DevOps Best Practices: 6 Tips to a Successful DevOps Adoption
By Raghav K.
The fact that DevOps is more than just a tech trend but a cultural shift for organizations is clear enough, and many industry leaders worldwide have accepted this fact. The concepts behind shared responsibility, speed, stability, and testing in DevOps often seem contradictory to existing principles of IT management and leadership. Yes, it is your ability as a technical leader in your organization that impacts the growth and evolution of your business. Faster delivery with new features, new variations, adaptation of trends, and new delivery mechanisms is the route to take.
Most of the struggle that enterprises face is to find a common framework or platform to facilitate communication between your teams and partners and to make DevOps practice evolve. A question that frequently pops up is how IT leaders can adapt to the study of lean manufacturing. While these practices are the way forward and holds much value, appreciating the bridge between traditional IT and modern practices requires yet another learning curve before any significant changes can occur and be established in an enterprise, business, or organization.
Today I am inclined to share some of these practices that I learned along the way in my career path.
- Have the End Result in Mind
- Decide on a Hierarchy
- Be Quick to CATCH
- Focus on Team-Building
- Don’t Lose the Learning Habit
- In the End — Agility and Alignment Matters!
1) Have the End Result in Mind
A DevOps based solution is well-suited to cope with sudden changes and issues, but it is safe to assume that most enterprises won’t face problems every single day. Instead of just anticipating for more issues, you need to come up with strategies to reduce deployment time and work on continuous integration for new capabilities. Reducing security risks, and working with available metrics that can be directly tied to the complete lifecycle holds great value.
Discussing about software development lifecycle, as the name suggests, involves thinking about the beginning and the end. This is the reason why you need to be confident in bringing your software from testing to production. Thinking about the end result is the most important practice in DevOps. You need to think ahead and strategize to get your software to production safely, quickly, and reliability.
This ‘aftermath-based’ strategy will get you in the habit of thinking forward, as well as backward, to determine the necessary steps to ensure a successful production. Thinking about the end will lead you to contemplate your team skills, and quantify your ability to develop a culture that promotes deployment frequency. The choice of the right tools and platforms need focus, time, and energy to be properly controlled. Controlling the DevOps end result will solidify every step that comes before the end result.
2) Decide on a Hierarchy
To maintain business culture, you need to maintain a hierarchy. Hierarchy in the context of DevOps is the inclusion of DevOps practices based on priority. Promoting DevOps as the default technology culture cannot be an immediate step up from the current reality for most organizations. A large number of businesses are not optimized for future business models and distribution strategies. Enterprises need to not only adapt to numerous application platforms depending on different applications, but also adapt to applications that bring new cloud-native and mobile-native culture to address changing customer expectations.
A few core practices that need to be implemented before DevOps practices can be expected to flourish and promote software into production include:
• CI/CD: Building modern software is most certainly driven by automation. It is highly dependent on integration of automated testing, code fermenting, code analysis, security, and integration of source code repositories like GitHub. Building the necessary team skills can help manage counterparts and control the process around continuous integration of software, which is critical for rooting a framework.
• Application Platform: Once you are done with a successful build, next step is bringing your software from deployment to production. In the current trend, users are familiar with and expect to get software updates frequently. This trend emphasizes on a certain style of application updates, and you need to scale to meet the business demands with frequent updates on your software. Initially, organizations were focusing on building and maintaining their own application platforms, however this trend is rapidly changing as the trends made it clear that applications create value and not the platform.
• Automation: It is critical to build core competency when implementing automation. Proper tools of the trade are needed to automate tasks to manage both for applications and infrastructure.
3) Be Quick to Catch
As mentioned previously, constant change is the most happening trend in IT. Traditionally, client-server was the only setup that worked. Technology has rapidly evolved and cloud computing made things much more scalable with reliability within its DNA. In just the last few decades, technology has undergone massive changes, and enterprises need to keep up with these changes to stay competitive. Catching and recognizing the technology that will help drive these changes at a more rapid pace has to be on the most priority list.
4) Focus on Team-Building
When you want to be successful in DevOps, you need to focus on team-building. Within a team, members need to cooperate with others to ensure a positive and productive work environment. This is crucial for ensuring successful of DevOps as it requires multiple teams, namely the Dev and Ops teams, to work closely with each other. Conditioning your team with incentives, skill-building exercises, and some form of practice association will take you a long way.
To achieve faster deployment of software into production, you need to make sure that the organizational model works for the cause and not against it. Team discussions outlines ideas and prevent cross-fire. Teams must share their goals and challenges to ensure proper utilization of resources. Team-building accelerates innovation and problem solving, which are the part of core-competency development with DevOps.
5) Don’t Lose the Learning Habit
Every CIO wants to emulate the output of industry giants to mimic their operational efficiency. As times changed, new practices have evolved significantly over the last few years. Technology such as Kubernetes has become mainstream, and many other open source projects are making way towards DevOps scope to provide better deployment scenarios. Being able to learn and creating a learning habit from different industry giants or evolving CIOs might prove to be more valuable than any other type of learning. Creating your own case studies to document the evolution process will help you and the industry to create industry specific, region specific, and competency specific learning methods for better organizational needs.
6) In the End — Agility and Alignment Matters!
The speed of design and development matters the most. In a microservices environment, it may take considerable time to actually develop the anticipated features. How teams handle assigned tasks will determine the prospect of a successful DevOps pipeline.
The Development team needs to embed security within the development process and code review. Security should not be an end-of-process step, but instead applied to the development and testing practice at every step. The Operations teams on the other hand, needs to adopt automation tools and Infrastructure-as-Code (Terraform). Both the Development and Operations teams need to align on using common practices and to ascertain that automated testing becomes a part of continuous integration.