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DevOps – a short guide

DevOps
devops

DevOps – a short guide

In 2020 the global DevOps market size reached USD 4,311.95 million. According to research by Global Market Insights, by 2026 it is estimated to reach USD 12,215.54 million, at a CAGR of 18.95%. The numbers are huge, so today we look at DevOps in more detail – do read on to find out what you should know about it.  

Why is DevOps important? 

To fully understand the importance of DevOps, let’s look at some statistics: in 2021, 83% of IT decision-makers reported implementing DevOps engineering to unlock higher business value. 99% of them said DevOps has had a positive impact on their organization, 61% confirmed the implementation of DevOps helped them produce higher quality deliverables, while 49% reported a reduction in time-to-market software and services. Additionally, DevOps allows for efficient management of technical debt and helps to increase application security.

How to define DevOps?

Despite its incredible popularity, the DevOps software development methodology is a fairly young one. It all started around 2007 when IT operations and software development teams realized there was a need of getting closer together, with a common goal of making better products faster. 

As its name suggests, DevOps include software development (dev) and operations (ops).

Shorty put, DevOps is understood as a software engineering methodology (an advanced set of tools, practices, and cultural philosophies) that results in automating and integrating the processes taking place between software development and IT teams. 

DevOps culture

Before we move on to discuss DevOps tool sets, let’s focus for a moment on the DevOps culture, because DevOp is not just about adopting specific tools or technologies; it is a mindset that promotes collaboration, automation, and a focus on delivering value to customers in a fast, reliable, and efficient manner.

DevOps approach promotes the idea of cross-functional teams working together to deliver software effectively and efficiently. It encourages collaboration, trust, and shared goals among developers, operations engineers, quality assurance professionals, and other stakeholders involved in the software development process.

DevOps refers to the set of values, principles, and practices. Let us look at some of the most important ones.

Skills Improvement

DevOps encourages a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Teams are empowered to experiment, take risks, and learn from failures. Post-incident reviews, blameless retrospectives, and feedback loops are used to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to prevent similar issues from recurring.

DevOps Practices

DevOps Automation

Automation is a core principle of DevOps culture. By automating repetitive tasks, such as build, test, and deployment processes, teams can increase efficiency, reduce errors, and accelerate the software delivery cycle. Automation allows for faster feedback loops and enables the rapid, reliable, and repeatable delivery of software.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

DevOps culture promotes the adoption of CI/CD practices, where code changes are integrated and tested frequently, and software is delivered to production in small, incremental updates. This ensures that changes are validated early and often, reducing the risk of errors and enabling faster delivery of new features and bug fixes.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

In DevOps environment, infrastructure is treated as code, enabling teams to manage and provision infrastructure resources using version-controlled code. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) helps ensure consistency, scalability, and reproducibility, as well as facilitates collaboration between development and operations teams.

Code refactoring

By incorporating code refactoring DevOps teams improve the codebase, reduce technical debt, enable easier maintenance, and enhance overall software development efficiency, while ensuring that the changes are integrated smoothly into the development and deployment processes.

Continuous testing

Continuous testing is a crucial component of DevOps, ensuring high-quality software throughout the development process. By automating tests and integrating them into the workflow, organizations detect issues early, minimize risks, and accelerate software delivery. This iterative feedback loop between development, testing, and operations improves software quality and customer satisfaction.

Continuous deployment

Continuous deployment in DevOps automates the release of software changes, enabling rapid and reliable updates. By streamlining the deployment process and conducting automated tests, organizations can respond quickly to customer needs, iterate in real-time, and achieve faster time-to-market. Continuous deployment ensures efficient and seamless software delivery, delivering consistent value to users.

DevOps security

DevSecOps is the integration of security practices within the DevOps framework. By embedding security throughout the software development lifecycle, organizations proactively identify vulnerabilities, mitigate risks, and protect data. DevSecOps emphasizes collaboration, automation, continuous monitoring and security testing, enabling quick response to security incidents. This approach builds secure and resilient systems, ensuring the trust of customers and stakeholders.

Agile vs DevOps

The agile development process is often used in organizations that are planning to implement or have already implemented a DevOps environment . This is because they share many common elements when it comes to the software development approach.

Agile software development practices focus on iterative and incremental development, customer collaboration, and responding to change, while DevOps emphasizes collaboration, automation, and continuous delivery. In combination, Agile and DevOps practices can result in an effective software development and delivery strategy.

