DevOps has become quite the buzzword lately. Like with any trend, there’s no shortage of people who want in. Many organizations nowadays are nudging their teams into the new and improved DevOps culture, but not all of them prove successful.
The catch is that DevOps isn’t just about “automating all the things”. It comes bundled with specific challenges that are unique to each organization based on their culture and business goals.
Soon enough you’ll find that the hardest part about adopting DevOps isn’t automation, but ditching old habits to enable seamless collaboration and communication. Of course, the right set of tools and practices also play a major role in supporting this new collaborative environment.
So how would your team fare if you switched to DevOps tomorrow? Here’s a rundown of what they need to truly make it in the new DevOps culture.
The DevOps mindset
As you know, DevOps is the union of “Development” and “Operations” to improve collaboration and productivity. Gone are the days where one team throws their code over the wall for the other to take care of.
Once it’s announced that they’ll all be working together, there may be some apprehension and maybe even stubbornness. The key here is to focus on changing their habits and communication patterns before enforcing the tools to enable automation.
Each team member needs to adopt a mindset that champions communication, empathy, and a willingness to learn new technologies for streamlined software releases.
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Anyone in DevOps is expected to be a scripting guru and have a solid handle on concepts like continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous monitoring, and of course, automation.
But learning tools is easy, changing people is the hard part. A 2017 survey by software company Pensa found that one of the top barriers to DevOps adoption in more than 200 IT organizations was – you guessed it – the people.
To truly make DevOps work, you need to ensure your team is made of people who are flexible, empathetic towards the customer, proactive problem-solvers, articulate, and highly adaptable.
According to a post in business tech magazine CIO, the best way to test your team’s skills with DevOps is to start with a small, brand new application where you can begin putting the right automation patterns in place, get comfortable with the practice, and also get a good grip of the tools. (Which leads us to our next point.)
Tools are essentially the instruments helping you implement DevOps, so naturally you’ll need to focus on a set of tools that best meet your organization’s needs and business goals.
DevOps can be broken into the following stages: Continuous Development, Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, Continuous Monitoring, Virtualization and Containerization.
Each stage has a set of tools that DevOps developers are generally expected to have experience with. Here’s a quick list of the most popular ones nowadays:
- ELK Stack
For a more complete view of all the tools you can use, take a look at this terrific periodic table of DevOps tools by XebiaLabs.
Once everyone is on board with DevOps, you need to ensure the team itself has access to accurate, real-time information about the production environment so they can properly plan deployment.
It’s not easy choosing a platform that will centralize continuous integrations, continuous delivery, continuous testing, and continuous deployment. Not to mention that deploying to the cloud adds an extra layer of complexity.
Enter Spinnaker. In case you haven’t heard of it, Spinnaker is an open source CD platform which reliably automates releases, integrates deployment best practices, and allows your team to monitor every step of the way thanks to a user-friendly dashboard.
Spinnaker is also ideal for organizations faced with multi-cloud deployments, since the platform standardizes the cloud and enforces consistency across multiple cloud providers.
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Meet the Spinnaker community
If you like the sound of Spinnaker for faster and easier cloud deployments, join us at the annual Spinnaker Summit. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about open source software for your organization and network with like-minded colleagues who can help you solve your DevOps problems.
From keynotes delivered by Netflix and Google to expert panels and exclusive demos, you don't want to sit this one out. Register for the summit here!