DevOps: Principles, Practices, and DevOps Engineer Role

by | Oct 15, 2022 | DevOps | 0 comments

Introduction

Development and operations were separate components for a very long time. System administrators deployed and integrated the code that developers had written. Because there was little interaction between these two silos, specialists typically worked on projects independently.

One of the most talked-about methods for software development nowadays is DevOps. It is used by Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Etsy, and numerous more market-dominating businesses. You are considering using DevOps for enhanced performance, commercial success, and competition.

What is DevOps?

The integration of development and operations is referred to as DevOps. It is a technique that integrates functionality (deployment and integration), quality assurance, and development into a cohesive, continuous set of procedures. This strategy is a natural progression from Agile and continuous delivery methods.

Higher speed and quality of product releases.

DevOps accelerates product release by implementing continuous delivery, encouraging faster feedback, and allowing developers to fix system flaws early on. Using DevOps, the team can concentrate on product quality while automating several activities.

Responding to consumer needs more quickly.

With DevOps, a team may respond to client change requests faster, adding new and improving current features. As a result, time-to-market and value-delivery rates both rise.

Better working conditions.

DevOps ideas and practices improve team members’ communication and enhance their productivity and agility. Teams that use DevOps are thought to be more productive and cross-skilled. Members of a DevOps team, both developers and operators, work together.

Better workplace conditions.

The concepts and practices of DevOps promote improved teamwork, more productivity, and greater agility. DevOps teams are regarded as being more productive and multi-skilled. A DevOps team consists of developers and operators working together as a unit.

DevOps Principles

The foundation of DevOps is the attitude and culture that fosters close working relationships between teams responsible for infrastructure operations and software development. This culture is built on the following ideals.

Collaboration and communication are ongoing. These have been the cornerstones of DevOps since its inception. Your team should work together to meet the needs and expectations of all members.

Gradual modifications. Gradual rollouts enable delivery teams to deploy a product to users while still having the option to make improvements and roll back if something goes wrong.

End-to-end accountability was shared. When team members work toward the same objective and are equally responsible for a project from start to finish, they work together and look for methods to make other members’ tasks more accessible.

Problem-solving begins early. Tasks must be completed as early in the project lifecycle as practicable. As a result, any concerns will be addressed more immediately.

DevOps models and practices

DevOps demands a delivery cycle with active team collaboration that includes planning, development, testing, deployment, release, and monitoring.

Agile planning

Unlike traditional project management approaches, Agile planning organizes work in short iterations to increase the number of releases. 

This means that the team has just high-level objectives in place, with thorough preparation for two iterations ahead of time. Once the ideas have been tested on an early product increment, this provides flexibility and pivots.

Continuous development

The concept of “continuous” encompasses iterative or constant software development, which means that all development activity is broken into little chunks for better and faster production. Engineers commit code in small pieces daily so it can be easily tested. Code builds and unit testing is also automated.

Continuous automated testing

A quality assurance team uses automation tools like Selenium, UFT, etc., to test committed code. They are reported to the engineering team if defects or vulnerabilities are discovered.

At this level, version control is also essential to identify integration concerns before they occur. Developers can track changes to files and distribute them to team members wherever they are by using a version control system (VCS).

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD)

The code that passes automated tests is stored on a server in a single, shared repository. Frequent code submissions avoid what is known as “integration hell,” a situation in which the discrepancies between separate development branches and the mainline code become so pronounced over time that integration takes longer than actual work.

Continuous deployment

Code must be deployed in a method that does not interfere with existing functionalities and is accessible to many users. Frequent deployment enables a “fail fast” approach, in which new features are evaluated and validated early on. 

Engineers can release a product increment using a variety of automated technologies. Chef, Puppet, Azure Resource Manager, and Google Cloud Deployment Manager are the most popular.

Continuous monitoring

The DevOps lifecycle’s last stage is dedicated to evaluating the process as a whole. Monitoring aims to identify problematic process areas and analyze user and team input to report errors and enhance the product’s functionality.

Infrastructure as a code

Infrastructure as a code (IaC) is a method of managing the infrastructure that enables continuous delivery and DevOps. It uses scripts to configure the deployment environment (networks, virtual machines, etc.) regardless of its original state.

When the requirement for scaling occurs, the script can automatically set the number of environments required to be consistent with one another.

Containerization

Virtual machines simulate hardware functionality to share a real machine’s computational resources, allowing various application environments or operating systems (Linux and Windows Server) to run on a single physical server or distribute an application across numerous physical computers.

Containers are used in DevOps to quickly deploy programs across multiple environments, and they work well with the IaC technique outlined above. Before deployment, a container can be tested as a unit. Docker now provides the most popular container toolkit.

Microservices

The microservice architectural approach entails building one application as a set of independent services that communicate with each other but are configured individually. 

When making an application this way, you can isolate any arising problems, ensuring that a failure in one service doesn’t break the rest of the application functions. With the high deployment rate, microservices allow for keeping the whole system stable while fixing the problems in isolation.

Cloud infrastructure

Containers are used in DevOps to quickly deploy programs across multiple environments, and they work well with the IAC technique outlined above. Before deployment, a container can be tested as a unit. Docker now provides the most popular container toolkit.

DevOps tools

The primary rationale for implementing DevOps is to optimize the delivery pipeline and integration process through automation. As a result, the product’s time-to-market is reduced.

To implement this automated release pipeline, the team must obtain particular tools rather than develop them from the ground up.

Existing DevOps technologies currently cover practically all steps of continuous delivery, from continuous integration environments to containerization and deployment. While some operations are still automated with custom scripts today, most DevOps engineers use a variety of solutions. 

A DevOps Engineer: role and responsibilities

Both definitions are correct in specific ways. A DevOps engineer’s primary responsibility is to implement the continuous delivery and integration workflow, which necessitates knowledge of the tools mentioned above and numerous programming languages.

Job descriptions fluctuate depending on the organization. Engineers with broader skill sets and responsibilities are sought after by smaller firms. For example, the job description may call for product development in collaboration with developers.

Larger organizations may want an engineer to work with a specific automation tool at a given point in the DevOps lifecycle.

A DevOps engineer’s primary and widely acknowledged roles are as follows:

  • Creating server-side feature requirements and documentation.
  • Performance evaluation and monitoring
  • Infrastructure administration.
  • Cloud deployment and administration
  • Help with DevOps culture adoption.

DevOps engineer skillset

A degree in computer science, otherwise a relatable subject, is required for a DevOps engineer. The minimum amount of work experience is two years. This includes employment as a developer, system administrator, or team member that follows a DevOps methodology.

A DevOps engineer must be familiar with open-source testing and deployment solutions.

A candidate for this position should also have expertise with public clouds like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

In addition to being familiar with commercially available tools, engineers also need programming expertise to handle scripting and coding.

While coding abilities may involve knowledge of Java, C#, C++, Python, PHP, Ruby, etc., or at least some of these languages, scripting skills typically require knowledge of Bash or PowerShell scripts.

The future of DevOps

DevOps has proven helpful since its inception, from speeding up development processes to adding more value and high-quality goods.

DevOps isn’t going away, but it’s also not standing still. Here are three DevOps trends to look out for shortly.

DevOps and cloud-native security will be closely linked as more businesses move their operations to the cloud, changing how software is developed, distributed, and maintained.

 Businesses can include security in the development and deployment workflows.

 Development teams will be more involved in decision-making to guide businesses toward digital transformation.