DevOps For Dummies
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A surprising facet of the DevOps engineering practice for software development is that it focuses more on the people and process of an organization than the specific tools or technologies that the engineers choose to utilize.

DevOps offers no silver bullet, but it can have a massive impact on your organization and your products as an engineering culture of collaboration, ownership, and learning with the purpose of accelerating the software development lifecycle from ideation to production.

Why use DevOps in your organization?

DevOps is an engineering practice that emerged from Agile due to the tension between developers and operations engineers in traditional engineering organizations.

The friction originates in two areas:

  • Each team exists in a silo. Developers and operations engineers both have skill sets and experiences unique to their work. In traditional organizations, information is not shared between these teams. Instead, code is tossed over the “wall of confusion” from developers to operations folks to deploy and maintain.
  • Developers and engineers are measured by different criteria. Developers are traditionally measured for success by the number of features they ship, or the number of bugs they eliminate. Operations engineers, by contrast, are evaluated using indicators like site reliability and uptime.

The most common cause of incidents and outages are new releases of code. Developers are motivated to release more code; operations folks are motivated to control for error and prevent developers from deploying bug-filled software.

The DevOps approach seeks to do the following:

  • Reduce interpersonal friction
  • Eliminate bottlenecks
  • Improve collaboration
  • Increase job satisfaction through engineer empowerment
  • Accelerate team productivity

Beyond the human component, which enables faster delivery, improved functionality and fearless innovation, DevOps offers technical benefits:

  • CI/CD: Continuous integration and continuous delivery, which is closely aligned with DevOps, removes many of the bottlenecks often seen in teams that deploy infrequently. If you create automated pipelines that pass new code through a robust test suite, you can feel more confident in your deployments.
  • Faster recovery from incidents: It’s inevitable that you will experience a customer-impacting service disruption at some point — no matter how well-tested your code is. But teams who work in a DevOps methodology find resolutions faster through better coordination, more open accessibility, shared learning, and better performance monitoring.
  • Do more with the resources you already have: DevOps accepts the reality of constraints and shows you how to succeed within your unique environment.

Core DevOps values for your company culture

DevOps is a cultural shift that empowers engineers to learn freely, share responsibility, and succeed — as well as occasionally fail — together.

DevOps is centered around a few core principles. Although the principles may vary from organization to organization, you would do well to focus on these:

  • Encourage teamwork
  • Reduce silos
  • Practice systems thinking
  • Learn from failure
  • Communicate
  • Accept feedback
  • Iterate rapidly
  • Automate where appropriate

DevOps resources online and on Twitter

Here are links to some of the members, events, and resources of the DevOps community:

  • DevOpsDays: Local DevOps-focused conferences across the globe.
  • DevOps Enterprise Summit: A conference designed to discuss the DevOps for the enterprise.
  • State of DevOps Report: Released by the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) organization at Google every year, the State of DevOps Report digs into how organizations are adopting and implementing DevOps.
  • Netflix Tech Blog: Some of the best DevOps and SRE advice in the industry.
  • DevOps’ish: A weekly newsletter by Chris Short focused on the DevOps ecosystem.
  • Delivering DevOps: A monthly newsletter on everything DevOps from the author of DevOps for Dummies, Emily Freeman.
  • DevOps Meetups: Meetups focused on DevOps in your neighborhood.

People to Follow on Twitter

  • Emily Freeman (@editingemily)
  • Nicole Forsgren (@nicolefv)
  • John Allspaw (@allspaw)
  • Paul Reed (@jpaulreed)
  • Andrew Clay Shafer (@littleidea)
  • Patrick Debois (@patrickdebois)
  • Gene Kim (@RealGeneKim)
  • Jez Humble (@jezhumble)
  • Corey Quinn (@quinnypig)
  • David Blank-Edelman (@otterbook)
  • Matty Stratton (@mattstratton)
  • Bridget Kromhout (@bridgetkromhout)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Emily Freeman is a technologist and storyteller who helps engineering teams improve their velocity. She believes the biggest challenges facing engineers aren't technical, but human. She's worked with both cutting-edge startups and some of the largest technology providers in the world. Emily is currently a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft and a frequent keynote speaker at technology events.

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