DevOps: Is it here to Stay?

With the Agile methodology closing on its third decade of use, one of its offshoots – DevOps – is transitioning from the latest technology buzzword to an IT industry standard. The raw numbers reveal the growing popularity of the software development framework – slash – organizational structure. A recent study noted 74 percent of businesses now make some form of DevOps investment.

Does this increase in adoption in the business world mean DevOps is finally here to stay? Will it continue to grow in demand, or is another methodology just around the corner? Leverage these insights to drive your own decisions on the right framework for your software shop.

Why are Companies moving to DevOps

A recent “State of DevOps” study, highlighted in Information Week, reported that companies with successful DevOps implementations are able to deploy code – new features and bug fixes – 30 times faster than before. Considering the competitive business environment in this era of social media, organizations choose DevOps simply to keep up with the other firms in their sector. Another notable advantage is the 50 percent lower fail rate on deployments!

Less downtime leads to higher productivity, allowing companies to set a more aggressive timeline on their projects. Improved collaboration and communication among your stuff also serves to boost employee morale, leading to higher retention and lower HR costs.

The Demand for Experienced DevOps Engineers Grows

Another key indicator of continued maturity of DevOps is the high demand for engineers experienced in the practice. The average salary for these IT professionals is now over $100,000 according to Glassdoor. The staffing website, Indeed notes the DevOps engineer is the hardest role for companies to keep filled.

Expect this trend to continue, as more companies transition to a DevOps model, and require experienced professionals to help achieve a good return on their investment. Even as more processes become automated in DevOps, the demand for talented software development, network engineers, or a mix of the two won’t be going away.

DevOps Tools – and the Cloud – also becoming more Popular

The emerging popularity of DevOps is essentially matching the increase in Cloud usage at businesses. Companies leverage Cloud-based development environments using tools like Docker and Chef to lower costs and make processes work more efficiently. The latter remains one of the reasons organizations are able to increase deployment speed by 30 times, as noted earlier.

Tech industry analysts predict Cloud investment at businesses is expected grow for at least the next decade. In most cases, these organizations will continue to leverage a DevOps model to get the most out of their Cloud implementation. It is therefore reasonable to assume DevOps will continue to cement itself as the standard when it comes to the organizational structure in the IT world.

Striving for more efficiency in a competitive business environment made companies explore DevOps in the first place and will keep it as an important tool in the arsenal of the top software development organizations in the industry. This undoubtedly means DevOps is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

When you are looking for additional insights on the software development world, keep coming back to the Betica Blog. As always, thanks for checking it out!

An Overview of React.js

React – better known as React.js – is a JavaScript library used in many modern web applications. It facilitates the building of responsive user interfaces, able to perform well in highly scalable environments. The library’s functionality combined with its relative ease of use has led to a massive growth in popularity among developers over the last few years.

We’re going to provide a high-level overview of React.js to see if it makes sense on your own company’s web development projects. Expect additional articles on the topic in the future, including a look at React for mobile – React Native.

A Short History of React.js

Jordan Walke, an engineer at Facebook, first developed the React framework in 2011. After getting used on the social network’s news feed, the company then implemented it on its Instagram network the following year. The framework became open source in 2013 at JSConf US, a JavaScript user conference.

The previously mentioned React Native first became available in 2015. In addition to supporting the Android and iOS mobile platforms, this framework also works with Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

Earlier this year, Facebook announced plans to re-architect React into a new framework, known as React Fiber. While currently used in places on the social network, Fiber is expected to be publicly available by the end of the year. It promises a performance boost in addition to backwards compatibility.

A Closer Look at React.js’s Major Features

The original need for React.js involved creating a library suitable for responsive, data-driven web applications that are highly scalable. Considering the massive user base and resultant throughput of Facebook, it makes sense React saw its genesis at that social network.

The framework lets developers create component-based structures able to manage their own state. When combined with the virtual DOM (the HTML Document Object Model) and support for one-way dataflow, this makes it easier to build data-driven user interfaces for a scalable environment. React is able to seamlessly manage the user interface; only rendering those components with changed data.

React is essentially agnostic when it comes to an application’s chosen technology stack. This facilitates using the framework in one small part of an existing web application without affecting the rest of its architecture. If your organization is curious about React.js, taking this approach is a great way to learn the library before implementing it across the entire application.

JSX, a markup language somewhat similar to XML or HTML, is the primary means for defining user interface components in React.js. Since it is optional, programmers can still use raw JavaScript to achieve the same result, but JSX code is more concise and readable. It is also easy to access the component’s state and thus rendering its display whenever this underlying state changes.

While this overview only scratches the surface of what’s possible with React.js, leverage these insights to better determine whether the framework makes sense as part of your organization’s web development toolbox. If you are in the business of building extremely responsive web apps that are highly scalable, React probably belongs in your stack.

Thanks for checking out the Betica Blog. Keep coming back for additional news, stories, and insights from the wide world of software development!

Finding the Business Value in your Investment in Agile and DevOps

As companies continue to invest resources transforming their software development practice into an Agile and/or DevOps model, determining the resultant ROI still eludes some. This conclusion is one of the major findings in a recent survey of CIOs published in ZDNet. On the other hand, many respondents report the faster time to production of software enhancements and bug fixes.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other results of the study to see if these conclusions help your organization decide whether or not Agile and DevOps make sense in your shop.

DevOps Study reveals the need to Accurately measure Business Value

The study in question was conducted by Forrester Research and sponsored by Blueprint Software. While a majority of those surveyed are able to offer anecdotal evidence of the success of their DevOps transition – typically faster software delivery – they largely can’t translate that evidence into tangible business value. Forrester defines this term as increased revenue, improved competitiveness, a growing customer base, and ultimately – enhanced profitability.

45 percent of the surveyed companies currently use business value as a metric to measure the efficacy of their software development process. Nearly two-thirds of the organizations in the survey rely on that time-honored metric – speed to production – as the prime indicator of success using DevOps and Agile. Surprisingly, only one-third considers return on investment to be a valid indicator of success when migrating to these newer methodologies.

The ZDNet analysis of the survey notes that organizations need to improve communication and collaboration throughout their business to truly gauge the impact of a transition to Agile and DevOps. Since DevOps already requires this additional focus on team interaction as part of its process, these same teams can work together to devise a set of metrics to accurately measure the new methodology’s contribution to business value. Companies need to get beyond merely using status updates over email to communicate success.

Taking the Steps to bridge the DevOps Cultural Divide

Many of the surveyed organizations are trying to improve their still nascent DevOps implementations with both technical and business initiatives. 61 percent are engaged in the process of developing better metrics to measure the value of process improvement. Improving business requirements is occurring at 58 percent of the companies – another task that benefits from the additional collaboration ushered in by DevOps.

Close to half of the firms in the study are improving the management of their Agile teams, while also leveraging new technical practices, like continuous testing, to gain additional efficiencies in the SDLC. 84 percent of those surveyed feel devising a means for tracing delivered source code components to their initial business initiative would go a long way in improving business value metrics. The automation of reporting throughout the entire DevOps release chain to boost business visibility is something desired by 80 percent of the respondents.

If anything, the results of the survey reveal how DevOps is still maturing at most of the organizations currently implementing it. Improving the visibility of the process through better reporting that advertises how software enhancements are meeting vital business needs can only help. Read the survey in full to see how its conclusions can help your team go Agile!

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the software development world. As always, thanks for reading!