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Three tips to foster a devops culture

Devops is a term that has received significant traction as IT organizations seek to level barriers between developers and operations staff. Although several companies are adopting devops practices, their success is not guaranteed. According to Gartner Group Inc., a leading research and advisory company, 90 % of companies attempting to switch to a devops work environment will fail through 2018 if they do not address cultural foundations. The following, therefore, is a list of tips on how to nurture a devops culture.

What is devops?

Devops is a title that blends developers and operations staff. The main idea behind the concept is to integrate these groups in order to provide faster time to market applications with lower costs and better quality. Contrary to other tech trends, devops isn’t so much a product as much as it is a practice involving people, technology and processing.

Integrating developers and operations staff has several advantages. Developers are responsible for writing computer codes, whereas operations staff are responsible for ensuring those computer codes run smoothly. In the past, developers would have to file a request for a new server through an operations department, which would often take weeks to fulfill. By breaking down barriers between the two departments, developers can push out and update apps themselves. This relieves operations staff of some of their duties while giving software developers more autonomy. Moreover, it helps normalize working hours for both departments.

Cultivate collaboration

Collaboration is fundamental to a devops work environment. Both teams must be willing to work together in a mutually beneficial, synergistic way. Forging collaboration does not happen overnight, however. One way to build collaboration between the two teams is through regular interaction, whether it be via email, phone meetings, Skype or Google Hangouts. In addition, an operations administrator would be well advised to meet with developers once a week to gain a better understanding of why certain compromises need to be made. By the same token, developers can gain a better understanding of the challenges facing production during these meetings.

Eliminate technical debt

In software development, technical debt refers to bad code made by bad programmers, which can trigger problems in development, debugging and operations. Several companies saddled with technical debt often hire third parties to manage it for them. Businesses ought to dedicate a portion of their labor force toward eliminating technical debt so it does not spill over into a devops culture.

Use compatible tools

Transitioning to a devops culture requires familiarizing and training staff with a host of automated tools. Developers and operations staff must use compatible tools. Mismatched tools create bottlenecks, giving rise to misunderstandings and miscommunication between teams. Since the shift to a devops culture is different for each company, it is imperative to find the right tools for employees. Although these tools are not necessary, they are helpful.

Effective leadership

After all is said and done, the most important aspect of a devops culture is effective leadership. By adopting the noted practices, business directors and managers can help ensure their company’s transition to a devops culture is a success. To learn more, see the video below.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Nathan Cranford
Nathan Cranford
Nathan Cranford joined RCR Wireless News as a Technology Writer in 2017. Prior to his current position, he served as a content producer for GateHouse Media, and as a freelance science and tech reporter. His work has been published by a myriad of news outlets, including COEUS Magazine, dailyRx News, The Oklahoma Daily, Texas Writers Journal and VETTA Magazine. Nathan earned a bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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