‘DevOps is not an IT platform but a culture: that’s where it often goes wrong’
It seems that only one of every ten innovative software projects sees the light of day, despite CIOs setting up agile DevOps teams that develop new functionalities at a lightning pace. ‘CIOs have the world at their feet, but become the victim of their own success,’ says Jan Aril Sigvartsen of Basefarm.
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DevOps and Microservices are not new concepts within IT but these aspects of the development process are not often applied. “Really a shame,” in the opinion of Basefarm’s Bent Terp, “because combining DevOps and Microservices yield benefits in a wide range of areas.”
Dev+Ops= development synergy
DevOps revolves around intensive collaboration between software engineers and other IT specialists within a company, resulting in more frequent and faster implementation. To get the highest benefit, applications should not be built as large monoliths but as a suite of smaller, independent components (aka Microservices).
DevOps however is not a product: after all, you can’t buy it anywhere.
“DevOps is much more a culture, a mindset within organizations,” says Terp.
And he should know: as Senior Solutions Architect at Basefarm he has to deal with numerous IT challenges and development methods.
The elusive trust culture
“DevOps relies on a culture of trust ‒ trust in the talent of your team,” Terp explains. “DevOps is only feasible with teams that encompass all the requisite skills at the development as well as the operations end.”
It sounds easy but it’s not. Terp: “We’re not simply dealing with technologies but also with the processes and the people who have to execute the processes.”
For many companies ‒ and their staff ‒ this way of developing software requires a radically different mindset.
Microservices are a developer’s best friend
Developers are responsible for communication with other teams as well as their own piece of code. An advantage of working with Microservices is that each team can work in the language they prefer.
“Everybody can do it their own way in the programming language they know best with their own release cycle,” Terp explains. “There’s no waiting around for everybody else.”
By making it possible to work on smaller pieces of the overall system independently of the rest, microservices enhance the efficiency of software development.
Terp: “One of the largest Nordic banks had a situation where it took ten weeks to find out if a piece of software actually worked; now with DevOps on OpenShift it’s only a matter of hours, considerably reducing the time-to-market.”
More results in less time
And where a piece of code used to pass through many different, isolated teams as it travelled through the entire pipeline ‒ from development through testing and quality assurance to deployment ‒ DevOps and Microservices have made adjustments less dramatic and hence significantly shortened cycle times.
About Bent Terp, Senior Solutions Architect in Basefarm Group: An enthusiastic Linux user for more than 30 years, Bent has designed and operated solutions for credit-card processing, e-health and video streaming services. His current focus is the adoption of public-cloud services and container-based microservices to increase innovation speed and quality.
Would you like to know more? Read more about OpenShift-as-a-Service, Microservices and DevOps here.