How to add DevOps process flow to your team

Ashley Cheng Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

An optimized DevOps process flow is vital for DevOps teams.  It allows for seamless development and operations integration through the implementation of the CICD pipeline for development, deployment, and feedback.  

Key benefits to adding devops process flow to your team include releasing new features in your application faster, iterating more often based on feedback from customers, identifying and fixing problems in your application faster, and improving the productivity and daily life of your developers.

Step 1 – Adopt an agile mindset for new projects to maximize the benefits of devops

Devops brings development and system operations together under one umbrella to better manage complex software systems and build on communication and management.

Together, they work in synergy to improve the delivery and deployment of software projects.  To maximize the benefits of devops, adopt an agile approach to your projects by breaking down large complex projects into smaller iterations with quicker deliveries.

Devops involves deploying new code changes as often as they are committed to benefit from:

  • Removing the need for scheduled deployment days by deploying commits as soon as they happen.
  • Building in automated tests and delivery so developers can focus on coding instead of firefighting
  • Delivering code that works well with agile methods for quick delivery of features.

Adopting agile methodologies for project management isn’t required to implementing devops process flow but works in conjunction to maximize the productivity and quality of life for modern software projects.

Step 2 – Start thinking of QA, code, and deployment as one entity

Teams that don’t add devops to their work environment often end up in siloed groups with separate responsibilities of deployment, testing, and writing code.  If a problem occurs, communication has to go through separate teams. A lack of communication can lead to a host of problems such as development teams dumping their testing responsibilities on testing teams. 

By integrating testing, coding, and deployment into one loop, devops teams are able to improve communication and collaboration between team members and reduce frustration caused by poor communication.

The goal of devops is to manage end to end software development and use automation to manage testing and deployment. Without devops, tension between testing, development, and deployment can occur due to large barriers in delivering code to test and deploy.  Devops solves this by designing the system to work harmoniously across testing, development, and deployment through a continuous integration and continuous deployment pipeline. 

Step 3 – Add new tools for the new processes  

After deciding to add devops process flow to your team, add new tools to your software as resources for your devops implementation.

Git, GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket

Git is an absolute must for collaborative software development. Git is a version control tool designed to solve the headache of managing code bases and enable continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). 

GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket are applications that host your code base and allow easy git usage.

Travis CI

Travis CI is an open source CI/CD tool that seamlessly connects with GitHub to allow for easy deployment coordination and implementation of your CI/CD pipeline.

Docker

Docker is a containerization tool that creates isolated instances of your application. Applications exist in their own isolated environment and serve that environment as the application. 

APM

Instead of fire-fighting application issues, take a proactive approach to monitoring and managing your application.  Using an Application Performance Management Tool, like Stackify Retrace, can spot performance issues and hidden errors before your code is ever deployed to your production environment.  Spend more time actually writing code, and less time solving issues.  

User Feedback Tool

Increase actionable communication between teammates and users by implementing a user feedback tool, such as Usersnap, to easily share screenshots and submit bug reports.  Devops teams can prioritize what needs to be improved and built next through easy feedback channels.

Step 4 – Implement your pipeline

A common approach to traditional deployment is to deploy at set intervals as deployment is often treated as a sensitive task that can greatly affect and in return shut down systems if a problem occurs. 

Teams that use devops are able deploy multiple times a day without the additional stress of a system shut down thanks to their CI/CD pipeline. The CI/CD pipeline is the implementation part of the philosophy of devops. 

The ideal CI/CD pipeline has automation built into it to manage testing new code before it gets merged and then deliver or deploy the new changes. All developers working in this system have to do write code, commit the code, and then see if their new changes successfully makes it through the pipeline.

Rather than manually managing your deployments every time you make a change to your code base, you can create your pipeline once and then all your commits will be tested and deployed automatically.

Summary of adding devops in your team

Adding devops process flow in your team allows your development team to spend more time committing new code, and less time testing, deploying, and merging commits.

  • Adding devops process flow in your team adds business value to your company by increasing the speed of changes possible and reducing the number of errors in your application.
  • Switching to an agile project management structure maximises the benefits of devops and modern software development processes.
  • Removing silos between teams by integrating the responsibilities of testing, development, and deployment into one mentality.
  • Automating testing and deployment with scripts and implement a continuous integration/continuous deployment pipeline.
  • Adding application performance management and user feedback tools into your system to proactively monitor of your application

About Ashley Cheng

Ashley is a writer and content strategist based in Austria. She works for Usersnap, a SaaS company with a visual QA & user feedback tool. They help make user acceptance testing a breeze for companies such as Facebook, Cisco, and Canva.