improve project scaling

What are the most common DevOps tools?

A DevOps tool is a piece of software that helps automate the software development process, streamlining product builds, communication between teams and conflict management. There are a number of different DevOps tools available to you, each with unique features and specialisms. Here’s a list of some of the best and most common DevOps tools:

There are plenty of tools out there, so it’s up to you to find the ideal one for your business that best serves your team’s requirements.

If you’re looking to get started in DevOps and work in a collaborative work environment, check out our award-winning Technical Graduate programme today.

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