The competitive software market has changed the way our teams work. Our customers now require quick changes, new features, and timely delivery of services all within a system that is both stable and reliable. Subsequently, businesses are faced with a catch-22: quick delivery at reduced quality or quality delivered slowly. This is where DevOps comes in.

DevOps integrates teams that are associated with software development and deployment. This results in a highly automated workflow with a shared focus; rapid delivery of high-quality software which meets user requirements while maintaining the integrity and stability of the entire system.

Deploying DevOps may seem daunting, but below are 10 tips to get you started.

What is DevOps?

DevOps can mean different thing to different people. Gartner offers the following definition:

“DevOps implementations utilize technology – especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.”

DevOps is a practice and culture within engineering. The development and operation teams collaborate and communicate to increase software deployment frequency, and lower failure rate of new releases.

Ten Tips for Successful Deployment
1. Start with the basics

If you are not ready for a full DevOps implementation you can start with basic practices. This could be an introduction of version control, test automation, or standards on how the code is written, reviewed and tested.

2. Begin small and expand

Instead of implementing everything at once, utilise a continuous pipeline approach. Your continuous pipeline can start from integration, where the code is built and tested and each change push to the main version of the code. As DevOps is not linear, if there is a fault with the code it is simple to go back and improve it at any time.

3. Test your product with reliable tests

DevOps enforces testing as a part of the continuous integration pipeline. However, tests need to be already automated, so try to automate as many tests as possible. It’s impossible to test everything so there will be gaps. However, ensuring your tests are varied is a step towards filling these gaps. Include a mix of unit tests, functional tests, integration tests etc. If a test frequently returns inconsistent results or failures due to update issues, remove these from your pipeline.

4. Automate

Where you can and where it makes sense, automate. If you do something only once, there is no need to automate it. On the other hand, if you keep repeating the same action over and over, there is a potential for automation.

5. Keep it simple

Do not overcomplicate your system and processes. DevOps is a tool to assist, so use it as such. If you can reduce complexity in your solutions this should have a flow-on effect on productivity.

6. Collaborate and communicate

Collaboration is a key pillar to the success of DevOps, both within the team and between dev, test and ops teams.

7. Balance unique and repurposed solutions

The general idea is to automate as much as we can and to reuse our solutions where we can. Sharing knowledge or solutions across the teams can save a lot of time and money. However, do not forget that products are unique and so cannot always use the same pipeline/solution. Try to get the best out of the solutions which already exist but leave a room for some adjustments.

8. Monitor and optimise

Use metrics to measure everything possible. Whether it is several successful deployments or failed deployments, or the time it takes to deploy, or a downtime. These metrics provide insights and can be used to improve your product.

9. Treat your pipeline or services like a product and treat its users like customers

Ensure that the code you write follows the same rules and practices. Utilise source control management, testing and code reviews. Remember, there is an end-user to this code, and they need to be able to understand this cold.

10. Never stop improving

Once you are finished with the solution, request feedback from the users. Look at your metrics and improve what is not working well, whether it is code that needs refactoring or a process that needs improvement or service that needs more features.

Why DevOps?

DevOps is a movement that is all about better product quality, faster deployment and therefore also quicker feedback.

According to the 2018 DORA Accelerate: State of DevOps report, comparing the Elite group of DevOps performers against the low performers, we learn that Elite performers have:

  • 46 times more frequent deployments
  • 2555 times faster lead time from commit to deploy
  • 7 times lower change failure rate (changes are 1/7 a likely to fail)
  • 2604 times faster time to recover from incidents

Employing DevOps is proven to result in a faster deployment and a better-quality product. DevOps is also a guide for your business. Not only does it provide good practices for the product, pipeline or services, but also to the way your teamwork and interact with one another. DevOps breaks down silo’s and creates a collaborative environment, promoting improvements in everything we do.

“DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continual improvement.”

—Jez Humble, Founder and CTO, DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA)

Here at BDP, we believe in a quality product and in improving our processes, the way we work, and the way we deliver. Our DevOps consultants can help with your DevOps transformation, no matter where you are at in your journey. We can assist from introducing new practices and processes into your working environment, help to select tools, to implementing complete DevOps solutions. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help.

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