Software development lifecycle

The SDLC in DevOps encompasses several stages, including planning, coding, building, testing, deployment, and operations. Each stage is tightly integrated, with a focus on automation and collaboration between development and operations teams. DevOps encourages iterative development, where feedback loops and continuous integration enable rapid delivery of software changes. Automated testing, deployment, and monitoring ensure quality and reliability at every step. By streamlining and automating the SDLC, DevOps enables organizations to achieve faster time-to-market, improved software quality, and increased customer satisfaction. The DevOps SDLC approach empowers teams to adapt to evolving customer needs, respond quickly to market demands, and deliver value consistently throughout the software development journey.

DevOps tools

When it comes to selecting the right DevOps toolchain it is crucial to think about improving the effectiveness of delivery process, introducing automating, and improving monitoring of the software that is being created. In addition, the right tools will allow you to efficiently manage and reduce technical debt.

The DevOps sample tools include:

  • Jira: Jira is a project management tool that helps teams plan, track, and manage their work. It provides features for agile project management, issue tracking, and collaboration, making it an essential tool for managing tasks and workflows in DevOps projects.
  • Maven: Maven is a build automation tool used primarily for Java projects. It simplifies project configuration, dependency management, and the building of software artifacts. Maven helps streamline the build process and ensures consistency across different development environments.
  • Git: Git is a distributed version control system that enables teams to manage and track changes in source code efficiently. It facilitates collaboration, branching, merging, and code review, allowing multiple developers to work on a project simultaneously while maintaining code integrity.
  • Slack: Slack is a popular team communication and collaboration platform. It provides real-time messaging, file sharing, and integrations with various tools. In DevOps, Slack helps teams stay connected, share updates, and collaborate effectively, fostering seamless communication across different teams and disciplines.
  • Jenkins: Jenkins is an open-source automation server that enables continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). It automates the building, testing, and deployment of software, helping teams deliver changes rapidly and reliably. Jenkins integrates with other DevOps tools and supports extensive plugin capabilities.
  • Docker and Kubernetes: Docker is a containerization platform that allows applications to be packaged and isolated within containers. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Together, Docker and Kubernetes provide a powerful infrastructure solution for managing and scaling applications in a DevOps environment.

What is the role of a DevOps engineer?

One of the most important roles when it comes to implementing DevOps methodology is a DevOps engineer – arguably the most exciting job in today’s IT world. The role of a DevOps engineer consists of working with software developers, system operators, admins, and other people engaged in the software development project to oversee and facilitate it.

DevOps vs SRE

While the main role of DevOps is to improve the core development of products, SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) deals with deployment and operational problems, using software engineering to automate IT operations such as production system management, change management, and incident response. 

Given their different roles, it is safe to say that DevOps and SRE do not exclude each other but are two different parts that should be used together. 

What are the challenges of adopting DevOps?

While DevOps offers numerous benefits, organizations may encounter several challenges when adopting this methodology. Problems can arise on two levels: organizational, related to DevOps approach, and technical, related to DevOps tools.

  1. Cultural Resistance: Resistance to change and a lack of buy-in from individuals or teams accustomed to traditional siloed approaches.
  2. Skillset and Knowledge Gap: The need to acquire new skills and knowledge related to automation, cloud technologies, infrastructure as code, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD).
  3. Tooling and Infrastructure: Selecting and implementing the right set of tools and establishing an efficient and scalable infrastructure to support DevOps practices.
  4. Security and Compliance: Integrating security practices into the DevOps workflow while ensuring compliance and mitigating risks effectively.
  5. Communication and Collaboration: Facilitating effective communication and collaboration between teams, especially in larger organizations or across geographically distributed teams.
  6. Legacy Systems and Legacy Mindset: Overcoming challenges associated with integrating legacy systems into modernized DevOps pipelines and addressing resistance to change from individuals with traditional practices and mindsets.
  7. Measuring Success and ROI: Defining appropriate metrics and tracking progress to measure the success and return on investment (ROI) of DevOps initiatives.

How to avoid these problems? Some of them are, of course, a natural part of the process. However, if you want to implement DevOps in your organization you need to remember that in fact the implementation process starts at the stage of the first discussions about it.

Most importantly, it’s a good idea to make it clear how the whole process will work, what the individual steps are, and what benefits it will bring not only to the whole organization, but also to individual teams.



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