The People, Process, and Technology that Make DevOps Methodology Effective

by Alastair Wilkes in

Exploration of DevOps Methodology Elements for Better Developer Experience

Organizations that adopt a DevOps methodology create more productive workflows, improve communication and collaboration between departments, and (most importantly) ship high-quality software faster. 

With all those benefits, it’s no surprise that 68% of companies adopting a DevOps approach reported improvements in the end-to-end customer experience, 83% of IT decision-makers reported implementing DevOps practices unlocked a higher business value, and a survey by Atlassian revealed that a whopping 99% of respondents believed DevOps has had a positive impact on their organization.

Adopting a DevOps methodology at your organization can help developers, operations, and leadership navigate the balance needed for development velocity with quality, and ultimately deliver the best experiences to users.

What is DevOps Methodology?

DevOps methodology is a combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization's ability to deliver top-notch applications and services at high velocity. DevOps aims to improve products at a speedier pace versus companies using more traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.

Since today’s software development business model relies on developing, testing, and deploying applications and new products as fast as possible, without sacrificing quality, adopting a DevOps methodology has never been more useful for teams.

But, in order to take DevOps from a methodology to a reality, embracing automation and a culture of constant communication and collaboration between development and IT operations is key. 

What is the main goal of the DevOps methodology?

The main goal of DevOps is to create an environment where developers and operations teams work side-by-side in order to increase deployment speed of high-quality releases.

Adopting a DevOps methodology offers several key benefits including:

  • Simplifying the continuous integration of code changes into a central repository
  • Automated building
  • Automated testing
  • Makes spotting and fixing code conflicts easier
  • Makes spotting and fixing bugs, flaws, and vulnerabilities easier

Additionally, because DevOps melts the once traditional divide between development and operations DevOps also creates an organizational culture where everyone works together and shoulders end-to-end responsibility for a product.

What are the elements of DevOps methodology?

The principles of DevOps are built on a continuous, efficient cycle of improvement. DevOps methodology elements can be sorted into people, processes, and technology.

1. People

DevOps is a culture at its core. DevOps intention is better collaboration between development and operations. The goal is to break down traditional organizational siloes between these two teams for a more harmonious, effective deployment. The only way DevOps methodology can be truly effective is with the entire team moving together with the same process and goal in mind.

2. Process

Continuous processes are the tactical support for effective DevOps Methodology. CI/CD is a set of DevOps best practices designed to help teams ship software more quickly and efficiently. 

CI/CD includes three major phases, which create the CI/CD pipeline: 

Continuous Integration provides a central repository, or main hub, for developers to use throughout a project. Continuous Integration automates anything and everything going into the central repository, in order to reduce errors. Continuous Integration also relies on automation to compile artifacts into organized builds and then perform initial tests. 

Continuous Delivery focuses on delivering the builds into the test environment and then requires manual intervention to deploy the tested builds into production. The goal of Continuous Delivery is to get code changes like fixes, new features, or configuration changes into production quickly and safely.  Continuous Delivery automates the software delivery pipeline functions of bug testing and deploying the build to a repository. 

Continuous Deployment goes a step beyond Continuous Delivery and performs deployment automatically to production. Continuous Deployment is often viewed as a build on the established practices of Continuous Delivery. The key difference here is that Continuous Deployment focuses on a complete end-to-end automated approach, while Continuous Delivery requires a human touch at certain points of the SDLC.

The CI/CD pipeline is a foundational piece of the DevOps approach. Together, each of these phases helps DevOps teams to ship high-quality software faster and to work in the most productive, efficient manner possible.  

An effective CI/CD pipeline will automate and quality checks the entire software development life cycle so that release velocity is always balanced with an eye on quality. 

3. Technology

There are tons of tools out there to support DevOps focused on Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Deployment practices. But, not all tools are created equal.

