DevOPs is set of tools, collaboration between Developers and Operations.

7 Signs DevOps Needs Work

by Andre Robichaud

You Can’t Sell DevOps

DevOps is not a product or solution and you cannot sell it.  It is a mindset and a cultural movement.  More Notably, if you try to sell it head on you are going to encounter resistance every step of the way.  DevOps not a service or solution you can define with clarity.  A Good Article by Cory von Wallenstein outlines why DevOps is not something you can sell; please check it out.

This Article is about instituting the DevOps practice and the seven signs that you are on the right path of developing the cultural and professional movement, or the processes need work.

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Are you Practicing DevOps or Pretending?

There are significant benefits to a cultural movement and mindset.  Unfortunately, it is easy to implement a few tools, mix in a few methods and consider yourself DevOps focused.  Noteworthy is some typical misunderstanding and problematic implementations of this movement.  More-so chances are your business has fallen victim to at least one of them.  It does not mean you are not trying to embrace the mindset. It just means there is some work to do before you achieve optimal status.

Take a step back, and assess your Company’s dedication to its process goal.  Remember it is a cultural movement practice that indicates your business is working in harmony towards a common team goal.  Below are the seven signs that your cultural mindset and movement needs improvement.

7 Signs You are Missing the Mark on DevOps.

Technology is needed for IT departments to operate, such things as hardware, servers, network switches, routers and operating systems.  Security software to protect your data,  solutions to ensure accountability and timelines on projects, back office software.  Lastly, monitoring to make sure everything is running smoothly.  This is the existence of Information Systems.  The process we are discussing is not the next latest, and greatest technology and companies have the impression it is a solution they can buy.

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1. DevOps Doesn’t happen Overnight

Professionals and CIOS that attend DevOps events with other fellow CIOs begin to see the advantages of such a process and what it can do for their company.   However, the Mode of  Operandi for most is now I want it and have to have it now, not realizing that it is not a product or service but a cultural movement and mindset.  Moreso, it is not a process that happens overnight; it takes time and dedication to see it through.  One of the biggest problems to keep in mind is the deeply-rooted mindsets and operational resistance that already exist within a well-established enterprise. Businesses can deploy a firm or highly paid consultant to learn the method, but it requires significant participation to implement, not to mention a team to understand and embrace the practices.

2. DevOps Isn’t Just a Set of Tools

Misapplying the process runs synchronously to the above. IT cost centers gather tools to complete their jobs more efficiently. The tools they acquire provide the ability to take care of clients, servers, storage and overall networking. The tools associated with DevOps sometimes confuse companies. Rest assured the processes of DevOps cannot be achieved without such tools. Nonetheless, when companies ignore other areas of the methodology and concentrate exclusively on the tools themselves, problems develop. However, Tools are only one part of what makes up this methodology.

Tools assist in the automated process and without them, you are missing an important piece. Methods such as testing, deployments, and server builds should be part of the automated process.  You can choose to create the tools amongst your team or purchase tools made to accomplish these tasks.

Generally speaking the process consists of some factors which operate beyond configuration administration; do not concentrate on only one simply because a solution is present and it is perceptible. If you look for something perceptible to latch onto in your journey to be a DevOps focused company, you will fail.

Purchasing tools such as Chef or Puppet as a remedy for your DevOps needs is the wrong strategy, and you are approaching the process wrong.

3. Automation is at the Core of DevOps

Automated processes are the center of the DevOps culture. Organizations employing have a strong need to automate everything possible. Automation allows them to remove human error and standardize processes across the entire software development lifecycle.

Organizations know that Automation is the driver that grows other concepts such as setting up steady, routine code deployments. Without Automated, dependable system implementations, in particular, would not be possible. Automation is an essential approach to embrace working towards DevOps culture.

If you find yourself having discussions with co-staff that include statements like, “There is no time to Automate,” or “Just work with what we have and do it manually. It will be faster,”. When starting out on a new project, automation should be the first idea that comes to mind.

