Development Operations, coined DevOps, is an emerging field that is catching the attention of system administrators (sysadmins) and programmers a like. At its core, DevOps is a combination of philosophies, values, principles, tools, and practices for improved workflow and applications.
Granted, any department has a similar definition — what is the marketing department? It’s a combination of behaviors, values, principles, tools, experiences, and practices to make more sales or have more outreach. So, let’s tackle the question at it’s root before we discuss whether DevOps is the right choice for you.
- What is DevOps? Development Operations’ goal is to eliminate redundancies or separations between the system admin department and the development department within the IT team. This model allows for the IT development team to work more efficiently in generating products for sale or to use internally to improve productivity, security, etc.
- Who is on the DevOps team? The DevOps team should have representatives, if not multiple staff members, from each section of the IT department in the huddle. This may include system admins, network engineers, programmers, and software managers. These individuals will work together to make decisions and work on projects based on direction from their leadership.
- What does the DevOps team do? The DevOps team gets together to work toward those projects that need a lot of specialty input. Logistically, IT departments need specialists in different areas to appropriately ensure all factors and points of view are taken into account. For example, what sounds good and logical to the programmers may not be possible based on the network created by the network engineers. Or, it could be that the end user may not be able to easily navigate suggested workarounds, and therefore brainstorming is necessary to determine the best outcome.
Each organization is going to develop different benefits and uses for a DevOps team and determine different ways to staff, manage, and track their work, which is why there isn’t a prescribed way as to how to approach DevOps work. However, you don’t need to feel like you need to reinvent the wheel.
Using the Cloud
Using the Cloud is a base level opportunity to start this conversation around DevOps. With so many companies working remotely, the Cloud is becoming standard practice for many smaller businesses that have many employees working out of the office. Much of DevOps work is becoming automated to work within the cloud system to standardize and centralize testing, deployment, and production. By having a Cloud-based platform, the ease of distribution and employment is exponentially improved upon.
Another bonus of using the Cloud as you start your DevOps work is that you can track your work more effectively. Traditional systems outside of the Cloud do not generally provide this kind of resource to users. Because of these features, DevOps is driving the interest in Cloud development as work continues. And, interestingly enough, more businesses are demanding DevOps work from their IT departments.
Putting it into Play
You may, initially, get some pushback from your selected IP players because it is a change and sometimes a difficult one. If you start the conversation by recognizing it will be a cultural and communication change, you’re starting on the right foot. Explaining that this change will allow for your staff to demonstrate leadership, and project management may be the encouragement they need to get on board.
Then, it’s important to guide them through the communication and collaboration changes. Encourage talking together through problems and allow space for adequate testing of new concepts and ideas. As your team becomes comfortable with this new culture, you’ll be able to provide them new ideas and concepts that will excite them.
Does Your Business Need a DevOps?
Maybe your business needs a DevOps team and maybe it doesn’t. One thing to take into an account is that if you have a system administrator and a programmer on your team, it’s important that they work together — whether you call it a DevOps or not. Encouraging that team work will guarantee that you have the best available minds to produce the best available product.