DevOps is the practical implementation of the Agile methodology that allows making the software development process more efficient. Before the Agile introduction, the majority of companies worked under the Waterfall project management model.
Waterfall model includes the following steps:
- requirement analysis;
- system design;
- system testing;
- system deployment;
- system maintenance.
This is a pretty good workflow but it is set in stone and you can’t change it somehow during the project lifecycle. In the Waterfall model, you can’t do some steps in parallel, so software development becomes long. Also, if you need to repeat some steps like testing, for example, you’ll spend a lot of time and postpone other steps.
How DevOps change software development?
Agile methodology provides a flexible approach to software development and focuses on team collaboration. Sometimes DevOps is perceived as the transformation of teams, like composing one team from developers, IT operations and Quality Assurance (QA) engineers. But this is a wrong perception. DevOps methodology doesn’t mix the teams or create a new one. It provides collaboration between existing teams and makes workflow more efficient.
DevOps services use the newest tools for development. For example, DevOps often provides cloud computing and you can receive all the benefits of this technology (speed of processing, scalability and others). DevOps transformation can significantly increase the speed and reliability of the process of software development. Of course, it can’t restructure the whole project management model and some stages of a project can use Waterfall or another model (product design and mockups, for example). But the speed of software development can be remarkably improved.
What does the DevOps lifecycle include?
There are seven main points in the DevOps lifecycle. They are connected and look like an infinite loop where all parts follow each other and depend on each other. The common DevOps lifecycle includes the following parts:
- Plan. This is the first stage where strategy is created. It is important to make an assessment of the current system and find out what you need to do step by step, to prioritize tasks and to make estimates.
- Code. This is a part where developers write the code and make the whole functionality. It can be everything – from Minimum Viable Product (MSP) to some additional features.
- Build. The process of building code. At this stage, developers merge all the parts of code and run them together.
- Test. In the Waterfall model, this process goes only after the previous two. DevOps allows making tests even before writing the code. In the DevOps methodology, this part of development is mostly automated and QA engineer doesn’t need to test any new part of code.
- Release. At this stage, the final version of the product is ready and can be deployed.
- Deploy. At this step, the software is moved from the staging environment to the production environment and is deployed there.
- Operate. The stage where end-users collaborate with the software.
- Monitor. Monitoring includes collecting users’ feedback to the further changes and updates, as well as the maintenance of the software.
As we said, all these processes are connected. Also, you might make some processes in parallel if needed. The cycle can be repeated if you need to add changes or make updates. Also, the majority of processes can be automated. For example, DevOps tools can automate processes of testing, integration and deployment by creating CI/CD pipelines. CI/CD means Continuous Integration and Delivery. Such processes are provided by multiple tools like GitlabCI, Jenkins and others.
Conclusion: how to work with DevOps services?
The DevOps lifecycle is suitable for all the software development processes. It is efficient and understandable. There is some preparatory work that needs to be done before DevOps implementation but in the result, you’ll have a great opportunity to modify development, testing and deployment processes in your company.
There are a few common ways to adopt DevOps in your company. You might hire an in-house team or a dedicated team. The first way is harder and more complicated. A dedicated team is an easier way to implement DevOps because you shouldn’t look for the talents one by one and can hire the whole team at once.
If you want to hire the dedicated team you should refer to the Managed Service Provider (MSP). This is a kind of company that provides different IT services. Such companies have a wide experience and strong expertise in different domains. The dedicated team can be easily integrated into the project, and after the work is done you part ways without hard feelings. So, it is a very efficient approach of implementing the DevOps lifecycle into the project.