Businesses need DevOps to be competitive but must follow best practices to minimize risk

Software development and IT operations, collectively referred to as DevOps, play a critical role in modern application development. DevOps is based on a set of continuous delivery principles to create a repeatable, reliable process for releasing software.

The concept of DevOps has been around for almost a decade. However, it has only gained a foothold on a broad front in recent years. There are still many companies that have not embraced it, largely because change can be difficult and risky, but the benefits generally prove rewarding. I’ve spoken to companies who have seen software delivery times slashed by a factor of 10 while change lead time has shrunk by orders of magnitude. Appdev groups that don’t embrace DevOps are holding their companies back and will eventually fall behind their competitors.

Best practices can mitigate DevOps development

There are DevOps best practices that organizations can follow to ensure they release software with quality and speed, which can reduce the risk of adoption. Deepty Chauhan, Site General Manager of Keysight’s Atlanta Software Design Center, shared some of these best practices and the company’s own experiences with DevOps in a recent webinar, part of a larger webinar, titled “Optimizing DevOps with Keysight’s Continuous Testing Bootcamp.” β€œ.

Almost everything in software development is changing due to the need to innovate fast, reduce risk and deliver perfect customer experience. DevOps is an opportunity for organizations to continually deliver value to customers, Chauhan said. The key to successful DevOps is getting ideas into production quickly, gathering feedback from customers often, and then repeating the process.

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CI/CD is critical to DevOps success

DevOps requires continuous integration and delivery/deployment (CI/CD), which typically includes continuous automation and continuous monitoring throughout the software lifecycle. CI is the automation process for developers, while CD refers to changes that developers make further down the pipeline. Continuous testing (CT) is also an important part of DevOps to ensure bugs and issues can be fixed quickly.

According to Chauhan, developers should run tests, including unit tests and integration tests, every time a build occurs. Organizations that still have manual processes struggle with rapid software delivery and cannot keep up with the pace of modern app development. Today, software needs to scale to hundreds of customers, not just a single customer at a time.

Chauhan gave an example of how Keysight implements DevOps into its software products to solve problems with integration, testing, and building elasticity. One of the products had 15 million lines of code and almost 400 components. Through DevOps, Keysight was able to automate 85 percent of the tests. It reduced build time and cycle time by 30 and 40 percent, respectively. In addition, more than 160 components were migrated into CI/CD pipelines.

DevOps and agile methods lead to success

The perfect recipe is combining DevOps with agile methodologies, Chauhan said. Agile is a comprehensive approach to different phases of the DevOps lifecycle, including planning, development, deployment, and operations. DevOps evolved from agile and other disciplines such as waterfall, a traditional approach to incremental software development. When executed effectively, DevOps results in faster and more reliable software releases.

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“DevOps is a journey, not a destination,” Chauhan concluded. β€œThe main focus has to be on the customer. While senior management must be committed to making this happen, it is a shared responsibility. Every developer and team should feel involved in the DevOps transformation.”

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