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Every business owner wants their site or app to become as bug-free and crash-free as possible . Whether this be a shopping website, news site, social network, auction website/app or anything else there will always be users who will try and break it in as many ways as possible - no matter what steps are taken as countermeasures. This is where DevOps come into play. In this article we'll talk about what it is and how to go about incorporating it into your business, or website/app.
DevOps (also known as "development and operations") is a software development process that's aimed at unifying both the development and operation teams of a company. Essentially, each team gets to understand the other better so there are no communication problems because they can learn from one another. The aim is for them to be able to work together as seamlessly - and as efficiently as possible - without any hitches.
Another reason for adopting this technique is that people will feel more empowered about what they are doing if they feel like all their needs are being taken care of in a self-service manner. This way they won't have to call up the operations department every time they want to create a new instance, for example. However, Success with DevOps comes from a strategy. Here are some battle-tested ways to prime it for best use.
Automated Infra Provisioning
The development community has always faced challenges when it comes to operations, especially in the area of hardware provisioning. The team that builds applications needs to be one-step ahead of what they are actually building to avoid any delays, which is why the first step towards achieving this is automating your infrastructure provisioning process.
They should be able to build an application stack, something that will provide all the components needed for their product or service. The whole process should not take more than a few minutes and you should have the ability to reproduce the same environment time after time if needed.
The team also needs insight into what's happening on production because problems can crop up anytime during deployment due to any number of reasons. This can lead them into creating a feedback mechanism that is fast and efficient.
You are also going to need a faster feedback loop, where the team will have to be able to view deployment problems so they can take corrective action quickly. Communication is key in DevOps because your infrastructure needs to talk to you when something goes wrong. You also want someone on your team who is an expert at using monitoring tools . This way you can fix any issues before anyone notices them.
Another important thing for developers to do is be more involved in the whole provisioning process by having access to information regarding their application instances. They should not have any barriers between themselves and production, which means that they should know exactly what's happening with their application.
This way there are no surprises later when output and performance problems crop up and the team will be able to take corrective action. They can also build an infrastructure that's dynamic and mutable, which means they can easily change it when requirements change.
If you do decide to go ahead with an automated deployment system, then you are going to have potential problems down the line when it comes time for code refactoring. You can't just go in and change things willy-nilly because the application has been deployed many times over since you wrote the original code. It is usually better to refactor your code at a time when there aren't any users online so they don't have to deal with bugs or downtime.
There are plenty of tools that can help developers create better applications and improve their code quality and manageability. However, many of them assume that an operator is constantly standing by to take care of deployment issues and offer little support for automation and orchestration. This means that scripting skills are a must, but you should also give a lot of thought to code reuse and modularity.
An increasingly popular scripting language is Python because it's easy to write and has a lot of dedicated libraries that make it easier to create tools for automation. You can use this language with DevOps by making the most of its multi-paradigm support given that there are several ways in which you can write code.
Rock-Solid Testing Framework
The DevOps process relies on everyone working as a cohesive unit so you should try and promote this concept as much as possible. You should also have solid testing in place because if your app is buggy then it's not going to do anyone any good. This means you need to integrate testing inside development so the bug makes it way into production only after the application has been fully tested.
Automated Testing Suite
You should also have an automated testing suite in place so you can catch any regressions as soon as they appear . This means you will be able to identify problems before your customers do even if the application is working perfectly well on your end. Continuous integration (CI) goes hand in hand with test automation because having one without the other is pointless.
Developers also need to automate their infrastructure and release processes because they spend too much time on these tasks. They should look into automation tools such as Puppet and Chef, but they can also write their own scripts if necessary. If you want to standardize your environment, then you will have to rely on configuration management software like Puppet and Chef since they make it easier for system administrators to perform complex deployments . This is where declarative languages like YAML and JSON come in handy because the data structures they use make it easier for machines to process them.
If you want to get started with DevOps, then you should bring together a group of people who understand how it works and can engage in some meaningful conversations about what needs to be done next . Since everyone is going to have their own opinions, this may turn into a heated discussion if not handled properly. If your team isn't used to working in an agile manner, then they probably won't enjoy newfound freedom either because it means that someone else is calling the shots.
In order to get operations and development teams to join forces, they will need a way of speaking a common language . This will help them avoid misunderstandings and get everyone on the same page when it comes time for deployment. If you have good communication going on between developers and system administrators, then you should have a smoother transition from development to production where your code can be tested in real-time.
You may also want to look into using solutions like Team Foundation Server, Jenkins or Github for collaboration purposes since these allow teams to perform more smoothly than what they would normally do. Everyone has the chance of making suggestions about how things work and you don't have to rely on one person for getting something done on time and within budget.
In order to get more out of your collaboration efforts , it's a good idea for developers and operations teams to learn from one another . This is because the former has been dealing with things at a high level until now which will be different from what they're used to doing on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, they can find something of interest among aspects of how software is put together so they have a better understanding of why the work they do is so important.
If you want to get the most out of DevOps, then you should bring businesses and their customers into the picture. This will allow you to understand why they use certain tools in the first place and how they expect them to work when dealing with a particular product or service. This knowledge can also help make it easier for developers to create things from scratch without any negative feedback from unhappy users in regard to bugs, design flaws, malware etc.
In addition, taking a DevOps approach is associated with high productivity due to increased employee engagement levels. It may also lead to improved quality since everyone is working together as an integrated unit rather than operating on separate parts of the same machine such as developer or operations.
Improve User Experience
Instead of focusing on application performance, you should be more concerned with improving user experience . This means creating a working product which can be used by lots of people who are responsible for making sure that everyone is happy no matter what their level of expertise happens to be.
If you want to get started with DevOps, then you should consider allocating some resources for training purposes . These include things like instructor-led workshops, virtual learning, e-learning, on-the-job training etc. This allows new employees to get up to speed faster and existing ones to catch up with what they've missed out on along the way.
You don't want your development or operations teams talking over each other, otherwise it will be hard for everyone to get on board with some changes that were made which can be disruptive in nature . For example, if you're trying to keep up with demand by scaling things out then this could require a lot of work from developers who might not be prepared for such a transition. It may also lead to downtime which users won't appreciate very much at all.
In order to ensure that your DevOps efforts are successful, you need to have a transfer plan which has been agreed upon by everyone involved. You also need to make it easy for staff members to collaborate with one another without getting too personal and keep an open dialogue with the users of the tools you give them access to. Engaging in these activities ensures success because people will be more accommodating when they know what's expected of them.