To get the most out of DevOps, there are a few key elements you need to take advantage of:
1. Maintain a feedback loop
Since the main purpose of utilizing DevOps is efficiency and shortening software lifecycles, constructive feedback is essential. Feedback could be noted from developers and beta testers or stakeholders and product users. Consistent feedback allows you to adjust your development process to complement the right parts of your project and ensure you’re on the right path.
2. Utilizing a microservice architecture
The bigger your project gets, the harder it is to monitor and manage it. The microservice architecture consists of breaking down complex systems into small, independent services. Using microservices can be very beneficial in the DevOps field, from simplifying deployability and scalability to efficient management and straightforward modifiability.
3. Encourage collaboration
Just because DevOps is the collaboration between development and operations doesn’t mean the cooperation should stop at those two. Fostering teamwork, collaboration and proper communication between staff from various departments is essential.
Collaboration shouldn’t end at encouragement from management but include active solutions to make it work; this could be anything from open offices to round-the-clock digital communication methods that bridge the gap between departments.
4. Having sufficient workforce and human resources
Successful DevOps implementation doesn’t stop at training a small group of individuals. Instead, your entire staff body requires adequate training. Any company needs project-appropriate skills and workforce that pick up the weight when needed. Many DevOps projects work on a large scale, which is something that a handful of employees can’t handle on their own, regardless of their level of skill and experience.
The main reason for DevOps’ success is eliminating the gap between the various departments working on a project and allowing them to collaborate. But that could have disastrous results without proper communication.
Proper communication requires a level of solid understanding, which means bridging the technical knowledge gap between teams, not just the informational gap. If one section or employee is out of the loop, it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
6. Implement security early on
Security issues and vulnerabilities can quickly add up one production phase after the next. It's important to address any potential security issues as soon as possible to avoid over-stuffing the final product with security gaps embedded deep into its foundation.
7. Design for flexibility
Flexibility is one of the most important features a system or software can have. Having flexible tools lets you easily scale them when needs and requirements change without having to dig deep into the code for incompatible changes. Designing for flexibility layer-by-layer early on prevents any future scaling issues and a smoother user experience overall.
8. Provide the necessary training
Staff and team members are more likely to invest their time and effort in a project they understand. Provide your team with the training and resources they need to do their role properly to minimize beginner's error. Hands-on DevOps training should be high on your list of priorities.
9. Create an error-friendly workspace
Blaming an individual for making a mistake when they're still new to DevOps is a sure way to crush their enthusiasm for the project. It also sends a message to other team members that it's best to hide or cover up their mistakes themselves instead of asking for guidance and help.
It's normal to experience some setbacks when implementing a new model. Facing them strategically is how you limit them in the future.
10. Set a monitoring and alerts system
Since DevOps is all about shortening the development life cycle, it's a fertile environment for errors to pile up.
Setting a monitoring and alerts system keeps an eye on things for you and sends out alerts when something goes wrong. That allows your team to react and fix the issue in time, without having to look for it or run time-consuming diagnostics.
11. Regular sync-ups
It's easy to drift back into your old work model, especially if you're new to DevOps. Without regular communication and work synchronization, team members can easily find themselves working separately, creating individual silos that attribute to small, team-oriented goals instead of bigger-picture objectives, which is the exact opposite of DevOps.
12. Running regular tests
Repeatedly testing every line of code in every feature before rolling it out is key to avoiding a final product littered with bugs. To make sure you never miss a single error, you need to set a continuous testing strategy. Your testing strategy also needs to cover all aspects of the batch, from the execution environment to compatibility with other batches and meeting set standards.
13. Work in small batches
Planning your work in small batches is essential when working in a fast-based environment with consecutive feedback loops. In addition to increasing efficiency and staff motivation, working in small batches limits errors that make it to the final version and allows you to test hypotheses with little consequences and near-immediate results.
To determine the appropriate size of your batch, follow the INVEST concept:
- Independent: Each batch should be independent from other batches
- Negotiable: The batch should be adjustable and negotiable when producing feedback
- Valuable: The batch should add value to the end-project and user-experience
- Estimable: Each batch should contain an estimated amount of information to determine the scope of the project
- Small: It should be small enough to be processed in under a few days
- Testable: The batch should be able to go through tests that deliver useful insights
Your batches should also be released back-to-back but not simultaneously to make the most out of their size and flexibility.
14. Trust automation
Automation has a reputation for downgrading the final results due to the lack of human experts, but this only happens if it’s wrongly implemented. The benefits of properly utilizing automation range from running more frequent tests, deploying code, reducing manual errors and leaving your human experts free to work on tasks that can’t be automated successfully.
15. Set achievable milestones
It's easy for an enthusiastic and skilled team to go astray, focusing on perfecting a specific feature instead of the bigger picture.
It's the responsibility of the team’s leader, project manager or employer to set realistic goals for the DevOps team that are time-sensitive to serve as motivation and promote discipline.
Utilizing DevOps to the fullest
DevOps is a flexible practice that succeeds where previous development methods failed. It's not rigid; it allows dev teams to work at the base that suits them, making the most out of individual skills and available resources without department barriers getting in the way.