Working DevOps? How about yes!

One of the most important requirements for both people and organizations today is to always be up-to-date with the latest trends and customer needs. Let’s take the market for voice and chat systems for example, where Viber and Messenger seek to be customer-oriented while remaining competitive. After Viber introduced “Dark theme”, it only took two days for Messenger to do the same. Several years ago, this feature update would have taken at least a month to plan, develop, test and deploy. So what’s the magic behind this ability to change rapidly?

Is DevOps some kind of magic?

implement it, can be the solution to the process overhead and any delays in the business. Much like in the movie “The Lion King”, where the animals lived freely and carefree according to the “Hakuna Matata” principle, only to find out at the end that the song is actually about taking responsibility and action in order to truly change. DevOps can be turned into a hype just as easy, if an organization doesn’t commit to it and doesn’t follow the processes that come with the mindset change. When the time comes to embrace DevOps, organizations should entrust their digital transformation to experienced people who have seen the results of these new types of IT practices.

And what better way to visualize the best practices than the symbol of infinity.

There is a common understanding that one role should be responsible for all the processes in order to go through and close the product lifecycle. Indeed, there have been suggestions in the past years that developers should own the code they create. This means for developers that they should

1. Develop code

2. Create use cases

3. Test them

4. Integrate the developed packages into pipelines

5. Maintain the product

It does sound unrealistic to assign all these responsibilities to a single role, but in reality the new DevOps practices can help streamline these tasks.

Is DevOps just a corporate culture thing?

Ever since DevOp emerged as a trend early in the past decade, it was clear that the term and its underlying principles were an abstract way of suggesting to development and IT operations teams where the „responsibility line” lies. Several books and articles were published to acquaint the IT world with the practical side and the impact of DevOps on organizations, like the infamous “The Phoenix Project”,2013, written by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford, “2014 State of DevOps Report” by Puppet Labs, IT Revolution Press, ThoughtWork and many more.

DevOps sounds like a cool word, or a cool trend, or even like a solution to all the corporate and administrative overhead issues that occur during the adoption of changes. In their endeavor to change quickly, people and organizations often see these new practices as part of the current corporate culture.

The DevOps way is far more than just a cultural thing, as financial trends indicate. According to Grand View Research, the DevOps market size has been steadily growing by about 20% per year from around 850 Million Dollars in 2014.

As these figures indicate, it is vital for small and medium companies to have specialists, trained to integrate DevOps practices into organizational units, structures and most importantly – mindsets.

Is DevOps a single purpose activity?

Given the abstract nature of the DevOps-based practices, it’s fairly difficult to define their limits. It’s way easier, however, to assess the different people selected for the job according to these principles. And they do come in as many flavors as the technologies themselves. DevOps is mainly about helping the business to become more agile, change-oriented and motivated to deliver products or services in highest possible quality. This is why the entire Application Lifecycle Management should be entrusted to people who incorporate these new IT practices in their work:

  • Infrastructure provisioning:
    • Infrastructure as a Code
    • Server provisioning quality assurance
    • Traditional IT services
  • Enterprise IT architecture design:
    • Enterprise Cloud Strategy
    • Service-Oriented Architecture
  • Elastic service management:
    • Public Cloud Providers
    • Containers and micro-services
    • CI/CD processes implementation
    • Continual testing
  • Expert IT support –
    • Service monitoring and automated remediation
    • Update maintenance
    • Disaster recovery services

It’s no surprise that defining the specific roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer can prove to be a difficult task for people and organizations. Google, for instance, has announced that it had a separate role called Site Reliability Engineer, which has emerged in parallel with the DevOps trend. The following blogpost illustrates how difficult it is to explain the difference between all emerging IT practices to customers, organizations and enterprises. And let’s be honest, if the goal is not tangible or easy to explain, but rather needs to be felt and accepted, everything could fall under the DevOps concept. This is not a false statement, as many companies try to assign such type of engineers to each unit, where they believe that the development process can move faster and with better quality. DevOps experts with different skill set can help an organization improve all aspects of its processes and leave more time for enhancing the value of the business. In other words, DevOps can be seen as the “moving walkway” between IT and business that increases efficiency, reliability, agility and quality.

About DevOps you can simply say “It’s a change-ready, action packed philosophy”.

About the author

Ivaylo Barakov

Solution Architect at BULPROS 

Ivaylo is an IT professional with 8 years of experience in support services, cloud infrastructure and DevOps background. He is part of the Cloud and Infrastructure services team at BULPROS and in his role as Solution Architect, he has focus on cloud technologies, designing IT projects, automation and ITSM processes implementation.