Most Tech Organizations only Partially Embrace DevOps – if at all

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While DevOps transitioned from a buzzword to an essential part of operations at many technology companies, a majority of shops only partially adopt the practice if at all. This is one of the most interesting findings of a study of IT professionals published this month in BetaNews. Still many firms are seeing benefits and improved efficiency because of merging their software engineering and network operations functions.

Let’s dive into the details of this industry survey to see what organizations are doing in lieu of a full DevOps implementation. Are they still able to see achieve a better process by only going part of the way? The answers provide some food for thought for your own company’s development efforts.

Many IT Companies aren’t sold on DevOps

2nd Watch, a Cloud-based managed service operator, surveyed over 1,000 IT professionals on their organization’s use (or non-use) of DevOps. Most tellingly, nearly 80 percent of the surveyed companies still maintain separate software engineering and operations teams. Still, a number of those organizations use some of the tools commonly associated with DevOps, including CI/CD, automation, and Cloud-based infrastructure ops software.

Nearly two-thirds of the tech orgs in the survey use “infrastructure as code” approaches to improve the efficiency of their operations. Some of the biggest applications in this area are Terraform, Configuration Management, and Kubernetes. 2nd Watch noted that almost 40 percent of the surveyed companies still manage network operations manually.

2nd Watch also commented that the manual process of network management remains incompatible with a DevOps approach. However, the process of teamwork and strong interaction are essential. “In order to transform a business into a DevOps organization, companies should work towards bringing separate operating groups together as a single team,” commented Jeff Aden, 2nd Watch’s executive vice-president of marketing and business development.

A Shocking Lack of Software Quality Assurance

Another quite surprising survey finding relates to the software QA approach at these companies. Nearly 25 percent of the surveyed firms employ little to no quality assurance process. While some code testing happens, it appears to be a disorganized practice at some of these companies.

The numbers look better when it comes to the use of automation in the SDLC. 70 percent of the surveyed companies leverage an automated process for some portion of code management and deployment. On the other hand, around 20 percent of the companies use no form of application monitoring; instead they rely on end-user notification. Thankfully, the rest prefer a more modern approach.

Aden summarized how his company’s survey reveals the piecemeal approach many companies take towards DevOps adoption. “The results reveal the 80/20 rule, where slightly more than 20 percent of respondents are actually engaging in DevOps in its purest form today. There is still a tremendous opportunity for companies to modernize their organizations to accelerate development and remain competitive in the marketplace,” said Aden.

Ultimately, it’s still a positive if organizations are able to gain some benefits by the use of automated DevOps tools without merging their development and network operations. Companies need to take the approach that works best for them. Still, shops that eschew organized testing and application monitoring aren’t likely to stay in business for long.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Betica Blog. Keep coming back for additional insights on the software development world.

Adopting Agile or DevOps? Use the Cloud!

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Organizations of all sizes continue to embrace Agile and DevOps. Some firms might adopt one or the other methodology, while others combine the two in the hopes of improving their chances at success. Whatever the approach, there’s no denying that leveraging the Cloud makes adoption an easier process.

If your company is new to either Agile or DevOps, or are looking at ways to make the practice of both more efficient, here are a few insights on how the Cloud helps. Watch your team build and deploy great applications faster than ever before. Good luck!

The Cloud helps Agile and DevOps in a Myriad of Ways

An article by Leon Tranter for Extreme Uncertainty covers the different ways Cloud services make implementing Agile or DevOps a relative breeze. Maybe your organization is currently using the Cloud for a portion of its development operations? If so, you are already one step closer to a successful Agile adoption.

Of course, the Cloud facilitates the virtualized environments used for development, QA, and production. Using a virtual container application, like Docker, is essentially an industry standard in software engineering. In this case, the Cloud helps organizations achieve the velocity required for success in DevOps, eventually reaching the Holy Grails of continuous integration or delivery.

As Tranter notes, smaller businesses embracing either Agile or DevOps as part of a Lean startup approach especially benefit from the Cloud. Lower expenses combined with a faster entry to market make the Cloud a winner for many tech startups. It allows the SMB to truly take advantage of their agility.

