DevOps is seen as a set of practices that combines development and operations behind the development processes to result in a shorter development cycle. But we say it’s something more.
DevOps is a culture that brings equal attention to both the development of the product and the behind-the-scenes operations that facilitate the development of the product covering every aspect of the development lifecycle including development, deployment, testing, and post-launch support.
The culture essentially comes with a great many benefits including but not limited to higher development ROI and greater coding efficiency and quality. Additionally, it also becomes easier for project managers or product leaders to formulate a road map to get the product delivered on time while meeting client expectations.
A Proven Strategy
Before DevOps took the business world by storm, development teams were instructed to focus primarily on product features and timely product delivery. This approach often ignores the importance of operational processes behind the development, and may result in delayed deliveries, unexpected surprises, reworks incurring additional expenses etc.
DevOps teams, however, are able to avoid such scenarios provided DevOps practices are implemented effectively with the team ultimately becoming exponentially faster than they were in their pre-DevOps environment.
Implementing DevOps Practices
For DevOps to deliver the benefits it promises, proper implementation is pivotal. Here’s where things get tricky. DevOps doesn’t work the same for every organization. Many companies don’t take this fact into account while implementing DevOps. They invest in DevOps mostly because of the hype surrounding it only to regret it later.
For DevOps to be effective, it should be complemented by some DevOps best practices that can improve development workflows which leads to greater efficiency and a better quality product. There are many practices that organizations can choose.
Here are three that can ensure a project’s success in a DevOps ecosystem.
Multiple code environments – As projects often have a lot of developers working on it, many companies set up multiple coding environments to prevent conflicts between codes. The developers can work on various sets of code in tandem without overriding each other’s work. This approach also resolves merge conflicts and streamlines the code testing phase.
Common environments include:
- Local: This environment is where the individual workstations of the developers are. The code developed in ‘local’ is not integrated into the project yet. Coding is done in isolation so as to perform certain specific functionality.
- Sandbox: This environment helps determine where untested codes should perform and how they should perform. Additionally, code quality assessment is also a prime objective of sandbox environments.
- QA: This environment is to test the system’s functionality and also to ensure that new code or changes wouldn’t negatively impact the existing product version.
- Staging: This environment is to ensure that upgrades to the production environment will be done without errors.
- Production: This stage is where the ‘live’ version of the product that end-users would be directly interacting with will be fully completed.
Versioning – This is a DevOps best practice that ensures the reliability of all technologies within a product. During development, software needs to be routinely updated to reflect database changes or to include more features.
Version control makes this process easier, efficient, and effective i.e. it doesn’t impact the existing, functioning product negatively in any way. In the off chance that it does, the software can be easily reverted back to its functioning state. So essentially, versioning or version control enables accurate updates and ensures compatibility with new technologies. The added benefit is that developers won’t need to spend time fixing mistakes while end users have a better experience without compatibility issues.
Automation – Automation is a critical component of DevOps covering various aspects including systems, pipelines, and even the infrastructure that facilitates software development. Back in the day, manual deployment was the only option and the approach came with many risks; mainly data corruption or loss.
With automation, the team can work faster without having to spend time doing repetitive, manual processes like code deployment for instance. The approach facilitates easier iterations letting the development team focus more on mission-critical tasks. If done right, the best benefit of automation would be a significant increase in development ROI.
The following is a list of practices and principles that we recommend for automation in a DevOps ecosystem for the best results.
- Unit testing
- Behavior-driven testing
- Production & staging servers
- Deployment from production to staging (if re-works are needed)
By now, you may have realized the care that should be given while implementing DevOps and DevOps best practices in an organization. At AOT, we build our solutions in a DevOps ecosystem. We have ample expertise to help you get started with DevOps as well. Let us know your queries.