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10 Tips for successful DevOps

A recent State of DevOps report shows that organisations that adopt a DevOps culture have 60 times fewer failures than those that do not.

Here Alex Knol, NearForm’s Director of DevOps and David Gonzalez, DevOps Consultant at NearForm share 10 tips for successful DevOps.

1) Change your culture

Interest in DevOps is growing, but many organisations are failing in their implementation of DevOps .

Successful DevOps means making sure your processes are usable by the right teams in your organisation.

Recruiting the right people and developing the right set of tools can be futile without a change in culture.

2) Create a complete picture

Sometimes organisations have a blank slate that allows them to implement DevOps without having to sort through legacy issues or ingrained team structures.

More often than not, however, an element of transformational change is necessary.

To create a complete picture you'll need to do the following:

  • take down silos
  • develop a holistic view of the organization
  • understand processes from start to finish
  • review software updates and how they are rolled out

3) Empower your developers

Developers often talk about 'shifting left', or testing early and often.

This helps us understand how software is delivered as well as the entire life cycle from start to launch.

Gaining this understanding allows us to incorporate these lessons early in the process.

4) DevOps combines Development and Operations

Bottlenecks surface when developers don't have the right skills or required access level to maintain production.

If this is the case you will (hopefully) see complaints.

This is one of the tell-tale signs that a culture shift is needed.

Developers need to be able to maintain, design, and build the software they are resposible for.

This means developers and management need to communicate.

There should be shared responsibility that allows all involved to take responsibility as a collaborative team in order to create solutions.

5) DevOps is more than just hiring and/or labeling new talent

This scenario occurs often.

Management decides to create a DevOps group and hire with that job title.

Without a vision or culture the new hires end up sitting in another silo.

This can also happen when companies acquire new organisations or teams.

Different visions of what DevOps means within those teams can make them difficult to integrate.

6) Automate CI / CD

Enable your teams with self-service capabilities.

Automation tools allow you to see how your software will be deployed across all platforms

While automation exists to provide this self-service capability, without the correct culture these tools will be useless.

7) Use DevSecOps correctly

In Equifax's huge data breach an attacker was able to execute criminal code because they were using an old version of a software platform.

Equifax unfortunately decided the platform was either too risky to update or that it wasn't the right time which resulted in this devastating cyber attack.

A key role of DevOps is to ensure that patching is up to date.

Automation can help in maintaining patching schedules which means vulnerable versions of libraries will be detected before they enter production.

8) Make sure information flows freely between management and development

Successful implementation of DevOps means that information between management and development flows freely.

A culture of collaboration leads to a reduction in failures and increased productivity.

Perhaps more importantly, it sets the path toward more secure software platforms .

9) Be confident

A long standing mantra of software development has been "never deploy on Friday".

However, when you establish DevOps correctly you can be confident that what you are deploying will work.

This means you can deploy on Friday and know there will be no problems to fix.

One of the main benefits of DevOps is that it gives teams confidence in what they are building.

10) Remove Friction

Remove the friction between your development and operations, or any process for that matter, and you will see increased revenue and growth.

If you enjoyed this, we recommend that you listen to our podcast “DevOps – Is it a culture, or a magic set of tools?” with  Alex Knol and David Gonzalez.


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