e-Newsletter Issue 57
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DevOps—The Innovation of Continuous Software Delivery

In the traditional software development process, needs analysis, system design, program development, testing, deployment, and operation are all independent stages of software development that are normally handled by different teams. As a result, oftentimes, the various teams involved in the development of the software do not fully understand or realize what the final software should do. For example, if just one of the teams misunderstands the end users’ needs, the finished code might not be compatible with the deployment environment. Using the traditional software development processes, it is nearly impossible to deliver high quality software quickly because the software must go back and forth between the various teams involved in its development and the individual teams often do not fully understand what the software is going to be used for.

During the Velocity 2009 conference, two Flikr engineers, John Allsqaw and Paul Hammond, gave the presentation, “10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr,” which described a new cooperative mode they developed to be used between developers and operators at Flickr. Using this new mode, Flickr developers were able to complete 10x the number of system updates in one single day! This was the beginning of the DevOps era!

DevOps is short for "Development" and "Operations." It defines that how during software development, different teams work together to improve the communication, cooperation, and integration between the development, operation, and quality assurance teams. Utilizing automatic development and open information, DevOps helps software research and development-related departments solve issues of information asymmetry and hindered coordination. It also automates and quantifies each step of the development process so as to achieve the goal of improved software quality and speed of delivery.

DevOps includes the four concepts, Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing.

  • Culture: Through actively participating in each other’s jobs, developers and operators are better able to understand the difficulties faced by their partner teams. By having the developers be responsible, in part, for some of the operation team’s jobs, and, likewise, the operators be responsible for some of the developer’s jobs, communication barriers and problems are dramatically reduced while achievements are shared.
  • Automation: Automation is essential to quickly implementing, deploying, completing the software cycle, and receiving the end users’ feedback. Automation includes building codes, deploying, testing, system monitoring, expansion, building the backup mechanism, as well as infrastructure control.
  • Measurement: Each step of the software delivery procedure needs to be quantified. By comparing information collected during each step with historical data, developers better understand the true condition of the system and are able to respond to the actual needs behind the numbers.
  • Sharing: Sharing aims to establish a communication platform to coordinate and confirm that every related team as well as individual understands all of the modified content, as well as shares his or her knowledge in order to advance the skills of everyone involved.

Software capability has become a key competitive factor in the cloud era. The software development culture of the past must change if the companies producing the software are to remain competitive. Using DevOps, it is now possible to develop very high quality and highly-competitive software quickly.

the illustration of DevOps
■ DevOps lies at the intersection of Development, Operations, and Quality Assurance.

Reference:

[1] Pant, Rajiv. Organizing a Digital Technology Department of Medium Size in a Media Company. 2009-03-17.

[2] Mike Loukides. 2012. What is DevOps? O'Reilly.

[3] Why DevOps Matters: Practical Insights on Managing Complex & Continuous Change. Saugatuck Technology.

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