Thanks to developing technologies, we can do everything faster, better and with less and less resource consumption. We can see this in every industry, but undoubtedly IT is the leader in this area – new tools and methodologies are being developed, including DevOps. What it is?
What is DevOps?
Although this method has become popular relatively recently, it is not new in the IT world. It was discussed back in 2009 at a conference in Ghent, which opened a series of meetings called DevOps Days. His main suggestion is to improve communication and collaboration between development and admin teams. Hence the name, which combines development and operation (eng. Development & Operations – “development and operation”).
What has changed with DevOps?
Prior to the application of this methodology, the two main departments responsible for the implementation of the project had different priorities and goals. The developers wanted to complete the programming work as quickly as possible and implement the software at the customer’s site. However, this policy was contrary to the interests of the administrative department, which preferred to keep the number of code changes to a minimum.
What is the result of this model of work? More errors, more delivery times and costs, and a lower quality of the delivered product. Everyone lost: the company, employees and end users.
The solution was found in combining the two divisions into one team, whose members share their knowledge and findings with each other. This is how DevOps originally functioned, and it is in this form that smaller companies are now implementing it – administrators get acquainted with the basics of production knowledge, and developers develop competencies in the field of support.
Another change is the increased interest in process automation (testing, analysis, implementation and monitoring) and cloud infrastructure, which have become an integral part of DevOps. The IT world has acquired not only a very practical methodology, but also a wide range of new tools and technologies. Changes in the mode of operation have been so effective that more companies are implementing them, and a new position has appeared on the market – DevOps engineer.
Iterative work model
A very important modification that we owe to DevOps is the replacement of the waterfall work model with an iterative one. What does this mean and what are the benefits? The “traditional” or cascading system divides the project implementation process into separate stages, going one after the other. It is important to note that in order to start working on the next phase of the project, you must first complete all the tasks from the previous phases. This model has proven problematic because all subsequent steps must be completed if modifications are required at an earlier stage of implementation.
It was also noticed that during the implementation process, customer expectations change, which forced the team to make multiple corrections. As you might guess, huge resources of time were spent, and as a result, the final effect was far from perfect.
These shortcomings were eliminated in the iterative model. Initially, only rough assumptions are made here, which are checked and refined later in the implementation process. Also, instead of waiting for all the work to complete, code snippets are committed and tested as early as possible. Thus, the team responds quickly to possible change needs, and the final results are fully in line with current customer expectations.
Who is DevOps for?
The biggest beneficiaries of this method are organizations whose operations require frequent, but not necessarily major, changes to the product’s infrastructure.
Does DevOps have a future?
Companies that have decided to implement DevOps see much more to this method than just automation and work culture. They understand that the winner is the supplier who can work faster, more efficiently and with better results than the competition. Therefore, the statistics that, for example, 77% of American enterprises declare the use of DevOps in the implementation process or have such a solution in the near future is not surprising.