The world and the market are growing fast, customers are demanding more and more, and the competitors work better and faster. These changes affect especially companies that develop software and for which it is not easy to keep up with all the changes requested day by day.
According to the statistics (Forrester) organizations will increase the number of application releases from only four in 2010 to even 120 in 2020 (an increase of 30 times). This data help us understanding why it is becoming more and more important to speed up application releases and why, since 2009, DevOps methodology is spreading all over the world.
What is DevOps?
The term "DevOps" comes from the fusion of Developer and Operations, and it’s a method that inherently supports the collaborative relationship that must exist between the Development teams and IT Operations. The purpose is to provide a single workflow, which must be both initially planned and rapid in every second moment.
How does DevOps help you?
DevOps' main purpose is to approach as much as possible developers and systems engineers. These two teams, in fact, have completely different points of view on the same problems they solve; while developers have the goal of creating new products, systems engineers' purpose is to assure quality, testing and configuration. This means that sometimes it is not so easy to make sure a good collaboration and support beetween these two teams in the prospective of a common goal. The benefit that DevOps methodology wants to give to companies is therefore an increased collaboration in order to improve the whole performances and to assure greater customer satisfaction.
How does it work?
First of all DevOps is a way of thinking and acting, which is reflected in all internal processes. A nice definition that captures this concept is:
"DevOps is a Community of multidisciplinary practices devoted to the study and the implementation, evolution and operation of resilient systems rapidly changing"
As you can see, to define the operation of DevOps in a few lines is very difficult, so I prefer to explain it with the three main principles that are the basis of Operation and Development's collaboration throughout the process that leads design software until its development and to support in production.
- Systems Thinking, according to which the overall system performance is more important than individual departmental one.
- Amplify Feedback Loops, which emphasizes the importance of continuous feedback from Operation towards the Developers.
- Culture of Continual Experimentation and learning, whereby experimentation is one of the foundations of success.
Why is it vital in all areas?
While at one end consumers are increasingly demanding and fast and require companies to increasingly fast-paced, there must be an adequate response by companies on the other, which should speed up and simplify as much as possible the internal processes.
DevOps just does that: it allows to shorten the release of new applications that becomes important to ensure successful results both in terms of speed and quality.
This is why it is becoming increasingly well known both in large companies and (although the timelines are longer) into the smaller ones. According to a survey conducted in December 2012 in 90 countries of America, Asia, Europe, South Africa and Australia, in a single year DevOps methodology was adopted by the 26% more from the companies, improving consequently the internal processes and making customers more satisfied. Especially, DevOps:
- Improves code quality and application releases
- The releases can be upgraded more frequently in the same amount of time
- There is greater collaboration between the technical team and developers
- Teams can react more quickly and adequately to the objectives changes
- Teams can work in a more Agile way
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