On Friday 21 August, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Aahron Young of Ticker TV to talk about all things DevOps.
DevOps is one thing that we’re passionate about here at Interfuze and you might have read some past blog posts from my colleague Tim (aka Mr DevOps) on how big things grow from DevOps and how to take the first steps towards successful digital transformation.
Because we’re all about sharing DevOps knowledge as much as possible, I thought I’d share what we talked about at Ticker TV.
What is digital change or transformation and why do businesses today more than ever need to think about their digital journey?
Digital transformation has become a buzz word, more so now as businesses and teams had to turn online from a global pandemic. For me, digital change or transformation is where a business uses technology to achieve strategic goals or improve their business processes, typically to reduce cost or improve revenue, change their culture or their customers' experience.
A great example of digital transformation is Netflix. Not many people remember them as the company that used to deliver DVD rentals to you by post for the first 10 years of their operations. Technology completely changed their business model and the way they deliver their product.
There’s a great quote I like to share whenever someone asks, “why do we need technology?” “Every company is essentially a technology company.” The simple truth is that if you’re not thinking about how technology can help give your company an edge you can be sure you have a competitor who is.
What is DevOps exactly and how can it help businesses digitally transform?
DevOps stands for ‘Development and Operations’ and just like it sounds, the concept is about getting developers and operations to work closely together in order to deliver software to production more efficiently.
DevOps essentially is about reducing the time to getting new features out into production, having tools in place to get feedback; finding out critical information such as how many people are using the new feature, did the change help or hinder, how quick / slow was deployment?, and using that feedback to continue to learn & improve.
As well as a cultural shift DevOps requires automated builds and testing, enabling both activities to happen continuously. It builds in quality because automation means you can bake in rules about quality levels required before a single code check-in can progress and ultimately makes changes to infrastructure configuration. True DevOps also calls for infrastructure configuration to be checked in like code with automate deploys, so the set up of new servers is a single click with all the setup documented and defined in scripts.
As you can imagine, a company that can get new features out weekly will be more competitive and resilient against constant changes in customer and market demands than one that can only say release every 6 months.
DevOps sounds great! Where and how we start?
Key to DevOps is firstly understanding what the problem is that you’re trying to solve. Unless you know what’s stopping you from delivering rapidly you won’t be able to fix it. It’s surprising how often this step gets forgotten!
Then the assessment part comes. Ask the questions of:
What's the most beneficial thing you can start to do first?
Then - start making changes. One step at a time and start small. Your first step might be as simple as a daily catch up between your Dev & Ops teams before moving to more complex changes like automating your deployments or enabling developers to provision their own cloud environments. Whatever it is, make sure you have a goal and can measure your success.
Don’t forget that there are some great tools out for enabling DevOps but a tool is just a tool, you need to ensure you’re building a culture that supports DevOps as well or you won’t get real benefit.
Work with someone who knows DevOps
Getting someone who has real life experience in working in a DevOps environment will of course bring many benefits and reduce many of the challenges associated with doing it alone for the first time. Clearly I’m biased because that’s what we do at Interfuze but we’ve been there and seen these before, warts and all!
Nothing like experience as the most helpful resource in understanding the issues you’re likely to encounter and ways to address them.
We’re always happy to talk DevOps and it comes with no obligation to answer your initial questions or kickstart your digital journey. Get in touch.