Understanding DevOps Software Development Methodology

If you’re even slightly related to the tech world, you’ve heard about the DevOps software development methodology. The term’s popularity has grown so much that it’s become a buzzword. Thus, you might feel tempted to dismiss it as just another fad that will die down soon enough. Yet, doing so is a huge mistake.

As an offspring of agile, DevOps is a fantastic approach to software development, as it offers continuous delivery of high-quality output throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Its results are so good that it has become a standard of top development companies like BairesDev. Read on to learn more about DevOps and the benefits it can bring you.

Understanding DevOps Software Development Methodology 8

What’s DevOps?

As it happens with many of the frameworks and methodologies that stem from the agile mindset, DevOps doesn’t have a unique definition. That means that you’ll get different interpretations from different people, all of which will vary to a certain degree. That’s why we’ll offer you the definition we use at BairesDev:

 

“DevOps is a set of practices that bridges the gap between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops).” 

As an agile methodology, DevOps follows the foundational principles of agile development, mainly the continuous improvement of software development through iterations and feedback. Thus, DevOps relies on constant planning, testing, and integration for the whole project to evolve, ensuring the quick delivery of a high-quality product at the end of the lifecycle.

DevOps build on top of that, streamlining the work with build, validation, and deployment stages. It focuses on standardizing the development process while increasing automation to improve overall predictability, efficiency, maintainability, and security. Additionally, and as with all agile methodologies, DevOps is all about self-sufficient teams that have collaboration as one of its biggest goals. 

DevOps Values and Goals

Since it’s one of its primary purposes, collaboration is a major value in DevOps, so much so that using this methodology would be impossible without it. The other major goal of DevOps is development efficiency, which you can achieve through another essential element of the methodology – automation.

Both of those purposes inform the whole methodology to a point where DevOps values derive directly from them. Thus, a DevOps-driven team looks for increased collaboration, shared responsibility, a higher degree of autonomy, and a reduction of knowledge silos. This can be achieved through more automation and an increase in feedback instances. 

If you’re familiar with the agile principles, then all of that should ring a bell. That’s because they are derivations of those principles that are framed within an operations mindset. Thus, the DevOps values redefine how progress is measured in any project: instead of measuring working software, a DevOps team measures it by working software that has already reached the end-user. 

Progress isn’t the only thing that’s redefined through the DevOps standpoint. Using this methodology, you can also redefine specific development goals that couldn’t be possible without these purposes and values. Thus, DevOps can help you with:

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    Improving deployment frequency
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    Reducing your time to market
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    Lowering the failure rate
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    Shortening the lead time between fixes
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    Improving the mean time to recovery

DevOps Practices

To get to those goals, DevOps makes use of a set of practices that allow for its central values to hold up during development and beyond. The most important among those include the following:

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    Continuous Integration:
    The practice through which software developers merge the code they are working on into a central depository. The main objective is to identify bugs quicker to fix them, thus improving the quality while reducing the time it takes to validate and release new updates.
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    Continuous Delivery:
    The practice through which code changes are built, tested, and prepared for release. As you can see, it’s an extension of continuous integration, as continuous delivery brings all the code changes to the testing and production environments.
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    Microservices:
    With this approach, applications are built as a set of small pieces stitched together (microservices). Each of those components takes care of a single process and communicates with the rest to fulfill more complex purposes.
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    Infrastructure as Code:
    The practice through which infrastructure is provided and handled through software development techniques (like continuous integration and version control). Thus, it is treated in the same way as application code, which means that it can be quickly deployed through patterns.
  • Configuration Management:
    Operational tasks, host configurations, and operating systems are all automated through code. This means that configuration changes are standardized, making it far easier to configure everything without taking time from the developers.
  • Policy as Code:
    Infrastructure described by code can be tracked, validated, and reconfigured automatically. It allows for teams to move quickly as non-compliant resources can be brought back into compliance automatically. Overall, this provides a more straightforward way of governing changes over resources.
  • Monitoring and Logging:
    The practice through which teams analyze the application and infrastructure’s performance and their impact on the end-user. Active monitoring allows the team to understand the impact of changes and updates better and be more proactive in addressing potential issues.
  • Communication and Collaboration:
    Practices that are key for DevOps. The methodology’s tools and automation bring the development and operations teams and their workflows together. This pushes for increased collaboration and communication through enhanced information sharing and data tracking.

