What is DevOps?

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An effective DevOps program can increase your business agility, increase satisfaction of your customers, increase productivity and increase your speed to market through collaboration.

DevOps: What is it?

DevOps In the workplaceAs one of the trending topics of the moment, awareness of DevOps and intention to start using a DevOps approach is high among large organizations. 50% of organizations are either using or intending to use a DevOps approach this year (Gartner 2015). It is a concept that has really started to gain awareness at senior levels. But what exactly is it?

DevOps is a software development method of communication, collaboration and integration between developers, quality assurance and operations. The aim is to rapidly produce software and services in response to increasing customer demand while keeping the operations environment stable.

Historically the emphasis when considering improving IT results has been on best practice and improvements in process execution. DevOps brings increased focus on the people factor, how you work, as well as what you do.

It aims to break down silo working and increase speed and accuracy of delivery.

DevOps: Did Anybody Tell IT Operations?

Sometimes the operations know that the release is coming, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the operations know what’s in the release, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the release is a joyous event for operations because it has calmed the users.  Yet sometimes it’s not so joyous because it has made the users mad. Operations know only two things for sure about the release.

  1. When it comes, it is theirs, they must own it.
  2. The users feed off of the release, they always want more, and their hunger can never be satiated.

Over time, best practices has started to permeate, in both development and operations, because people are taking pride in their work and want to do the best job they can. Concepts such as “Agile Development” started to pervade with the developers, and the operations side of the house started to adopt frameworks such as ITIL for IT service management and are better at keeping the environment stable and predictable.

DevOps: A Genesis?

One day back in 2008 a group of people started getting together and asking the question “What if we didn’t have such a divide between development and operations?” This eventually led to a series of “DevOps Days” where enthusiasm for a joint way of working together perpetuated. They focused on designing a software development method that emphasized communication, collaboration, integration, and cooperation between developers, quality assurance, and operations. The aim of this methodology was to rapidly produce software and services while at the same time improving operations performance, and it was called DevOps.

So, how can you get in on this DevOps wave that’s sweeping the world? First you have to have an agile approach to development and secondly you have to have documented processes for QA and operations.

Your DevOps program launches with visioning workshops for stakeholders from both teams. This will determine the best way to integrate efforts.   Next, you devise communication plans that allow for free flowing information in both directions. Follow this up wtih some ongoing contextual education to anchor the desired behaviors and you’ll see accelerated adoption of this approach and faster investment return.