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Making DevOps Work

by Aslan Brooke on Jan 25, 2013 |

Figuring out what it takes to get developers, QA staff, and operations staff to work collaboratively together is the first step to frequent releases of high quality software according to Neil Garnichaud's article "What Exactly is DevOps" in Dr. Dobb's.

The pressure of compressed timelines with minimal QA is building up in companies that produce software, especially cloud-based web application providers where a talented qualified work force is hard to find.The article states that, "DevOps attempts to solve this problem by developing a partnership between Development and Operations (hence, the name)."  It is known that DevOps is about culture, but there are still a lot of questions. Neil helps answer some of those hard questions. What follows are highlights from his answers:

What is in it for me as a developer? Developers have a better quality life by being free of production bugs. Code ownership stays with the developers as what they wrote is less likely to need revisions by others before reaching production. Developers make a bigger difference in work because they are producing code in response to true business and user needs by way of near real-time feedback provided by other groups in technology.

Am I in a DevOps culture or am I even ready for one? In a DevOps culture there is high visibility into production systems, responsiveness to user feedback, and proactive collaboration among teams. While DevOps is mainly about culture, serious consideration needs to be made in selecting processes and tooling to support DevOps.

What old habits need to be broken? Getting to the root cause of bugs needs to be more than fixing the code, it is necessary to get to the root of process issues and tooling issues that allowed for the bug.

What does it take to partner with other groups in technology? Being proactive about issues and striving for collaboration over finger pointing.

How important is leadership in DevOps? DevOps requires an orchestra leader. In addition management needs to provide a DevOps vision, provide necessary training, lead by example, and reward individuals for team contributions.

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DevOps white paper by Matt Watson

Stackify has a great white paper available about improving application support with a DevOps approach. I would highly recommend checking it out: www.stackify.com/white-paper-landing-page/

New silo to tear down others by Curtis Yanko

I've had some success by creating a DevOps team with the expressed purpose or bridging the gap between Dev, QA & Ops (Dev & Ops in particular though). Ops simply wont give Devs the keys to Prod but by positioning my teams as a standards, governance and over-sight team we earn their trust. I've found that it is absolutely essential to make doing things the right way easier than not as well. We've also become a shining example of what it means to truly partner with teams.

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