DevOps Principles

Aug 01, 2022

When an organization makes the decision to start implementing a DevOps strategy, it means that they're ready to combine the basic principles of both development and operations into a single cohesive group. In this video, we'll list DevOps principles.

When an organization makes the decision to start implementing a DevOps strategy, it means that they're ready to combine the basic principles of both development and operations into a single cohesive group. You see, ultimately, developers understand the technical requirements for what to do and how to do it. They can digest the needs of the various stakeholders and build some software that meets those requirements. Meanwhile, operations understands the deployment and implementation of that software. In the traditional model of separated teams, the operations folks would potentially participate in the development process. In other words, the operations teams are just more stakeholders. But in the DevOps world, the team understands both the development and operations aspect of software development, and that makes things much more streamlined.

With DevOps collaboration between stakeholders and the team actually doing the work is greatly simplified. And this is primarily due to easier communication. Traditionally, we'd have at least three groups, the stakeholders, the developers, and the operations folks. With DevOps, we bring that down to two groups, the stakeholders and the DevOps team. So, communicating and collaborating on any subject, like issues or requirements, is much easier. And that means that feedback is much easier to give and receive too. Any software project benefits greatly from the feedback that it gets from stakeholders. By streamlining communication, the feedback is much easier to provide and to consume. And ultimately, that makes the collaboration between the stakeholders and the development teams much stronger.

Another thing that DevOps facilitates is continuous improvement. Now, with DevOps, we talk about software development a lot, and that's a big part of it. But DevOps can really help with other aspects of the process beyond just development. For example, DevOps can facilitate experimentation. Because the team controls both the development and the operations side of things, they can much more easily create the needed environments, infrastructure, or systems needed to run experiments, and proof of concepts. And why is that? Well, because there isn't a whole other team that developers have to work with anymore to make that happen. And that actually results in reducing waste.

Wasted time, wasted systems, and wasted efforts are all minimized because DevOps teams can get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. And of course, you can see that that leads to a massive amount of optimization too. Tons of overhead is removed. But more than that, if the DevOps team can see a way of improving their processes and strategies, they can just do that. And all this combines to allow for DevOps teams to continuously improve themselves and the software. And that inevitably results in a continuous delivery strategy, where the software that the DevOps teams are producing goes to market on a continuous basis. In fact, let's talk about that for a second.

Continuous delivery or more broadly, let's talk about how the DevOps teams push towards automation to benefit us. Now, DevOps inevitably pushes organizations towards the automation strategy commonly referred to as continuous integration and continuous delivery or CI/CD. CI/CD is a strategy wherein code is automatically compiled, tested, packaged, and then deployed. So, a developer will write some code committed to the code repository, and then the automated CI/CD process will build, test, and deploy that code. CI/CD is a game changer for organizations. It results in significantly fewer errors in production systems. I remember when I first switched to CI/CD and marveled as our bug metrics dropped like a rock. Now, it's not a silver bullet, but it definitely puts you in a good position. Now, to facilitate the automation, DevOps teams will generally also implement a process that utilizes brief iterations, processes like Agile or Scrum.

These iterations allow for small chunks of works to be planned, worked on, and then ultimately deployed. Now, while DevOps clearly has a huge advantage for the development teams and the organization as a whole, it's important to understand that DevOps actually has a pretty big focus on the customer or stakeholders. By implementing these brief iterations, what the team is doing is actually creating feedback loops. That's right. What the DevOps team is trying to do is deploy small chunks of code quickly and often, and that means that they can get feedback from the stakeholders quickly and often. And that can push the product in different directions over time. But why is that important? Well, because products can then be built based on the real needs of the customer.

And as we said earlier, in the DevOps model, collaboration is improved. Now, with brief iterations, quick feedback is achieved. And that means that we are collectively building the product that we all want. And that's simply because DevOps is foundationally based on the idea that we want to build towards a satisfactory outcome. The final product that we're building needs to meet the user's needs. Sure, we can write down all kinds of requirements, and we will. But without the streamlined approach of DevOps and the continuous feedback, we're always running the risk that we're not building exactly the right thing. And lastly, just remember that at the end of the day, DevOps is a highly effective strategy for solving problems. Collaboration and communication is key. Automation makes things quicker and less prone to error. Combine all of those things and we can capture and solve stakeholder problems much more quickly and efficiently than we ever have before.