As the requirement for high-quality software in short time frames and restricted budgets increases, developers are looking for approaches that make building software a lot faster and more efficient. DevOps greatly helps in improving the software product delivery process; by bridging the gap between the development and operations teams, DevOps facilitates greater communication and collaboration, and improves service delivery, while reducing errors and improving quality. According to the State of Agile report, 58% of organizations embrace DevOps to accelerate delivery speed.
Tools for a successful DevOps Strategy
DevOps creates a stable operating environment and enables rapid software delivery through quick development cycles – all while optimizing resources and costs. However, before you embark on the DevOps journey, it is important to understand that since DevOps integrates people, processes, and tools together, more than tools and technology, it requires a focus on people and organizational change. Begin by driving an enterprise-wide movement – right from the top-level management down to the entry-level staff – and ensure everyone is informed of the value DevOps brings to the organization before integrating them together into cross-functional teams.
Next, selecting the right tools is critical to the success of your DevOps strategy; make sure the tools you select work with the cloud, support network, and IT resources and comply with the necessary security and governance requirements. Here’s your 5-point guide for developing a successful DevOps strategy and the tools you would need to drive sufficient value:
- Understand your Requirements: Although this would seem a logical first step, many organizations often make the DevOps plunge in haste, without sufficient planning. Start by understanding the solution patterns of the applications you plan to build. Consider all important aspects of software development including security, performance, testing, and monitoring — basically all of the core details. Use tools like Pencil, a robust prototyping platform, to gather requirements and create mockups. With hundreds of built-in shape collections, you can simplify drawing operations and enable easy GUI prototyping.
- Define your DevOps Process: Implementing a DevOps strategy might be the ideal thing to do, but understanding what processes you want to employ and what end result you are looking to achieve is equally important. Since DevOps processes differ from organization to organization, it is important to understand which traditional approaches to development and operations to let go of as you move to DevOps. Tools like GitHub can enable you to improve development efficiency and enjoy flexible deployment options, centralized permissions, innumerable integrations and more. GitHub allows you to host and review code, manage projects, and build quality software – moving ideas forward and learning all along the way.
- Fuel Collaboration: Collaboration is a key element of any DevOps strategy. It is only through continuous collaboration that you can develop and review code and stay abreast with all the happenings. With frequent and efficient collaboration, you can efficiently share workloads, enable frequent reviews, be informed of every update, resolve simple conflicts with ease, and improve the quality of your code. Collaboration tools like Jira and Asana enable you to plan and manage tasks with your team across the software development lifecycle. While Jira allows team members to effectively plan and distribute tasks, prioritize and discuss team’s work, and build and release great software together, Asana allows project leaders to assign responsibilities throughout the project; you can prioritize tasks, assign timelines, view individual dashboards and communicate on project goals.
- Enable Automated Testing: When developing a DevOps strategy, it is important to enable automated testing. Automated test scripts speed up the process of testing, and also improve the quality of your software by testing it thoroughly at each stage. By leveraging real-world data, they reflect production-level loads and identify issues in time. DevOps-friendly tools like Selenium are ideal for enabling automated testing. Since Selenium supports multiple operating systems and browsers, you can write test scripts in various languages including Java, Python, Ruby and more and can also extend test capability using additional test libraries.
- Continuously Monitor Performance: To get the most out of your DevOps strategy, measuring and monitoring performance is key. Given the fact that there will be hundreds of services and processes running in your DevOps environment, all of which cannot be monitored, the identification of the key metrics you want to track is vital. Tools like Jenkins can be used to continuously monitor your development cycles, deployment accuracy, system vulnerabilities, server health, and application performance. By quickly identifying problems, it enables you to integrate project changes more easily and deliver a functional product more quickly.
Improve Service Delivery
Implementing a DevOps strategy is not just about building high-quality software faster; it’s about driving a cultural shift across the organization to improve development processes and make it more efficient. Making the most of a switch to DevOps requires you to start with a new outlook, along with the use of new tools and new processes. By using the right tools at every stage, you can accelerate the product development process, meet time-to-market deadlines, and begin your journey towards improved service delivery and optimized costs.