We’ve compiled the top 20 universally recognized best CI/CD tools to support DevOps methodology:

  1. Apache Subversion - universally recognized and adopted as an open-source, centralized version control system characterized by its reliability as a haven for valuable data; the simplicity of its model and usage; and its ability to support the needs of a wide variety of users and projects, from individuals to large-scale enterprise operations.
  2. AW - a suite of services covers each stage of the CI/CD pipeline.
  3. Atlassian Opsgenie - alerts team members whenever complications arise in the CI/CD pipeline.
  4. Chef Automate - enterprise platform that allows developers, operations, and security engineers to collaborate effortlessly on delivering application & infrastructure changes at the speed of business.
  5. Cisco AppDynamics- transforms applications and business with AppDynamics real-time performance monitoring.
  6. CVS - client/server CVS (Concurrent Versions System) enables developers scattered by geography or slow modems to function as a single team. 
  7. Datadog - works to streamline any corrections needed throughout the development lifecycle and monitors tech stacks and apps, making it simple for developers to fix complications that arise in the build. 
  8. Dynatrace- simplifies cloud complexity with Software Intelligence — observability, automation, AI, and cloud-native application security in one.
  9. GitLab- complete DevOps tool, with the ability to facilitate Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, and continuous testing. 
  10. Jenkins - the leading open-source automation server, Jenkins provides hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying, and automating projects. 
  11. JFrog- cloud-native CI/CD tool for powering the DevOps pipeline with CI/CD automation from code to production.
  12. Katalon - an all-in-one test automation solution that generates, executes, and orchestrates web, API, mobile, and desktop applications test automation. 
  13. Launchable - our Predictive Test Selection harnesses an ML model to identify the most critical tests to run, to dramatically reduce testing cycle times. Launchable reduces test suite size by streamlining how many tests you’re running on your applications during development, seriously speeding up your entire CI/CD pipeline.
  14. Neoload Neotys - empowers developers to automate API testing within CI pipelines, accelerate end-to-end application testing, find performance bottlenecks faster, and manage testing assets and resources across the Enterprise.
  15. Octopus Deploy- a central hub to manage releases, automate deployments, and automate the runbooks that keep software operating.
  16. PagerDuty - enables teams to stay ahead of problems and improve outcomes across the entire business. 
  17. Perforce Helix Core Version Control System - Helix Core version control system streamlines the development process with artifact management, branching automation, iron-clad security, and global collaboration.
  18. RedHat Ansible- the foundation for building and operating automation across an organization.
  19. Selenium - an open-source automated testing suite for web applications across different browsers and platforms.
  20. Sleuth- deployment-based metrics tracking used by developers to get a complete view of current and upcoming deploys.

What are the benefits of adopting a DevOps methodology?

The DevOps methodology helps teams to build, test, and deploy software more efficiently and rapidly, thanks to automation, great DevOps tools, and best DevOps practices. 

Effective DevOps methodology delivers:

  • Increased productivity 
  • More efficiency
  • Better, more frequent testing practices
  • Faster testing practices

Taking a DevOps approach to software development improves developer experience, thanks to the powers of automation. By adopting automation tools to speed up release and feedback loops, DevOps saves developers from wasting time on once-manual (and usually boring!) tasks. An effective CI/CD pipeline automatically deals with many rote tasks, which makes for happier developers who can focus more on creating code. CI/CD also reduces redundant tasks and streamlines workflows.

Adopting a DevOps methodology also increases workplace efficiency, which leads to speedier release times. Human-led approval processes or quality checks create bottlenecks and slow down the development team’s pacing. But taking the DevOps approach, and embracing a fast-flowing CI/CD pipeline allows for increased use of automation, so that builds can more quickly pass from one stage to the next. The focus on automation helps to supercharge the entire efficiency of an organization or a project and helps halt bottlenecks.

DevOps methodology also ensures better, more frequent testing practices. DevOps empowers teams to shift left, testing early and often. Instead of waiting until the very end of the software development life cycle to start testing, it allows teams to take an iterative testing approach. This helps to catch bugs, redundancies, and conflicting builds earlier, so issues can be solved faster. Just how much faster are we talking? CI/CD ensures flubs can be fixed mere minutes after a code commit, rather than days or even months down the line. This focus on improving testing practices helps to not only deliver higher quality products but also leads to faster release times.

Faster Testing Cycles with Launchable

Adopting a DevOps methodology at your organization delivers major benefits quickly and across every facet of the software development life cycle.

It’s important to note that adopting DevOps also means adopting faster testing practices. And that’s where Launchable helps teams break through testing bottlenecks with faster, smarter testing. 

Launchable ML identifies and runs tests with the highest probability of failing, based on code and test metadata, to speed up overall testing times, so developers can fix problems faster. 

Every test suite run increases feedback delay. In order to break this bottleneck, Launchable ranks tests by importance to code changes and allows developers to create a unique subset (based on this ranking) in real time. With Launchable developers can run a fraction of a test suite while still maintaining high confidence that if a failure exists it will be found.

Discover how Launchable can speed up your tests and power your winning DevOps cycle – Get a proof of concept today!


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