Right now DevOps is a cutting-edge concept that more and more companies implement in their business, although a lot know about DevOps, but still don’t know if they should use it, or think that they don’t need DevOps engineers because only companies like Apple, IBM or Microsoft can afford them.
This article should help you to clear these misunderstandings and show all the benefits of using DevOps.
I would like to start with a short description what DevOps is.
DevOps (a clipped compound of "development" and "operations") is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops). The main characteristic of the DevOps movement is to strongly advocate automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction, from integration, testing, releasing to deployment and infrastructure management. DevOps aims at shorter development cycles, increased deployment frequency, more dependable releases, in close alignment with business objectives.
Simply put, the main problem that DevOps solves is a typical problem of large and distributed teams of developers - "the problem is not on my side".
According to 2017 state of DevOps, Organizations that implement DevOps resources in their business are exceeding their market goals, market share, and profitability twice. It’s also stated that teams that using DevOps have:
- 46 times more frequent code deployments
- 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy
- 96 times faster mean time to recover from downtime
- 5 times lower change failure rate (changes are 1/5 as likely to fail)
However, in statistics, there may be small errors, but it is still quite impressive.
Why is that? What so special about DevOps that makes such significant improvements?
It’s important to understand that DevOps is a matter of taking Agile principles and applying them to the rest of the company, not just to software development.
On one hand, DevOps automates what can be automated, thus freeing employees from mundane work, allowing them to use their time more effectively, for example, they can use that time to focus on improvements and innovations.
On the other hand, it’s change of people's mindset. It’s important to mention that DevOps is an ideology, the meaning of this ideology is to erase unnecessary barriers between departments and processes, so everyone could work more effectively.
This is where the principles of Agile development come into play.
It may seem that linear method of developing software is more stable, because of pre-defined schedule, in reality though, it’s a complete opposite in many cases.
Developing with a rigid process methodology like waterfall means that only the changes and features identified at the beginning of the project are included in the release. As the need for improvements or additional features is identified during development those things are sidelined and added to a list to be pursued in the next release cycle. By the time the software is developed, tested, and deployed it is already out of date to some extent and bugs or issues that are identified take longer to address or get pushed to be handled in the next major release.
With DevOps however, you can achieve greater stability, reliability, and more frequent release schedule, because of this, you can identify issues and resolve them almost immediate
After reading this, you may ask yourself “what DevOps engineers actually do?”
There’s no formal career track for becoming a DevOps engineer. They are either developers who get interested in deployment and network operations, or sysadmins who have a passion for scripting and coding, and move into the development side where they can improve the planning of test and deployment. Either way, these are people who have pushed beyond their defined areas of competence and who have a more holistic view of their technical environments.
Their main responsibility as DevOps engineers is to control effectiveness and reliability on all stages of development, fixing small nuances and to “put out the fire” in case of necessary