DevOps without a technical background
I have a humanitarian background, and a few months ago, DevOps was just that funny bearded man I met at the bar last Friday. However, I am currently working as a marketing generalist at Corewide and can reasonably well explain what Development Operations are. So who can find this article helpful? Business owners who want to make their sites or applications faster and more accessible or optimize their maintenance costs. Non-engineering professionals who wish to change the scope of activities by cooperating with companies that provide DevOps as a service. Students and young information technology professionals who choose the path for further development and consider DevOps as a potential field for growth.
DevOps isn’t science. It’s a philosophy.
DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development and IT operations. But nowadays it isn’t only about practices. DevOps is also cultural philosophy that helps to drive delivering processes of services at high velocity. It makes the process of evolving and improving products at a faster pace, and that allows the organization to serve their customer better and drive success in sales.
How does it work, and what is the advantage of DevOps?
Obviously, there will be two teams (Developers and Operation specialists). These teams use practices to automate processes that historically have been manual and slow. Often they work across the entire application lifecycle together, but not as one team. That’s why DevOps-as-a-service companies improve development and test to deployment and operations all at the same time. Nevertheless, someone should manage teams, and that’s a precisely funny man with a beard. DevOps should target Dev, Ops, and process management to work effectively together over short distances, with cutscene task scope and frequent interactions. The result of this work proceeding will be roughly this: regular updates, growing functionality, and efficient people and infra spendings.
Tools and practices of DevOps
Unique technology stack and tools help engineers independently accomplish tasks that further increases a team’s velocity. I’ll list the main tools of the Corewide team for different practices:
~ Git SCMs (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket) are сollaboration tools for people in the project;
~ Ansible allows DevOps and IT teams to automate setups, updates, restarts, and other maintenance of application and infrastructure components. This eliminates a lot of human error and saves a lot of time manually configuring systems.
~ DroneCI (as well as GitLab CI, Bitbucket Pipelines) is a modern Continuous Integration platform that empowers busy teams to automate their build, test, and release workflows using a powerful, cloud-native pipeline engine;
~ Terraform codifies cloud APIs into declarative configuration files. Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as a code software tool that provides a consistent CLI (Command Line Interface) workflow to manage hundreds of cloud services;
~ Kubernetes and Docker. Breaking large applications and products into microservices running in containers can greatly benefit development speed as well as reliability through limited blast radiuses;
~ Cloud solutions (AWS and GCP) allow for greater flexibility and agility, which is often highly beneficial for successful businesses. Whether you make use of a single cloud provider or leverage a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy is highly dependent on the types of applications or services you’re working with;
~ Prometheus is an open-source time-series database and monitoring tool often used by DevOps and IT teams to collect performance and state metrics from the applications and infrastructure components.
Dispel the myth
As a relatively recent methodology, DevOps still causes people to get confused about some things, and that’s perfectly normal. So I want to debunk some myths for you so that you can accurately determine the right direction.
- In the classic interpretation, “DevOps engineer” is either a programmer who started to work with infrastructure or a sysadmin who started to program. That is, to put it quite simply. Their job is to link the two camps to bring synergy to their work and thereby save the stocks of sprat and other valuable commercial species. Once again, DevOps is not a profession but a methodology. If a DevOps label could be put on a person, then everyone on a coordinated team would be a DevOps-PM, DevOps-backender, DevOps-QA, and DevOps-cleaner.
- DevOps is only for unicorns. The term “unicorn” has been assigned not only to companies that have fully adopted the DevOps philosophy but also to those that have matured operationally to a point where they’re in a state of continuous improvement, allowing for continuous delivery of software — and more. Yet, they’ve been doing it since before the term DevOps even existed.
- You can be certified in DevOps. DevOps isn’t about tools and processes but instead building a culture of collaboration and empathy. Any attempts to create a certification program will spark a passionate debate on its merits and necessity.
- DevOps is only for small developing software companies and startups. Leading organizations, including Netflix, NASA, Amazon, Google, Starbucks, LinkedIn, GE, Target, Airbnb, HubSpot, Nike, etc., practice DevOps. It is developed for and used by everyone irrespective of their industry and the size of the company. Every business enterprise wants to make necessary improvements in its cycle time or time to market.
- By the way, the idea of DevOps is only for large companies is also as prevalent as the previous myth. Many startups don’t see the point in DevOps as they mistakenly think it’s a vast, expensive resource that only corporations should use.
Leaders across many business sectors know that increasing marketing speed is a survival skill rather than an aim. On the other hand, executives, especially in the IT industry, feel the pressure to execute processes at a faster pace and more effectively, along with making better business decisions. However, most organizations have applied DevOps successfully to accomplish the necessary goals and purpose through a clear understanding of the methodology and its structure. I sincerely hope that I could plunge you into the world of DevOps without clogging your mind and prove that even technical industries can be easy to understand.