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Why is DevOps the Future of Software Production Cycles?

DevOps has taken a center stage in software development in recent years, with more and more software-powered organizations embracing it to outperform competition and stay ahead of the growth curve.

DevOps is not a job or title or profession, but a cultural shift to unify development team (Dev) and IT operations team (Ops) to accelerate the delivery of a quality software, market it faster and maintain almost 100% up time. The software engineering culture of every company is different, and so does its way of adopting DevOps culture. However, no matter what DevOps strategy you adopt for your business, it must enable you to look at a bigger picture to keep pace with fast changing customer demands, provide innovative customer experiences and quickly respond to requests.

How DevOps goes a Step Further from Agile

Agile methodology is very well known in the software development world for making the software development process much faster and adapting to the changing customer needs much easier than Waterfall. Agile methodology brought the concept of building a software in small iterations, and eliminated the need of extensive pre-planned specifications.

However, one important thing that Agile largely missed was to bridge a gap between the Development team and the Operations team. Simply put, Agile provided the agility to development, but lost on operations, which still delayed the development process and releases.

DevOps was born out of this need to bring software development (Dev) and software operations (Ops) on the same page. As both the teams work in sync and think from each other’s point of view, they have a common goal to achieve: the success of the entire project, not just of their part.

The DevOps Software Development Cycle looks like Something Showed Below.

In order to develop a quality software fast and ensure successful deployment, DevOps involves processes such as automated build, test automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous improvement, continuous monitoring, configuration management, application and infrastructure monitoring, virtualization and containerization.

To perform these processes, DevOps heavily relies on automation tools, and without them, it becomes like a boat without oars. No matter however skilled the oarsmen are and however collaborative efforts they can make, they just won’t be able to move the boat without oars, right? The automation tools are the oars of your software boat here.

Key Advantages of DevOps Culture Adoption

As per the 2017 State of DevOps report by Puppet, high performing DevOps have achieved.

  • 46 times more frequent code deployments

  • 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy

  • 96 times faster mean time to recover from downtime

  • 5 times lower change failure rate (changes are 1/5 as likely to fail)

Short Development Cycle

DevOps engineers build a software and test it in short cycles. Also, as developers and IT operations work in tandem with increased collaboration and communication, the small batches of engineered code is quickly moved to production. Besides, an automated technique of building and testing of code called continuous integration (CI) helps quickly push updates to customers.

CI lets developers to merge code changes in a central repository, after which automated builds and test runs takes place. This makes it possible to catch bugs much earlier, and therefore saves lot of time in moving the code to production. CI refers to the build stage of software development release and ensures that customers get the value they desire.

Fast Releases

Since software is developed in short cycles, deployment happens at a much faster rate. So, the release time that usually takes 3-6 months is significantly reduced to a daily release build cycle. A new feature that customer needs can be marketed much faster as a direct result. Continuous delivery (CD) is a software development practice that automates the release process so that customers get new updates in a quick and reliable manner. Besides, developers deploy code changes as early as possible by releasing small batches to production. Therefore, it significantly cuts down the time it takes to validate and release new software updates.

More Stable Software Deployment

Having to work with the development team much before software deployment makes the operations team have a stronger understanding of the database and system architecture. This leads to more stable deployments. Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which means writing code to manage configurations and automate provisioning of infrastructure, allows better testing and quality control, more efficient and predictable deployments, and decreased recovery times. IaC also simplifies the Cloud migration process while ensuring security and efficiency.

Meets Client Expectations

As customers get to interact with QAs and see some form of working software at the end of and during each iteration, they provide quick and valuable feedback. The QA team then communicates with the development team to work on client feedback. As a result, the development team easily makes necessary changes along with bug fixes in the next release, and therefore meets customer expectations and keeps them satisfied with the product.

Innovative Customer Experiences

As software development teams collaborate with product owners and customers as well, they have a clear understanding of their needs. Therefore, they feel encouraged to experiment and find innovative solutions to address those specific customer needs. Also, as most of the tasks are automated, team members get more time to identify areas where products and services can be improved. DevOps culture makes a big difference when it comes to end-user experience.

Responsiveness to Change

One of the top virtues of DevOps approach is that it allows to constantly adapt to a rapidly changing market environment. Since what is popular today might become obsolete tomorrow and it’s also not possible to define all the requirements at the very time a new idea is brought up, having the ability to adapt to a change becomes paramount to stay relevant and ahead of your competition.

DevOps model enables developers to introduce a change at any given point of time, even after the product is completely developed.

Reduced Failure Rates

No software is free of failures. But Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) in DevOps plays an important role in reducing failure rates. As all team members continuously assess and iterate to enhance products and services, chances of failures become slim. Besides, unlike previous models, short release cycles ensure that not hundreds of changes go in one big release, which greatly reduces the chances of failure. A continuous aim to identify issues and make changes to resolve them makes DevOps culture a big success in software development business.

Makes Employees more Productive and Happier

Automation plays a big role in increasing productivity of DevOps engineers. The time that is saved from performing manual tasks is used by developers to produce higher quality code faster. They also get time to use their creative minds to find interesting solutions to customer-side problems, and help improve the app/software sometimes even beyond customer’s expectations.

Happier employees is also a gift of DevOps culture. As different teams don’t do a handoff job and increasingly communicate and collaborate with each other, no contention related to their different roles occurs during the software development and delivery process. They think and work from each other’s perspective to reduce bottlenecks and focus on developing a great product that keeps everyone including all team members and customers happy.

There is no denying that DevOps is the future of software development. A cultural shift that encourages collaboration and communication between teams and automates the development and deployment tools is certainly a big stepping stone towards achieving a lot in a short span of time and satisfying all customer needs. However, to make DevOps a success for your business, you need to figure out effective ways to implement it, as DevOps is not a job but a culture that is personal for every team.

For any queries related to DevOps and agile software production, leave your comments in the comment box below.

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