Why everyone is talking about DevOps

devops perfiles empresas

DevOps is one of the new job profiles most in demand by businesses. There are very few good professionals with demonstrable experience of real DevOps; and I say “real” because there is a lot of confusion about SysOps or Systems profiles.

In the last two years, many professionals have moved towards this job profile by acquiring new skills whilst new professionals are taking advantage of the wave to position themselves as DevOps “natives” as they enter the labour market. But what is DevOps? Why is this an interesting job to retrain for? Why is it in such demand?

What is #DevOps? Why do businesses want these #IT profiles? Click To Tweet

In industry, particularly in the IT sector or areas, technology is obviously important but we are increasingly seeing that methodologies or new ways of working are equally important. Agile methodologies, like Scrum or Kanban among the most common, are already well established in different business models and few technologies doubt their virtues when handling project management. DevOps is a specific methodology in the technology industry that originated in software development, impacting on the technological as well as cultural fields. In general, applying DevOps work methodology in a development team eliminates “silos” of team members, promoting communication and a more collaborative way of working, with constant and two-way revision. The final objective is to achieve projects or products that are better adapted to the original requirement and more efficient, quick and secure results.

Thus DevOps focuses on the overlap between Development, Operations and Quality Assurance (QA), ensuring that deliveries maintain maximum cohesion and minimising possible errors or incidents, bringing greater quality in the delivery to the client. This is closely related to a way of working based on Lean Management principles and the agile movement, focused on continually bringing value.

que es devops

Once the context is clear, we will analyse why everyone is talking about DevOps.

Collaboration is synonymous with efficiency

One of the common objectives of the new methodologies or ways of working being introduced in businesses is to improve efficiency. The working model based on short and controlled cycles (continuous integration), continuous performance management and implementation improves productivity and ensures that delivery is appropriate to the original requirement. Integration of different IT players within a single team allows better practices to be applied and unified, with shared experiences and tools. In this way, time and costs are reduced and the success of the project is guaranteed. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, coined the expression “you build it, you run it”, which is very useful to help understand DevOps, in the sense that there is just one team in charge of both building and running the solution. The character of DevOps has precisely this function – to ensure that everything works as a single team with the same objectives and responsibilities in terms of final delivery.

More value for the client

Aforementioned aspects such as cost and time savings are undoubtedly positive for the client. In DevOps, automation and reuse are principles in operative tasks, ensuring that times and costs are increasingly lower in the same project.
Monitoring is also constant. Data and performance analysis are a priority, especially in an environment of constant change; as well as analysis of the suitability of new services and available infrastructures. Particularly in the public cloud environment, for example, constant monitoring of changes and improvements to the platform help ensure that the chosen option is always the best one for the project.

Continuous integration allows short-range changes to be made to the project. For example, business indicators may be modified, enriching them by means of new data to progress information: adding new data, linking data, identifying trends … Deploying production in almost real-time reduces production times for improvements.

Continuous client feedback is key in development and a means of checking that the path towards the final objective is correct, avoiding imbalances with client expectations and allowing rapid iteration if necessary.

Current technologies favor DevOps

Cloud solutions and specifically public cloud platforms are the most powerful innovation tools on the market. They cause a changing environment and consequently, the need to stay up to date in order to make the most of the technological innovation they bring. The role of DevOps in a development team allows constant adaptation and integration, thanks to coordinating good practices and common tools that facilitate this integration.

Infrastructures are moving towards serverless models, so that they do not depend on physical management and eliminate tedious practices that involve more time spent on configuration and maintenance than on development and improvements. Automation, auto-configuration and the use of API also help DevOps teams decentralise unprofitable activities.

Taking advantage of the potential of emerging technologies allows innovation to be applied to the business according to the rhythm of the market.

Cultural change is fashion

There is continual talk of digital transformation but this also requires a cultural transformation. Without a cultural transformation it is difficult to bring about a digital transformation, because a global transformation requires more than just a change within technological teams, it also requires a transverse change of mindset within the organisation as a whole.

Implementing technological development using DevOps methodology also requires this transverse change. Although not strictly a cultural change, the need for the right mentality requires a major transformation: learning from one’s errors, sharing knowledge, positive feedback or continuous learning, for example. DevOps falls within a collaboration-centred culture, breaking down more traditional and self-contained departments.

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DevOps is gradually changing from a trend to a necessity for IT teams, bringing benefits on technological, cultural and business levels.

DevOps is basically a way of working and has been created by the market and automation to differentiate the people who apply an approach that is different from the traditional: people with soft skills of communication, humility and collaboration with a wide knowledge of development who always have automation, quality and continuous delivery in mind.

Image: unsplash | annie spratt

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