To increase software release frequency and efficiency, many organizations turn to a DevOps approach. Since its inception in 2007, the DevOps framework has been adopted by many top organizations and has grown into a leading methodology.
What is DevOps, exactly, and how are organizations using it to drive their digital-first development? In this article, we’ll explore the core DevOps principles, how they impact cross-team collaboration, the reasons why having strong DevOps engineers can transform a team, and five signs you might need to hire a DevOps engineer.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is an evolving framework based on finding the optimal way to develop, release, and revise apps or software.
The methodology works by breaking down silos between application development (Dev) teams and their IT operations (OPs) counterparts to work collaboratively throughout a development lifecycle. It combines certain philosophies with a set of practices and tools that allow teams to deliver apps and services at a faster pace than traditional software development methods.
DevOps is driven by the concept of delivering frequent, incremental, and rapid updates to systems or software. To do this, DevOps teams follow a set of practices:
- Automation and optimization of the software development lifecycle
- Continuous delivery of deployment-ready, tested code changes
- Minimization of waste
- Focus on the end-user needs and creation of short feedback loops
- Provision and management of infrastructure using code
- Monitoring metrics and logs
- Collaboration and communication
Teams require tools that address each stage in the DevOps development lifecycle. Traditional DevOps stacks have dedicated tools for the discovery phase, planning, building, implementing infrastructure as code, collaborative coding, continuous delivery, testing, deploying, observing, and acquiring continuous feedback.
DevOps Impact on Organizations and Development
In addition to breaking down traditional silos between development and IT teams, other core tenants of DevOps include focusing on customer feedback, continuous process improvement, and faster delivery of value. Combined, these tenants help teams become business drivers for innovation, more frequent updates, and more satisfied customers, making up some of the top reasons to hire DevOps engineers.
What are the benefits of DevOps? The greatest impacts DevOps has on organizational development typically are:
- Better team cohesion and increased collaboration
- Automated processes resulting in faster time-to-market
- Enhanced quality of the final product due to continuous testing and quality assurance
- Reliable and consistent software deployments
- Proactive incident detection and resolution due to continuous monitoring
- More efficient utilization of resources with flexible resource allocation
- Better customer experience due to the direct feedback loop and continuous delivery of new features and updates
- Improved cost optimization thanks to automated processed and cloud infrastructure
The Role of a DevOps Engineer
Within DevOps teams are software engineers who work alongside IT professionals to collaborate on product development. DevOps engineers need to be proficient in cross-team communication, troubleshooting/problem-solving, agile software development, and best IT practices.
The role of a DevOps engineer can vary based on the projects they support, but they primarily include:
- Developing, coding, building, configuring, installing, deploying, maintaining, and supporting IT systems and applications
- Creating documentation for user features
- Conducting systems analysis and developing plans for improvements or support
- Providing development forecasts
- Testing code and processes to identify areas for optimization
- Continuously deploying updates and bug fixes into production
- Performing maintenance and troubleshooting as issues arise
Signs and Reasons to Hire a DevOps Engineer
Here are five signs and reasons your organization could use a DevOps engineer.
1. Your Development and IT Teams Aren’t Communicating Effectively
Organizations without DevOps engineers can see teams experiencing frequent roadblocks or communication breakdowns. DevOps engineers are trained to see IT colleagues as extensions of their team, and this encourages them to work more collaboratively and cohesively.
2. You Want to Increase Your Agility or Time-to-Market
One of the top reasons to hire a DevOps engineer is that they’re masters of agile methodologies and can help integrate them into your IT operations to speed up the entire software development process.
3. Your Current Development Budgets are Tight, and You Need to Optimize
DevOps engineers are a valuable resource for identifying areas for cost-cutting or improvement. They continuously run system analytics and review logs to optimize and automate operations.
4. You Want to Improve the Quality and Reliability of Your Software
DevOps engineers are trained in continuous delivery, where codes are tested before deployment into their production environment. This incremental and continuous approach to software deployment lowers the risk of bad code making it to production and prevents large roadblocks from occurring.
5. You Want to Create a Trusted Feedback Loop with Your Customer Base
One key tenant of DevOps is establishing and maintaining a trusted feedback loop between developers and their customer base. DevOps engineers are skilled at working with customers to identify areas for improvement, fix bugs, and roll out new features, all of which created a trusted feedback loop and happier customer experience.
DevOps Transformation In Action
One of the earliest adopters of DevOps was Etsy, which had previously struggled to develop its organization due to its monolithic architecture. Their deployment rate was roughly twice a week, which resulted in very siloed development and IT teams. With help from a new chief technology officer (CTO), DevOps practices and engineers were introduced to help get deployment from sporadic to reliably deploying services 50 to 100 times per day.
They migrated from a monolithic infrastructure to a cloud-based infrastructure, which allowed for a more granular continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline. With help from DevOps engineers, Etsy was able to automate its entire testing phase using DevOps tools and even developed Kale, a deployment monitoring dashboard. This was all possible by enforcing DevOps principles and philosophies while equipping cohesive DevOps teams with the proper tools.
Why Hire a DevOps Engineer with Insight Global?
DevOps is all about the journey, and DevOps engineers will help organizations reach new development goals. Whether you are beginning your DevOps journey or you’re looking to hire your next DevOps engineer, Insight Global can help match top talent with best-fit organizations. Don’t wait—we make hiring easy.
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