Debunking the Common Misconceptions Related to DevOps

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Click to learn more about author Hemanth Kumar Yamjala.

Every business today aims at achieving faster time-to-market with quality products or services. This is needed to stay competitive as rivals threaten to lure away customers by offering a better user experience. Hence, to stay competitive and achieve ROI, businesses increasingly are looking to embrace DevOps. The main objective of the development team is to rapidly create software with new features to address changing market dynamics and customer preferences. At the same time, the operations team aims at maintaining the stability of applications and to be responsive to customer feedback. Since change can impact the stability of an application, the development and operations teams should work in unison to manage it. DevOps calls for bringing about a culture change by breaking the siloes between departments and ensuring better collaboration and communication.

However, more often than not, the hallowed objective of effecting a culture change does not take place satisfactorily. In fact, there is often a slip between the cup and the lip because departments are wary of letting others onto their turfs. The transformation that DevOps seeks should have the support of every stakeholder. Businesses should be well aware of the risks that demanding users can have with respect to the addition of new features.

Let us understand the key factors needed for successful DevOps implementation.

  • Agile Over Waterfall: Businesses should embrace agile methodology comprising shift-left testing that enables focused, smaller, and iterative process of development. This reduces the potential risks with the software and ultimately, for the end-user.
  • Better Communication and Collaboration: The members of development and operations teams should have a unity of purpose. They should have a proper understanding of the requirements and ensure proper coordination to meet them.
  • Automation: This is the key to achieve a successful DevOps testing whereby every change in feature is validated for performance, functionality, security, and integration, among other requirements.

Even though DevOps has been accepted as a game changer for improving the quality and achieving the quick delivery of software, there are myths galore. This is due to the fact that DevOps does not have a proper definition but several explanations. This often results in situations where different people derive different conclusions about similar practices, tools, or ideas.

Let us know about some of the myths related to DevOps.

1. DevOps process change from project to project. DevOps and by corollary, DevOps testing, is about applying a set of procedures across multiple projects. This allows for a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of team members across departments. So, there is no need to reinvent the wheel for every project as it goes against the grain of DevOps. The DevOps test automationprocess ought to be flexible so that it can adapt to the server configurations, deployment cycles, and team strength. This can only happen when there is a deep understanding of the process enabled through repetition.

2. DevOps is only about automated tools. You cannot buy DevOps like you would buy an automated tool. DevOps is the methodology to deploy and monitor the quality of applications. Its outcomes – namely, continuous delivery, continuous integration, and continuous testing – are not automated tools but the result of well thought-out practices. Yes, automated tools are needed to implement DevOps test automation. These include names such as Selenium, Docker, CircleCI, GitHub, and Chef, among others. However, the efficacy of these tools can only be achieved if the teams using them know how to optimize and leverage them.

3. DevOps is similar to continuous delivery. Continuous delivery happens to be one of the key components of the DevOps testing strategy but is not DevOps in its entirety. The focus in implementing DevOps should be more about improving the culture of the teams entrusted with the development, testing, and maintenance of software.

4. DevOps only applies to successful start-ups or unicorns. Although unicorns may have tasted success by adopting the DevOps philosophy and applying continuous improvement, integration, testing, and delivery of software, they have mostly predated the advent of DevOps. So, companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and others are said to follow DevOps principles of investing more in people vis-a-vis tools or processes.

5. DevOps is just about better communication between developers and operation managers. Even though communication plays an important role in the success of DevOps, it is not everything. DevOps is more about understanding every element of the process by experts. So, when a team of technical experts is integrated into the DevOps pipeline, it should result in a flexible and scalable process.

Conclusion

The myths surrounding DevOps stem from an inadequate understanding of its methodology. It is an overarching principle that can deliver huge benefits for companies. By implementing iterative DevOps testing, bugs can be quickly identified at the outset and software application better tuned to the market demand.

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