4 Recommendations for Optimizing DevOps
The concept and development of DevOps have significantly changed the way IT teams work in the last decade. Small and large teams alike can see the difference when they switch from traditional software development cycles to a DevOps cycle: accelerated innovation, improved collaboration, faster time to market. And the list of benefits continues to grow.
To effectively embrace DevOps, however, is not an easy task. Thankfully, there are ways to navigate this challenging journey. Here are four key recommendations for optimizing DevOps at your organization.
Recommendations for Optimizing DevOps
1. Release Often
Why did we all unanimously accept that releases need to be withheld from our users until a far-out, continuously changing date?
By definition, DevOps “increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity”, so releasing often is more than just a nice to have, it’s core to the function of DevOps as a whole. This can be daunting though, particularly for organizations that are just starting to adopt a DevOps practice and don’t know where or how to start.
Small enhancements like code changes and bug fixes are a great place to start for a high-speed release process, as those can be made without seriously impacting the overall user experience. Once that starts to feel comfortable, transition to continuously deploying product updates that benefit regular users, without overhauling their overall experience.
At xMatters, our release cycle is comprised of both continuous deployment cycle, and larger scale quarterly product releases. This allows us to constantly push updates to users so that they get the most out of the product, but big changes to the UX or product that may require training or additional adapting-to are packaged into a bigger update bundle.
2. Standardize a Single Code Base
One such way of not only optimizing DevOps, but making these frequent releases simpler, is to standardize a single code base. Instead of having several code bases for different parts of the product, or for different development teams to pull from, a single code base can make iterating and testing easier for everyone.
Consider in practice, a developer is proposing an update. They can check out the code locally, and with engineers, they can fully trial and test updates on a development server. Iterations can be made until everyone is satisfied with the changes, and then a final review of the code changes can be made before pushing the updates to production.
3. Automate for Scaling
It may be hard to believe, but DevOps can be successful with or without people being involved. In fact, in the process of optimizing DevOps, you should consider where automation can take the place of human interaction.
Automation not only allows teams to get things done faster but also allows things to be done more effectively. Consider a simple incident where a team lead needs to contact a developer after-hours to fix an API error. That lead may try Slack, then email, then possibly SMS to get in touch with the developer, and if that fails they’re back to square one but with a new contact. By the time a responder is working on a resolution, hours could have passed; an automated on-call workflow however could have gotten in touch with the responder in minutes.
Now consider more complex circumstances. When so much toil is created by simple events, how can anyone manage to enhance and scale their systems? Utilizing automation whenever possible, like for testing and QA, is one vital way to make sure more enhanced and efficient DevOps processes are possible.
4. Put Engineers on the Hook
it doesn’t matter which team you’re on, the responsibility of making a final decision at businesses can be daunting. So when it comes to making the final code push from non-prod to prod, who should be doing it can be a point of contention. But to optimize DevOps there’s a clear answer, it should be engineers.
Putting engineers on the hook for the final code push can ensure things are running smoothly, and if there are any post-deployment issues they can be caught right away. This makes for a more streamlined DevOps process and ensures that all team members can be working at scale.
xMatters is the service reliability tool DevOps and SREs need to simplify operations and ensure they can work at scale. If you want to optimize your DevOps processes, the xMatters platform is the right place to start and you can start today for free. Sign up for your free xMatters instance and start optimizing today!