Successful DevOps organizations realize that if they introduce automation up front, it will produce dividends such as dependable and faster code deployments in the future.  Enterprises must understand that everything is on the table for Automation, such as deployments, testing, code check-in policies, servers builds — everything.

So, a significant note;  if you are spending hours going over checklists to ensure code is ready, automation is not happening.

4.  DevOps Embraces Agility

So now we have talked about automation, it is significant to deal with deployment regularity. The Nature of DevOps is a faster time to deploy without dealing with fix bugs and the ability to launch new versions or features into production quicker.  Following a traditional SDLC framework is not going to get it done.  DevOps is about being agile.

Agile means small modifications released as frequently as possible and not to plan out every little detail in advance before releasing to production. It is about determining what is thought to be “production ready,” addressing that with a group of automated tests, and relying on those tests written correctly will define what it means for code to be “production ready.”

Devops is similar with concepts like continuous integration and ongoing deployment. Observe the key word in both terms: regular. Devops is about consistently having developers examine the code as frequently as possible, which starts off automated tests.

Enterprises that practice DevOps know it is about taking the code and delivering it directly to production through constant deployment. If your organization enables developers to check in code that goes through automated pre-check-in tests, then handed over to another group of controls to ensure that it is production ready.  Then it goes live on your servers if assumed available automatically.  Releasing code modifications less frequently means you have not deployed DevOps correctly — no matter how tiny the changes or how rapidly you make them.

5.  DevOps is a Culture

Culture is considered a “soft” aspect of any organization but couldn’t be more crucial to this culture. Often this is where companies fail in the area of DevOps. You might be automating with the correct set of tools, and you may frequently be updating code.  The inability to assimilate this culture may be your downfall.

Let’s just take, for example, you committed code to a production database, and it kills the database, what would happen?  Do you get admonished, reprimanded or even get your ability to deploy code taken away from you in a closed door meeting with your manager. This is an example of a company not practicing the process.

Here is a case of a company practicing DevOps culture.  Same scenario but the meltdown of the production database is a chance to learn.  A Good Manager practicing DevOps culture will bring everyone into a meeting and provide candid feedback.  The level of candor can be a little uncomfortable, but never placing entire blame.  The cause is determined, and new automated processes are deployed and built around that mistake.  This is an example of practicing the culture methodologies.

6.  Don’t Point Fingers!

DevOps approach is about resolving the issue rather than placing blame for systematical errors and is an essential component that has significant influence over the human aspect of the plan. Reducing failure, removing individual responsibility is the crucial part of the successful deployment of DevOps practices.

A DevOps culturally driven enterprise does not place the blame on one person but realizes it is a flaw in the process or the environment.  They understand Developers and Operations must cohesively work together and for that to happen. A cultural mindset must be developed and practiced.

Let’s say for example a developer produces an application, tests the application on his computer, and turns the code over to operations. If a problem happens when operations put the code into production, they cannot blame the developer for writing substandard code, neither can the developer fault operations for not dealing with servers correctly.

Devops eliminates this issue by first figuring out the distinction between the two testing conditions.  When a problem arises, an automated test is created to make sure it never happens again in the future.  Any defective code moving forward will fall short in the newly developed automated test.

Firing developers because of production malfunctions is the complete opposite of the DevOps mindset.

7.  DevOps is about Cohesive Communications

The mindset you are trying to achieve is “One Team.” One Team with seamless communications between developers and operations.  Without seamless communications and cohesion, it is an instant recipe for double work and failure.  Take the human emotions out of the equation and work as a professional team to build a product that helps the business.

In Conclusion

If you are trying to deliver IT Services Faster, without all the bugs, problems and fixes then it is time to DevOps.   For a business requiring more meticulous approaches to code management then it should be considered.  DevOps is a combination of automation, teamwork, Learning and tools to complete the process and cultural mindset.

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