Why Use DevOps?

The reason we use DevOps at BairesDev (and why we thoroughly support it) is fairly simple. Let us explain it with an example. If you don’t use DevOps, your development team will work on the software on its own. Once they are done with it, they would pass it along to a separate QA team that would conduct the necessary testing on an isolated environment. If the software requirements are met, then the software moves onto operations for its deployment. 

Passing the software through these compartmentalized teams creates many issues, mainly because of that separation. Some of the problems that might appear:

The development team is removed from the QA and operations teams, so they aren’t fully aware of the issues the software might be giving them.
In turn, QA and operations teams are removed from the business side of things, as they might not be fully aware of the business goal pursued by the software.
Since separate teams are working in the same project, the responsibility and ownership of the end product is diluted, which leads to inefficiencies and issues when dealing with bugs.

All of those challenges are quickly addressed with DevOps. Since this methodology emphasizes collaboration and communication between cross-functional teams, everything related to it is visible for the entire team involved. This democratizes the final product’s responsibility and increases the overall quality through more informed and timely feedback.  

This leads us to the 6 main benefits you can get from DevOps – 6 different reasons you should be using this methodology:

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    Speed:

    The combination of practices in an iterative process makes it easier for developers and operations teams to work on digital solutions faster. That’s a highly desirable benefit, as it provides you with the ability to adapt to ever-changing market demands better.

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    Specialized Roles

    The iterative process doesn’t just cut down the time of software development during the building and deployment of the leading software but also allows for speedier delivery of fixes and updates. That’s because of the continuous integration and continuous delivery practices that automate the process, making it more efficient.

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    Reliability:

    Using DevOps ensures a high-quality for the final product and all of its updates. Again, the key is in its practices, as it allows you to deploy new features and fixes that are thoroughly tested and safe. Besides, the constant monitoring of DevOps lets your development and QA teams know how the changes are performing and respond in real-time.

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    Scalability:

    Modern systems need to be easily scalable to accommodate new needs. DevOps ensure that by letting you operate your development processes at scale. Thanks to the integrated automation, you can manage ever-changing efficiently and at minimal risk.

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    Enhanced Collaboration:

    As a part of the agile mentality, DevOps fosters a collaborative culture that puts ownership and accountability in the spotlight. Thus, everyone in the development, QA, and operations teams work together in a combination of their workflows to save time and eliminate inefficiencies and redundancies.

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    Better Security:

    Finally, there’s the improved security brought by automation. DevOps uses automation to ensure compliance of the entire product. This is possible thanks to practices like infrastructure as code and policy as code, which lets you define compliance on a broad scale to monitor it automatically.

Ready For DevOps?

DevOps isn’t a trend or a fad – it’s a truly valuable software development methodology that provides comprehensive support for teams working in a highly volatile and changing environment: the software world. DevOps encompasses a series of practices and values that guide the development work and ensure that everything is in sync. 

Since software has become a quintessential part of any modern business, building, delivering, and updating it calls for more efficient processes than we used in the past. DevOps is precisely one of the best methodologies for that, as it combines team collaboration with increased automation to provide a more streamlined workflow and higher-quality products.

That’s why BairesDev has picked DevOps as one of its leading software development techniques. We’ve used it in countless projects across many industries to ensure that development and operation are always aligned with the overall business goals. With DevOps, we were able to provide high-quality solutions to our clients quickly and efficiently. Want to see it for yourself? Contact us today, and let’s discuss your idea!

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