DevOps is an all-encompassing term, touching on everyone from developers through to IT staff and operations across a company. DevOps, as you may guess, combines “development” and “operations”.
The rationale behind DevOps is an attempt to make operations and development teams collaborate better, teams who previously may have operated in solos. By example, an ops manager could ask a development team to update the features of a website app. For a successful update the operations team will need specify as accurately as possible what feature they need. In turn the development staff will program the features and test the update internally, then release it to the ops team who will make it live for production.
Operations teams can also advise development teams when a big is found in a webite that is live or in an app so that engineers can review and fix the problem. A more structured approach to matters like bug reporting and requesting updates ensures that the request is implemented smoothly – and that updates are effortlessly published. As a result a company can push out bug fixes in a quicker and more efficient manner.
A process under a DevOps management style would look a bit like this, where a software update is concerned:
- The operations team receives feedback from users, and writes it up
- A concerted effort between the operations and development teams ensure the update is designed correctly
- The development team will write the code for the update, and implement it
- Internal tests will be run by the development team
- Making the update live for user is the task of the operations team
- Both operations and development teams are involved in the testing of an update
We’ve outlined one example of how a DevOps team could work but there are no hard and fast rules – smaller teams could skip some of the steps, with more overlap between internal teams, when compared to a large enterprise. Either way DevOps is intended to fix bugs as quickly as possible, and to roll out highly reliable software at all times.
DevOps offers a strong set of principles that work even better if some key tips are followed:
- Make sure the testing environment perfectly matches the production environment
- Try to automate some software testing efforts – consider unit testing for example
- Ensure your software is easy to scale, by design
- Always utilise version control when you make changes
As DevOps have become increasingly important to efficient technology processes a new job title has emerged – the DevOps manager. This IT position involves the oversight of both the development and operations divisions, a role which was previously separated. The DevOps manager is positioned to help development and operations departments communicate effectively, and to ensure smooth co-operation.