The meaning of DevOps can be variously understood. The question is especially tricky to answer because DevOps is more of an idea, and everyone adapts it to their own requirements. It’s not a methodology like Scrum; you’ll find no “rituals” here.
One way to provide a definition of DevOps is this: it’s a response to the divide between development teams (Devs) and server admins/IT operations teams (Ops). DevOps attempts to bridge that divide.
When you start implementing DevOps, you allow your sys admins to become involved with your development team, and vice versa. In essence, you’re breaking down the two silos.
Okay, “breaking down the silos” may sound great, but when you bring a DevOps expert on board, what do they actually do?
Here are some sample DevOps responsibilities:
A typical day of a DevOps expert may involve:
Check out this discussion on Linux Academy for more examples of DevOps activities.
How exactly does adding a DevOps Engineer help your development team? Let us count the ways.
Very often in standard software projects, it’s the developers who end up configuring the server infrastructure. But if you’re looking to maximize your resources, you should recognize that that is not the developers’ area of expertise. It’s not where they can provide the most value.
With a DevOps expert on board, you have an expert who can handle server infrastructure from A to Z, freeing up the developers’ time.
DevOps Engineers can set up virtual machines and other environments in advance. Thanks to their work, developers begin Day One of the project with a complete toolchain in one hand, the project specs in the other hand, and they can get right to work.
Think of it as the difference between entering a fully-equipped workshop with everything in place versus entering an empty shack with all the tools packed in bags somewhere in the corner. The former helps you start building much faster.
When the code builds automatically in one click, releases become frictionless. When a developer finishes coding a new feature and it passes review, it can get deployed instantly to a testing instance, where testers can begin their work immediately.
While a primer on how to implement DevOps yourself may be outside the scope of this article, we can shed some light on what working with a DevOps services provider like STX Next looks like.
Let’s assume you’re using AWS as the basis for your infrastructure:
From the moment we gain access, we can prepare the full stack and architecture.
The reason companies of all sizes employ external DevOps providers is similar to the reasons they decide to outsource in general.
When you outsource development, you have an idea you want to implement or project specs you want to realize, but you don’t have the manpower. So you hire a development team and build the app.
Assuming you’re a good market fit, your app quickly becomes popular. The next problem is scaling.
You want an infrastructure that can take the load and stretch its capabilities to handle usage spikes—but you also want an infrastructure that won’t cost you millions. In that case, an experienced DevOps partner can help you make the optimal choice.
Keep in mind that even if your code is well-written, bug-free, and well-optimized, your server stack may still fail you. Simply put, DevOps will save you from that.
Thanks for reading our quick primer on the value of DevOps for your software project.
If you have a project you’d like to accelerate, feel free to tell us about it.
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