DevOps is a necessity for agile software development

Why DevOps is a necessity for software development

Demands for software development is continuously increasing. Faster releases, better quality, new features and mobile adaptions are all hotter topics than ever. The solution is called DevOps and many experts believe it to be an absolute necessity for software development. It’s a mindset rather than a collection of tools or processes; one based on collaboration, shared responsibility and a highly iterative development cycle.

Many have already started doing DevOps. Large corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix are all working hard to stay on top. They all use DevOps as a competitive advantage and act as inspiration for many others. CIO of financial institute Fannie Maes Frederic Veron says:

If you do agile without DevOps, it’s like you’re trying to race with a tractor instead of a car. You can go and do the laps but it’s not going to go very fast, you’re probably going to consume a lot of fuel and it won’t be a lot of fun.

Companies that do DevOps simply get more done, faster. In non-DevOps environments, there is often a bit of tension and insecurity when it comes to new releases. In addition, the different departments get measured differently; development on how many and which updates they deliver, and operations on the system health. The opposite is true in DevOps. The entire team is responsible for both new deliveries and maintainence.

Benefits of doing DevOps

DevOps has many times over been proven to increase speed and agility, while at the same time saving money and improving company culture. In today’s software development world, you simply can’t afford not to do it. You will end up falling behind and have a hard time catching up.

One key benefit that DevOps is brings that is breaks down the traditional silos. Key resource dependence and communication barriers are also removed, making your organization and the pace of development much more reliable. 

By establishing a more collaborative company culture, both development and operations feel responsible for the product. When working more close to each other, both departments can raise the productivity and efficiency of the other – for example through faster decision making and quicker feedback loops. One way this shows is that the code quality increases as the developers feels more responsible to their operations colleagues.

Automation for reliable developmeng

If the above benefits aren’t enough reason to at least start looking into DevOps, automation could be. Automation in software development is a true game-changer. It enables you to get rid of human error and trust your pipeline. As more and more of your deployment and testing tasks become automated, delivering applications becomes not only faster, but also much more consistent. When you manage to have predictable outcomes of the release process, the quality improves drastically.

In addition to faster and more consistent deliveries, taking manual and repetitive tasks off your developers’ hands is always a good idea. You decrease the risk of human error and allow your team to do what they do best – write code. As an extra bonus, your team will feel the satisfaction of doing “real work” instead of going through the motions of monotone processes.

Why DevOps is the next step of agile development

With applications within DevOps, functionalities such as configuration and deployment can be automated. For example, Fannie Mae uses tools for quality assurance during development cut time spent on bug fixes and other problems.

Veron estimates that since the introduction of DevOps, productivity has increased from 28% to 40%, at almost one third of the total cost. He also claims development happens 12 times faster and with 30-48% better quality. As another testimony for DevOps, Fannie Mae has during the last 18 months more than doubled its number of releases.

If these statistics doesn’t convince you already, take a look at how established and well-known organisations such as Wal-Mart and Capital One manages their transformation towards DevOps.

Speed and security

These statistics are of course very interesting, but it’s not all that DevOps can bring to the table. While speed is an important part of why DevOps is a necessity for software development, another factor is security. Frederic Veron states that by continuously tweaking and deploying these tweaks, Fannie Mae can quickly react to bugs or security vulnerabilities – as well as managing user requests and test out various new products or features.

Veron says:

You get a better product because it’s better aligned with requirements and you get the value you expect from the software faster.

Through continuous improvements, testing and faster releases, their organisation manages to deliver value at a much higher pace than before.

Summary

To sum up, DevOps will help you achieve a better work environment, release faster and more often. It also helps raise the quality and lower the costs. Start bringing a fresh mindset to your organization, and the result will be great. 

There are many benefits to doing DevOps. By breaking down the silo walls, you enable your product to be developed in shorter and faster cycles. You also make deployments to production safer and more consistent. You save time and money with automated tasks, and have more chances to respond to customer feedback.

The truth is that DevOps is the future of software development. Whether or not you choose to start working towards DevOps, there are countless of examples of companies doing it right now. There is no more time to argue whether or not it is the right move for your company. The question is how to best implement it. 

 

How do you think DevOps will contribute to your development? Tell us in the comments or send us an e-mail at [email protected]

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