A Cloud-based IDE?

The Cloud also facilitates the actual process of writing and storing code, especially collaboration in a distributed fashion. This fact largely contributed to Microsoft’s recent decision to purchase GitHub. In essence it gives Redmond a better chance of competing with Amazon’s industry-leading AWS Cloud service.

But what about an actual Cloud-hosted IDE – essentially an IDE as a Service (IDEaaS)? Tranter commented on the emergence of some IDEs offered using the SaaS model. This offers many advantages to startups or existing organizations hoping for the extra efficiency for a successful DevOps adoption.

The Cloud-based IDEs tend to be simpler than their fully-fledged brethren like Visual Studio or Eclipse. Organizations – no matter their size – need to weigh the functionality factor versus the cost savings gained through the Cloud option. Companies developing complex applications may still find a desktop IDE to be a better choice.

General Business Productivity Applications

On the other hand, the Cloud makes perfect sense for the office productivity applications used by any development shop. Choosing Google Docs over the Microsoft Office suite simply saves more money even with the latter option now being provided online. Examples from Application Performance Monitoring software to HR and payroll applications are now available as a SaaS offering.

The bottom line is simple. Any company – startup or enterprise – considering an investment in Agile or DevOps needs to look at leveraging the myriad of Cloud-based tools. The efficiencies and cost savings help earn a faster return on investment, not to mention an improved ability to thrive in a competitive business landscape.

Thanks for reading the Betica Blog. Stay tuned for additional insights from an evolving software development world.

Microsoft buys GitHub

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By far the dominant story from this week in the software development world involves Microsoft’s buyout of the source control giants, GitHub. In fact, we just talked about GitHub’s positive impact on the application engineering process in May’s news digest. Of course, this news spawned a lot of discussion and controversy within the developer community.

Let’s take a closer look at Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub with an eye on the reasons behind the acquisition as well as what it means for your app engineering shop. Is a new era in software development now upon us? Will it change how your team manages its source code?

The Details behind the Microsoft/GitHub Purchase

Microsoft buying GitHub isn’t just another example of Redmond crushing a competitor. Burning venture capital at a high rate over the past few years made GitHub a ripe target for acquisition. The giants in the industry, namely Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, all considered a purchase of the code-sharing organization.

According to an article in CNBC, GitHub preferred Microsoft due to the relationship between their founder, Chris Wanstrath, and Redmond CEO, Satya Nadella. Paying $7.5 billion meant MS paid nearly 25 times GitHub’s revenue, to use a stock analyst metric. Microsoft gains the benefit of a popular Cloud-based service for its Azure offering; part of its strategy to compete with Amazon AWS in the industry.

GitHub also pairs nicely with LinkedIn in the Redmond portfolio. It gives Microsoft access to a large number of software engineering and general technology professionals. The expectation is for GitHub to continue to operate in a largely independent fashion with the exception of a migration to Azure.   

Is this the End of the Open Source GitHub?

As we discussed last week, GitHub provides a great example of the positive influence of open source on the software development world. Back in the Steve Ballmer era, Microsoft earned a reputation as an enemy of open source software. “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” said the MS CEO back in 2001.

Much of the gnashing and trashing in the developer community about a Microsoft-owned GitHub is a reflection of Redmond at the turn of the century. The Nadella-led company, on the other hand, is more of a champion of open source. The Visual Studio Code and .NET Core initiatives are examples of this new progressive attitude at Microsoft.

One of Nadella’s strategic goals involves fostering a developer-centric focus, or even emphasizing the one that already existed at Microsoft. GitHub fits perfectly with these plans. In fact, Microsoft closing its own competitor to the service – Codeplex – last year hinted at this week’s purchase. The added benefit of boosting Azure’s chances against AWS in the Cloud wars likely clinched their purchase decision.

Ultimately, when compared to Google or Amazon, Microsoft is arguably the better choice for GitHub. This especially rings true considering the company’s developer focus, as well as the embracing of open source under Satya Nadella. Nonetheless, every development shop currently using the source code service needs to consider whether staying makes sense for the long term.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Betica Blog. Stay tuned for additional dispatches from the never boring world of software development.