The 4 Keys To DevOps Efficiency

//The 4 Keys To DevOps Efficiency

Whether you think you’re on the road to DevOps efficiency or not, that’s where the software industry is converging in 2017 and it is coming for you too. The good news is that you’re probably either already doing a number of DevOps-like things simply because they’re more efficient, and efficiency is a big sticker on every development organization’s bumper these days.

Why Is Everyone Talking About DevOps Now?

DeVops efficiency venn diagram

The conversation we now call DevOps started almost 10 years ago with “agile infrastructure” but has grown to encompass a variety of cultural, technology, and process-related topics. Since 2009, conferences like DevOps Days and Goto have spread the new gospel of continuous delivery worldwide, improving our understanding of how to think about delivering value to customers faster over maintaining traditional silos and isolationist boundaries.

Though the literature plume from DevOps often revolves around seminal works like The Phoenix Project and The DevOps Handbook , it now also includes ongoing research from all major analyst firms and even independent software vendors like Puppet Labs . Key thought leaders like Adrian Cockroft and industry experts like Bob Aiello provide perspectives and key concepts in DevOps, sharing lessons from configuration management and automated testing in large-scale enterprises, not just famed unicorns. Heck, I even contributed to a quality-focused book framed around helping teams utilize DevOps efficiency to ship better code faster.

The more we learn about DevOps, the more we must explore what it means. Mystical “oohs” and “ahhs” aside, it is an evolving phenomenon that has grown into a topic that even reaches the boardrooms of large corporations. There is no “easy button” to DevOps, neither is there one fit to all organizations. It is a mindset of alignment and cooperation to achieve a goal, factoring in the human element that so many other prior methodologies lack.

DevOps: Theories or Practices?

We’ve all been through technology and management fads before: everyone has to “do Agile” (with a capital ‘A’ of course), thou shalt not use SOAP over REST, scrum vs. kanban……the list goes on…..But what’s so different about DevOps?

From my perspective, it is a clear focus on delivering value to customers. It’s not about making life easier for people who build software and it’s not simply about implementation details; it’s really about the impact of that software on the people who impact the business the most. Then secondarily, it’s about how to structure work and what to expect from people, tools, and processes that facilitate that work.

But just when this begins to sound like it’s all theory and no practice, I have a treat for you. As part of my research, I investigate specific activities and patterns that help to operationalize the theory. Being on the IEEE P2675 drafting board has taught me how important it is to provide guidance in practical terms, and in my own journey this has led to developing friendships with a variety of practitioners and industry leaders.

What Practices Improve DevOps Efficiency and Readiness?

In an upcoming webinar, I’ll be hosting a panel of some of these folks to discuss four key milestones on the path to DevOps efficiency.

James Brown, Director of Enterprise Solutions at VisionIT will share with us a few tips on improving your team’s definition of done to cut down rework . A solid definition of done helps to establish a software delivery cadence that the business can rely on and helps us to get closure on work in progress.

Raj Subramanian, Senior UI Automation Engineer at CSG International will help us identify automation gaps in planning that lead to later holding patterns . Getting the right people in the room during planning sessions is a key cultural and practical element seen often in DevOps, and helps to know both the scope and potential risks of introducing new innovations.

Perfecto’s very own Tzvika Shahaf, Director in Product Management, will discuss how you can inject fast feedback throughout your pipelines to catch bugs as early as possible . Beyond catching defects, feedback loops facilitate continuous learning by helping teams to know when their work is going in the right direction.

Sean Williams, Principal Software Engineer at Prism Tech Studios, will convene the conversation by discussing how to establish autonomy and ownership over winning customer-focused experiences . When businesses set goals and let teams figure out how to accomplish them, a sense of responsibility over the end result drives team members to work efficiently and collaborate effectively.

I look forward to hosting this conversation and to hearing from you how your teams are navigating the road to efficient DevOps. Register for the virtual panel discussion HERE and join the conversation live on Thursday, June 1st at 10AM EST

Paul Bruce is a Developer Evangelist at Perfecto, focusing on the value of quality and velocity throughout the software lifecycle. He previously worked as an advocate for API development and testing practices and as a full stack developer before that. He now writes, speaks, listens, and teaches about software delivery patterns in modern enterprises and key industries around the world.

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