Why Implement DevOps
(1)

Olga Demidenko
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Sep 9, 2020

DevOps is a methodology that helps to establish interaction between developers and operations specialists. It originated in 2009 as an alternative to a traditional way of software delivery process. Its main aim was to increase the number of software releases with a DevOps approach. 

Accordingly, DevOps engineers work at the junction of the areas of development and operations. They automate the software lifecycle, including design, development, testing, deployment, support, and monitoring.

This article discusses why there is a need for a DevOps approach. It is also worth assessing the demand for the DevOps profession in the IT-sphere. We'll also share our experience in applying the DevOps methodology in one of our projects.

Why DevOps?

First, let's start with the reasons why companies shift to DevOps.

The methodology helps developers to look at the world through the eyes of the DevOps. It bridges the gap between different teams, letting them understand the essence of each other's activities. For example, developers start to realize what factors can negatively affect the product’s release timelines. 

The DevOps approach significantly changed the attitude of operations professionals towards developers, too. The operations team also begins to understand that they need to negotiate with the developers to deploy features faster. Without DevOps, the two departments become parts of two different processes. 

Any roles involved in a project that do not directly contribute toward the goal of putting valuable software in the hands of users as quickly as possible should be carefully considered.
— Stein Inge Morisbak

In a non-DevOps environment, development and operations, teams don’t directly contribute to that. But the same time, developers are responsible for making changes to the system by:

  • writing a new code
  • testing it, 
  • releasing it in production.

In turn, the operations team needs to adopt the production environment to make it stable, reliable, and performance-ready.

DevOps can help overcome the drawbacks associated with the traditional approach. Suppose we take a recent Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019 conducted by DORA. In that case, it reaffirms that there's an evident DevOps impact on the delivery of quick, stable, and secure applications.

At the heart of the study is the data obtained from more than 30,000 professionals. Using various statistical methods, it was possible to classify companies into four groups. In their thorough study, DORA identified low, medium, high, and elite performers. It also compared software delivery efficiency of these groups. 

Comparing the top and low performers, the researchers found a significant difference between them. 

https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/state-of-devops-2019.pdf

The image illustrates that the highest performers deploy 208 times more frequently than low performers. They also have 106 times faster lead time from committing to deploy. Its recovery from incidents is 2,604 times faster. As for the change failure rate, the elite group performs 7 times better than low performers.

But what are the benefits of implementing a DevOps approach into your organization?

DevOps Benefits

  1. DevOps specialists implement IT alignment among departments. That ensures that developers, testing, and QA and operations specialists continuously collaborate. Not only DevOps specialists supervise the departments, but also they put the execution of their tasks on automation. They achieve this by implementing various software tools.
  2. DevOps engineers create identical infrastructure for development, testing, and production environments. It helps to eliminate software failures when a particular feature works in one setting but fails in another due to configuration differences.
  3. DevOps ensure the excellent quality of code by involving developers in the development life cycle. So, they gain a motive to prevent future bugs related to the software. That helps to avoid putting that risk on the shoulders of the operations team solely.
  4. DevOps ensures faster delivery of software updates through the use of automated testing and integration. A DevOps specialist implements special tools. These tools let developers get feedback and deploy new builds faster.
  5. A DevOps approach enhances a culture of efficiency and innovation within a company. DevOps specialists put repetitive tasks on automation and standardize every relatable environment. Therefore, teams can get rid of dissatisfying chunks of work and thus avoid frustration.
  6. DevOps stands behind higher-quality software and happy users. As we already mentioned, DevOps presupposes numerous automated tests and a small number of errors after deployment. Thorough and continuous testing serves as a quality mark for potential users.

DevOps adds value to organizations and the teams involved in the project. Many companies want to embrace opportunities that the methodology can open up for them. That increases the demand for DevOps engineers as they are responsible for implementing the popular and efficient methods.

The Demand for DevOps Engineers

DevOps engineers work in various technical fields within a company. They use a wide range of knowledge and skills. They also often need to work with IT teams to monitor multiple areas of concern. DevOps engineers must have a broad understanding of current technology and trends and strong communication skills.

Many businesses have already embraced the benefits of DevOps and given up on traditional approaches to software development. First, DevOps practices streamline code deployment with fewer bugs and post-release crashes.

Secondly, tech companies like Adobe, Amazon, and Facebook are actively hiring DevOps specialists. They are also in great demand at Netflix, Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Sony Pictures Entertainment, etc.

Moreover, the hype around DevOps is constantly fueled by the feedback provided by representatives of that profession. According to StackOverflow Annual Survey Results, DevOps engineers are in the top-earning roles. They have one of the highest job satisfaction rates. 

The popularity of the profession is overwhelming. One can find 40K+ results on Linkedin if you type “DevOps in the US”:

DevOps engineers are generally included in the lists of the best tech jobs for the future. The market demand for that career path looks promising. According to IMARC Group, the global DevOps market size reached $4.1 billion in 2019. The market is forecast to reach $12.5 billion by 2025.

However, not everything is so simple with DevOps. 

DevOps engineers can contribute to the success of any company dealing with software development. But many things depend on the size of the project. For example, if your goal is to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) to test a new business idea, you can do it without DevOps. 

But if your product starts to grow, DevOps engineers can bring expertise and skills to help establish the processes in a changing situation. It is also crucial to implement the necessary infrastructure to facilitate new features and software updates. We found the DevOps practice essential in one of our projects.

Geomotiv’s DevOps Case

Our client is a streaming OTT service, with over 15 million active users. The service is a high-load system receiving over 8 million requests per minute. The client has hired Geomotiv as our team has operating strong AdTech expertise and experience in technologies. First, our team started with developing a Java-based MVP for data display. After completing the task, the client decided to extend the team. They wanted us to operate their AdTech on a full-time basis. 

We have provided a DevOps to help establish efficient processes for the team. Our DevOps engineer has helped the team solve infrastructure problems. He has transferred the current development to a more modern environment. There's also a need to make existing infrastructure independent of a service provider. To reach that goal, we've moved the configuration management system from AWS Cloudformation to Terraform.

Our specialist also has managed to establish efficient communication between departments. Our DevOps specialist also assists QA and development teams if any issues arise. As a result, Geomotiv’s helped the client provide operating environments’ stability, cut the development time, and boost feature delivery.

Ending Notes

In this article, we’ve considered DevOps from different perspectives. First, we’ve looked at why this methodology needs to be incorporated into the development process. We have examined the contradictions that can arise on a project between development and operations teams and how DevOps delivers value in this respect. 

There's also evidence that DevOps impact some of the most critical aspects of software delivery performance. We've specified the data obtained by DORA that verified DevOps’ key capabilities to deliver quick and stable products. 

We’ve also highlighted the benefits of implementing the methodology. Starting from encouraging departments to collaborate and further establishing the culture of innovation within a company, DevOps delivers value for the business in the long-term. 

This methodology has already been tested over time. It may become the new standard in software development. The interest in the DevOps profession is growing, too. 

We at Geomotiv have accumulated rich expertise in building a team of DevOps experts. Our cross-functional teams know how to deliver transparent SDLs and improve the quality of the software. 

Let the team of senior developers, QAs, and DevOps tackle your next project of any complexity. With our expert help, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of DevOps and reach your business goals faster.

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